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Strategically Focused Research Networks

The AHA Board of Directors has approved the topics for the next two Strategically Focused Research Networks (SFRN). The sixth SFRN will focus on OBESITY and the seventh SFRN will focus on CHILDREN.

The announcement of these two new Network topics is the culmination of review and discussion among members of our Board and our scientific leadership over the past few years and is an extension of our longstanding commitment to research focused on children’s health and obesity as they relate to cardiovascular disease and stroke. The AHA is interested in the science community exploring all aspects of these two topics, which can assist the AHA in reaching its 2020 Goals and overall mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

As background, a Network is comprised of three to four institutions, or Centers, working on three projects each that are focused on one strategic area. Similar to the previous SFRNs, the next two Networks will have their own Request for Application which will require that each submission have an overall application from the Center Director, as well as three proposals from project Principal Investigators.

What is a Strategically Focused Research Network (SFRN)?

A Strategically Focused Research Network (SFRN) is comprised of three to four institutions, or Centers, working on three projects each that are focused on one strategic area. To view a previous RFA, look for the RFA Archive box on the left side of this page.

What does a Strategically Focused Research Network (SFRN) look like?

A Strategically Focused Research Network includes three or four institutions each working on three separate projects. For more information about the look and feel of a SFRN, view this illustration.

How often will an SFRN be available for funding? 

Starting in 2015, the AHA will begin funding two of these Networks each year. Topics are announced in early spring and RFAs containing application deadlines are released approximately late spring and early fall. Check back for updated information, or sign up for our Research Insider email for announcements.

How much funding will be available with each Network?

Each Network will receive $12-15M in funding.


The AHA has always been interested in the science community exploring all aspects of basic, clinical and population science which can assist the AHA in reaching its 2020 Goals and overall mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Throughout 2011-2012, the AHA conducted an extensive discussion among all AHA stakeholders to determine what the key attributes and guiding principles should be as AHA strengthens and enhances its commitment to CV and neurosciences research as it drives toward its Mission.

AHA Research Summit

The AHA hosted a Research Summit in May 2012 to support AHA’s goal of developing the most impactful, dynamic and productive research program possible through 2020 and beyond. A major outcome of this summit was AHA's 12 Essential Elements.  In June of 2012, the AHA Board of Directors charged the Research Committee with implementing the 12 Essential Elements into the current portfolio of research awards.  In October 2012, the AHA’s Administrative Cabinet, Scientific Advisory & Coordinating Committee and Board of Directors reviewed the progress of the Research Committee and made recommendations for the committee.

AHA SFRN Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunities

Key Dates


  • LOI Application Deadline: Aug. 25, 2016 5 pm CST
  • Full Application Deadline: Nov. 8, 2016 5 pm CST


  • LOI Application Deadline: Dec. 9, 2016 5 pm CST
  • Full Application Deadline: Feb. 21, 2017 5 pm CST