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Abbreviated Research Plan for the A-TRAC Pilot Program

The abbreviated proposal for the A-TRAC Pilot Program is limited to six pages.

Before beginning the Research Proposal, review the program description noting especially the qualifications, restrictions, and peer review criteria. The proposal should be written in such a way as to address all of the peer review criteria.  The peer review criteria can be found within the program description.  Remember that preliminary data is not needed, but a solid rationale for the work must be provided. Detailed scientific protocols are not expected.


The research proposal must be created as a Word-processed document and converted to a Portable Document Format (PDF) file.  Only PDF files will be accepted. When creating the Research Proposal, you must comply exactly with the association's format/type requirements and page limit.  Failure to comply will result in the administrative withdrawal (disqualification) of the application. 

  • Only Portable Document Format (PDF) files will be accepted.
  • Document must be single-spaced.
  • No more than 15 characters per inch (cpi) or an average of no more than 15 cpi (cpi includes symbols, punctuation and spaces).
  • No less than ¾" margins allowed.
  • 60 lines per page are the maximum allowed (The average number of lines per page using the font and point size below will be approximately 50-55 lines)
  • Arial Font style, 12 point font size for Windows users; Helvetica Font style, 12 point font size for Macintosh users
  • Figures, charts, tables, graphics and legends may be smaller in size but must be clear and legible
  • Six page limit

Users of other word processing programs must adjust settings appropriately and should measure text after saving and printing as a PDF. Type requirements should be checked using a standard measuring device (such as a ruler), rather than relying on the font selected for a particular word processing/printer combination. Type size specifications must be observed in the text of your research plan or the application will not be reviewed and will be withdrawn. Adherence to font and margin requirements is necessary. No applicant should have an advantage over other applicants by providing more content in his/her application by using smaller, denser type. The AHA has the responsibility to make the final determination of conformance to format requirements and the authority to withdraw applications. This decision is final and not subject to appeal.

Internet Web site addresses (URLs) may not be used to provide information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites. Moreover, the reviewers are cautioned not to directly access an Internet site as it could compromise their anonymity.

The only place a URL may be used is in the biographical sketch as described in the instructions for that form. Provide a URL to a full list of your published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as SciENcv or My Bibliography, which are maintained by the US National Library of Medicine.

Type the research proposal specifically following the outline given below, in the same sequence. All items should be addressed. Do not exceed the 6-page limit.

Abbreviated Proposal

  1. Project Description

    What is the scientific problem that will be addressed and why is this important? What are the innovative or high-risk, high-reward approaches that, if successful, might lead to paradigm-shifting results? Does the project address a critical barrier to progress in the field? Are novel approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies being used for this project? Give a brief synopsis of methodology to be used and challenges or potential problem areas/alternative tactics.

    Although information about personnel and environment are contained in other areas of the AHA application, if you desire you may include brief information about unique features to this project (such as personnel, features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements). (This is not required.)
  2. Significance of Problem with respect to FDA Research Priorities

    Explain how this project will relate to the thematic focus of A-TRAC and TCORS. Does the project address an important issue or a critical barrier in regulatory authority over tobacco products? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will regulatory science research be informed or regulation affected? How will successful completion of the aims affect the concepts, methods, technologies, or regulation of tobacco products? How does this project relate to the mission of FDA to generate science that can inform and evaluate FDA’s prior, existing and prospective tobacco regulatory activities?

End of text (not to exceed 6 pages in the Abbreviated Proposal).

Applications to the A-TRAC Pilot Program will be assigned to a group of multidisciplinary reviewers. You may be writing for a reviewer in a related field and an expert directly in your area. Aim the application at both the expert in the field and at the generalist. The level of detail should be appropriate for reviewers who have a broad knowledge of the scientific area.

PLEASE NOTE:  Although your project may study the same or a similar issue/problem as another investigator, your research proposal should be your own original/creative writing.  You should cite all information taken from another researcher or publication. Failure to do so may result in your proposal being flagged for Ethical Disapproval due to plagiarism.

Submission of applications to the AHA with identical or significantly similar content from a sponsor to a grant program and their fellow to fellowship program is prohibited.  Both applications will receive a recommendation for “disapproval”. If a grant application is submitted by the sponsor of a fellowship application, both applications may be funded if there is no duplication of aims.