Participant User File Research Program

The STS Participant User File (PUF) Research Program allows analysis of national-scale de-identified data from the Database at investigators’ institutions. The PUF Program is unique in many respects and was designed primarily as an option for investigators to pose research questions, quickly obtain quality data, analyze these data themselves, receive feedback, and develop their efforts into abstracts and manuscripts. Read more about the PUF Program.

PUF applications are being accepted for data in the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, General Thoracic Surgery Database, Congenital Heart Surgery Database, and the Intermacs Database.


  • View a list of active PUF projects.
  • View a list of recent publications utilizing data from the STS National Database.

To avoid issues with scientific overlap, we highly encourage investigators to share their proposed topic of study with Research Center staff in advance of submitting a formal PUF application.

Review the Data Use Agreement and apply now.

If you have questions about the PUF Program, contact Kristin Mathis, STS Research Center Senior Coordinator.