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The role of the sponsor/mentor is to work with the applicant to develop the application and to make necessary arrangements for conducting the proposed research work with the institution. 

The sponsor/mentor must provide supporting documentation (documents 1 and 2 below) required by the American Heart Association for the research application.  The sponsor/mentor also works with the applicant to address the peer review criteria for the A-TRAC Pilot programs. 

Note: The applicant cannot submit his/her application without your documents; therefore, it is important that you meet the applicant's deadline. 

Create your documents and send to the applicant electronically.  The applicant will upload the documents to his/her application.

Format/Type Requirements

Create your documents following the format/type requirements below:

  • Only Portable Document Format (pdf) files will be accepted.
  • File 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 
  • Sixty lines per page are the maximum allowed (The average number of lines per page using the font and point size below will be 50-55 lines.)
  • Arial font style, 12 point font size for Windows users; helvetica font style, 12 point font size for Macintosh users 

The following three documents are required as separate files.  Please pay attention to page limits.  A document that exceeds the page limit will be rejected by the electronic application system.

Document #1  
Create a document using the following heading: SPONSOR/MENTOR LETTER (2 page limit)

Address the following:

  1. Describe the relationship of the applicant's proposed project to your ongoing research.
  2. Describe any plans to develop the applicant's research capabilities, including related training required for specific technical skills or methods.  

Document #2
Sponsor/Mentor's Biographical Sketch/Bibliography
(five-page limit)

Note: You must use a current NIH biographical sketch with the following information:

  1. Education and training:  Location and institution, dates attended, degree received, degree confer date and field of study. 
  2. Positions/Employment, Memberships and Honors - List in chronological order previous positions, concluding with your present position.  Include start/end dates, position title, name of organization and department.  Also list other experience and professional memberships, and academic/professional honors received.  If necessary, senior applicants may list previous employment for the past 15 years and should be very selective regarding memberships/honors.
  3. Peer-Reviewed Publications - List in chronological order, selected peer-reviewed publications.  Do not include publications submitted or in preparation.
  4. Research Support - List elected ongoing or completed (during the last three years) research projects. Give project number, agency, title of project, and dates of award.  Then briefly indicate the overall goals of the project and your role (e.g., PI, co-investigator, consultant) in the research project.  Do not list award amount or percent effort in projects. 
Peer Review Criteria
To judge the merit of the application, reviewers will comment on the following criteria. Please be sure that you and your sponsor/mentor or co-investigator fully address these in your proposal:  
  1. Significance: Does this study address an important problem broadly related to effects of tobacco on cardiovascular health and disease? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced? 
  2. Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well-reasoned, feasible, and appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
  3. Innovation: Is the project original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing paradigms and address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area?
  4. Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers?  Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?
  5. Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support?
  6. Impact:  How does this project relate to the mission of the AHA A-TRAC to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke and provide scientific evidence related to tobacco use, and to inform and evaluate FDA’s prior, existing and prospective tobacco regulatory activities?
  7. Training plan: Does the applicant or mentor (when applicable) have the experience to direct the proposed research training? Can the mentor provide a training plan which incorporates career and developmental goals? Will the mentor’s training plan facilitate the applicant's progress towards his/her research career goals?