Application Information

Dear Potential AHA Applicant:

AHA volunteer leaders have created a portfolio that meets the needs of the science community, is responsive to the current science landscape, and is focused on driving toward the AHA mission. Programs will be rolled out in several groups over the next few months. Please monitor this Web page for announcements.

Video: New Research Opportunities from the American Heart Association

Steven R. Houser, PhD, past president of the American Heart Association, and Ivor Benjamin, MD, president-elect, discuss a variety of new initiatives planned for AHA research programs.


American Heart Association research awards are limited to U.S.-based non-profit institutions, including medical, osteopathic and dental schools, veterinary schools, schools of public health, pharmacy schools, nursing schools, universities and colleges, public and voluntary hospitals and others that can demonstrate the ability to conduct the proposed research. Applications will not be accepted for work with funding to be administered through any federal institution or work to be performed by a federal employee, except (1) applications specifically related to the AHA’s Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine, and (2) Veterans Administration employees.

Applications are created, submitted, and reviewed through the Grants@Heart electronic system.


All AHA grants share the following features, unless noted in the program description:

  • AHA awards are open to an array of academic and health professionals. This includes but is not limited to all academic disciplines (biology, chemistry, mathematics, technology, physics, etc.) and all health-related professions (physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, dentists, physical and occupational therapists, statisticians, nutritionists, etc.).
  • Clinical, translational, population, behavioral, and basic scientists are encouraged to apply.  AHA maintains dedicated Peer Review Committees by program type and science type.
  • AHA strongly encourages applications by women, underrepresented minorities in the sciences, and those who have experienced varied and non-traditional career trajectories.
  • No minimum percent effort is required; however, the Principal Investigator must demonstrate that adequate time will be devoted to ensuring successful completion of the project.
  • AHA project awards are fully transferrable to make the awardee a "free agent" who is empowered move to another qualified institution while retaining the award.
  • Award budgets are unrestricted among allowable categories (salary/fringe of PI and essential personnel, supplies, equipment/computers, travel, human subjects, etc.).
  • Funds may be re-budgeted between categories without prior AHA approval.
  • Proposals for the Collaborative Sciences Award, Established Investigator Award and Merit Award, and Strategically Focused Research Networks will follow a two-part application process. Part one is the submission of a letter of intent and applicant’s biosketch.  Other preliminary documents may be requested, depending on the award type. 
  • An individual may hold more than one AHA award concurrently, but may only hold one career development/recognition award (Career Development Award, Established Investigator Award, Merit Award).
  • Strategically Focused Research Network personnel may hold individual AHA awards.

Program Descriptions

Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. CST on the deadline date. The system will shut down at 5 p.m. CST. Early submission is encouraged. Your institutional Grants Officer (GO) has the final responsibility of submitting your completed application to the American Heart Association. It is important that you check with your GO for his/her internal deadline.

AHA forms and instructions are updated for each deadline.
Check Supporting Documents for the required uploads for each program.
View the detailed Applications Instructions.

Applications are being accepted for the following award programs

Established Investigator Award

Required Letter of Intent Deadline:  Aug. 1, 2017
Deadline for Applicants Invited to Submit Full Application:  Monday, Oct. 23, 2017

Supports mid-career healthcare and academic investigators with unusual promise and in rapid growth phase, who have established records of accomplishments, and demonstrated commitment to questions related to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular science.

Institutional Undergraduate Student Award

Application Deadline:  Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017

Encourages students from all disciplines to consider research careers. This is made to qualified institutions that can offer a meaningful research experience that supports the AHA mission undergraduate college students.

AHA Institutional Research Enhancement Award (AIREA)

Application Deadline: Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017

Supports small-scale research projects related to CVD and stroke at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. For any part of the full range of research and development from very basic to clinical.

AHA Merit Award

Required Letter of Intent Deadline: Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017
Deadline for Applicants Invited to Submit Full Application: Monday, Nov. 6, 2017

To fund highly promising investigators with stellar track records of accomplishment, demonstrated by federal or equivalent funding [NIH, AHRQ, HRSA, etc.] from multiple sources and excellent publication records with accelerating impact, who have the potential to move a field of science forward with creative approaches that are aligned with the mission of the American Heart Association.

This award will support individual scientists with a trajectory of success, who propose novel approaches to major research challenges in the areas of CV and stroke that have the potential to produce unusually high impact.

Strategically Focused Atrial Fibrillation Research Network

Letter of Intent Deadline: Thursday, Nov 30, 2017
Application Deadline: Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018

The AHA is interested in the science community exploring the etiology, prevention or treatment of cardiovascular disease or stroke in Atrial Fibrillation, which can assist the AHA in reaching its 2020 Goals and overall mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. A Network is comprised of three to five institutions, or Centers, working on projects focusing on one strategic area.

AHA Predoctoral Fellowship

Application Deadline: Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017

Enhances the integrated research and clinical training of promising students who are matriculated in pre-doctoral or clinical health professional degree training programs and who intend careers as scientists, physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists, or related careers aimed at improving global cardiovascular health.

AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship
Application Deadline: Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017

Enhances the integrated research and clinical training of postdoctoral applicants who are not yet independent. The applicant must be embedded in an appropriate research group with the mentorship, support, and relevant scientific guidance of a research supervisor.

Career Development Award

Application Deadline: Monday, Dec. 4, 2017
Award Activation: Sunday, July 1, 2018

Supports highly promising healthcare and academic professionals, in the early years of one’s first professional appointment, to explore innovative questions or pilot studies that will provide preliminary data and training necessary to assure the applicant’s future success as a research scientist in the field of cardiovascular and stroke research.

Collaborative Sciences Award
Deadline for Applicants Invited to Submit Full Application: Monday, Feb 19, 2018

To foster innovative, new collaborative approaches to research projects which propose novel pairings of investigators from at least two broad disciplines. The proposal must focus on the collaborative relationship, such that the scientific objectives could not be achieved without the efforts of at least two co- principal investigators and their respective disciplines. The combination and integration of studies may be inclusive of basic, clinical, population and/or translational research. Applications by existing collaborators are permitted, provided that the proposal is for a new idea or new approach that has not been funded before.

Innovative Project Award

Application Date: Jan. 11, 2018

Funds ideas that may introduce new paradigms, challenge current paradigms, look at existing problems from new perspectives, or exhibit other uniquely creative qualities. Preliminary data is not required and not accepted as part of the proposal. However, a solid rationale for the work must be provided.

Transformational Project Award

Application Deadline: Jan. 23, 2018

Represents the second phase of a new idea; proposals should include preliminary data. Proposed work should be the next logical step of previous work, and should already be revealing a high probability of revealing new avenues of investigation, if successful.

Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine Awards

The American Heart Association Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine strives to preserve and prolong health by more precisely predicting, preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases and stroke. We look to accomplish this by supporting grants which utilize innovative ideas, strategic collaborations and access to integrated data with state-of-the-art technology will cohesively work to eliminate cardiovascular diseases and stroke for families and for future generations.

Precision cardiovascular medicine takes into account an individual's lifestyle, environment and biology to help identify the underlying causes of cardiovascular related risk factors and events to help decrease and prevent these risk factors and events. This new field of precision medicine utilizes advanced methods of aggregating, integrating and analyzing patient data. Our grant mechanisms will be focused on many aspects of precision cardiovascular medicine to reach our goals.

Please check our Funding Opportunities Page for more information about our grant mechanisms and deadlines.

Help Documents

Use the documents listed below to help prepare your application for AHA Research funding: