Working with the ACC
The ACC encourages the collaboration of researchers with similar interests. The primary activities of the ACC consist of advancing the development of new cohorts and pursuing cross-cohort collaborative projects. Cohort development within the ACC has begun in Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia through the establishment of newly funded cohorts in those countries. The ACC is committed to supporting these cohorts and assisting the development of similar cohorts throughout the region. Researchers interested in developing a new cohort are encouraged to contact the ACC Coordinating Center (CC) at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
The ACC is also committed to pursuing cross-cohort collaborative projects which require large-scale efforts. The ACC is currently involved in a number of collaborative projects, including investigating body mass index (BMI) and cause-specific mortality among twenty cohorts throughout Asia. Consortium members are also working on additional projects which focus on 1) cancer of the small intestine, a rare cancer that is difficult to study without very large populations; and 2) biospecimens use across existing Asian cohorts.
The ACC will consider additional project proposals in the areas of:
- diet & nutrition
- obesity & physical activity
- occupation & environment
- medical & reproductive history
- alcohol & tobacco use
- family history & genetics
- biospecimens & sample collection
- data collection & management
- follow-up & endpoint ascertainment
Researchers interested in proposing collaborative projects are encouraged to read the following sections and contact the CC at email@example.com for further information.
An investigator who is interested in initiating a collaborative project will need to submit a proposal and project submission cover sheet to the ACC Coordinating Center. The project submission cover sheet can be found here. Both the proposal and cover sheet should be submitted electronically to the CC at firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals will be accepted from any individual interested in collaborating with the ACC, including non-ACC members. Proposals originating outside of the ACC must first secure a sponsoring ACC member. The CC can assist in arranging an ACC sponsor, if needed.
Proposals should be a concise summary of the proposed project, and include the following areas: Rationale and Significance, Specific Aims, Study Design, and Research Methods. The proposal should also address the specific issues of project oversight, decision-making, the role of the CC, data-sharing arrangements, authorship and project milestones. While proposals should be as close to the implemented project as possible, it is understood that in the initial stages, proposals are working documents which are subject to change during the review process. The CC can provide a sample proposal upon request and can also assist in the development of the proposal if necessary.
Proposals will be accepted continuously throughout the year. Prior to each bi-annual meeting, calls for proposals will also be sent out. All proposals will be sent to the Executive Committee (EC) for initial review. Proposals which support the ACC mission and are deemed scientifically sound will be slated for review at the next scheduled bi-annual General Membership Meeting. Proposals will then be posted on the ACC secure members site to allow members to review proposals in advance of the meeting. If an expedited review is necessary and feasible, the review will be done entirely online. This expedited review should be requested by the proposal’s investigator.
The proposals will be evaluated using the following questions as a guide:
- Is this research that is best done in a consortium rather than a single study, such as rare events or analyses that required special populations?
- Is there a good possibility for high impact publications, specifically on important topics and using sound methodology?
- How difficult is the project to do, for example will there be a need for additional data collection and harmonization from participating cohorts?
- Would the project affect the existing plans of participating cohorts?
- Is funding available to support data harmonization and analysis at the Coordinating Center and for participating cohorts for data preparation and submission?
Though not required, proposal authors will have the opportunity to present proposals at a General Membership Meeting meeting.This presentation will allow proposal authors and ACC members to exchange thoughts and further project development.
Members will then vote on reviewed proposals. For a proposal to be accepted, it must be approved by a majority of the members present. In some instances, the group may recommend changes to a proposal prior to acceptance. In such cases, the CC will communicate with the proposal’s lead author to discuss where alterations are possible. It is hoped that this will further the project’s design and continue to build a collaborative environment among individuals committed to the project’s success.
If applicable, proposals will also be reviewed by an appropriate working group at some point in the review process. For example, all proposals involving biospecimens will be reviewed by the Biospecimens Working Group. Working groups will not have authority to approve proposals, but are responsible for advising the membership and proposal authors on protocol, policy, and procedural issues pertaining to their respective areas of expertise.
Upon acceptance, the CC will assist project proponents in the formation of or assignment to a working group (WG) and development of communication structures for the WG. During the course of the project, working groups are responsible, with the help of the CC, for the advancement of the project as outlined. The CC is available to assist WGs with logistical needs of the project such as IRB compliance, document preparation, and data analysis.
Please contact the CC at email@example.com for any questions regarding the process for collaborative projects within the ACC.