Martha N. Hill Early Career Investigator Award

Sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Applicants must submit abstracts to Scientific Sessions 2022, scheduled for November 5–7, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. The Abstract Deadline is June. 13, 2022 at 6 p.m. Central Time.

To qualify for this Scientific Sessions 2022 award you must meet the following deadlines:

  • June 9, 2022 – Deadline to have an active AHA membership with this Council.
  • June 13, 2022, 6 p.m. Central Time – Deadline to submit your science to Scientific Sessions 2022.
  • June 15, 2022, 6 p.m. Central Time – Deadline to apply for this award in the Council Awards System.

Join or Renew

The Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing is committed to professional growth of new investigators. The Martha N. Hill Early Career Investigator Award recognizes the outstanding contributions of these investigators in understanding, preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases. Basic and clinical research will be recognized.

Award Recipients

  • 2021 Martha Abshire Saylor, PhD, RN
  • 2020 Katherine A. Maki
  • 2019 Jennifer Smith
  • 2018 Kelly T. Gleason
  • 2017 Billy Caceres
  • 2016 Yvonne Commodore-Mensah
  • 2015 Nancy McCabe
  • 2014 Salah S. Al-Zaiti
  • 2013 Linda Park
  • 2012 Selina Berg
  • 2011 Anne Fink

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicant must be active in research and still be in training as an undergraduate or pre-doctoral student, or be active in research and within 10 years of completing medical fellowship (or residency as NIH states, MDs would be Fellows for 3-6 years of the 7-10), terminal degree or highest certificate (e.g. MSc, PhD), as of the award application date..
  • All applicants for the Martha Hill Early Career Investigator Award must be active members of the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing at the time of award submission. The finalists must be available to attend the Cardiovascular Nursing Council Dinner at Scientific Sessions to accept the award. If you need to become an AHA Professional Member, you should do so by one week prior to the application submission deadline for your member account to be processed in time for the application submission deadline. Learn more about becoming an AHA Professional Member.
  • Abstract must be submitted to one of the categories for presentation at Scientific Sessions in which the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing is the lead/primary sponsor. View a list of Council Awards and Travel Grants Available by Abstract Category and Community (PDF). Make sure that your abstract has been submitted in a category listed under the award for which you want to apply.
  • An individual may not compete for similar early career investigator awards from the other American Heart Association scientific councils during the same scientific meeting.
  • Only one application and one manuscript per candidate will be considered.
  • The applicant must be the first and presenting author, although the manuscript may have co-authors. The presenting author of an accepted abstract must be registered for Scientific Sessions. Additional information about registration and fees may be found on the Scientific Sessions website.
  • Previous winners and finalists are not eligible to re-enter the competition in subsequent years. However, applicants may apply for a different award program in which they haven't previously been a winner or finalist
  • Abstracts associated with a published manuscript can be presented an AHA scientific event if the manuscript was published after the time the abstract was submitted to the event, however the abstract will not be published as a part of the journal publication.
  • The work covered by the abstract must not have been presented at a national or international meeting or world congress before the date and time of presentation at Scientific Sessions.
  • Applicants must adhere to the AHA Embargo Policy.
  • The abstract must comply with the AHA Abstract Submission Guidelines (PDF) as outlined by the Committee on Scientific Sessions Program.
  • Abstracts/manuscripts eligible for this award must be based upon projects that adhere to the American Heart Association’s policies governing all research awards, regardless of whether the project was funded by the American Heart Association. These policies include (but are not limited to) research using human subjects or animals and stem cell research.
  • Notwithstanding the above, the AHA Officers have the discretion to determine eligibility for the award in extraordinary circumstances when there is an issue relating to AHA policy or positions or other potentially controversial issue relating to the positioning or perception of the AHA.

Evaluation Criteria

Panels of distinguished researchers, scientists, nurses, clinicians and academicians representing the breadth of cardiovascular disease and stroke will judge applications. Applications will be judged on the following:

  • Scientific merit of the abstract
  • Quality and originality of the manuscript.
  • Letter from the candidate's sponsor and any other reference letters
  • Oral abstract presentation at Scientific Sessions (finalists only). The finalist must be the presenter of his/her submission and no alternates or proxy will be allowed.

How to Apply / Required Documents

Electronic submission through the Council Awards Application System is required. Hard copies of any part of the application cannot be accepted.

Your application file should contain the following documents in PDF format:

  1. AHA abstract in accordance with AHA rules and regulations for submitting abstracts to Scientific Sessions. Please note that this abstract must first be submitted through the AHA's Scientific Sessions website. Visit Scientific Sessions to submit your abstract before submission of this award application. Your abstract control number will be needed on the award application form.
  2. An unpublished manuscript based on independent research. (35-page limitation, including references, tables, and figures.) Full-length dissertations or documents that appear to be in a dissertation format will not be accepted. The work covered by the submitted abstract must not have been presented at a national or international meeting before presentation at the AHA scientific event. If so, the abstract must be withdrawn.
  3. Curriculum vitae, including bibliography.
  4. Letter from the candidate's immediate supervisor, division head, department chairman, or institute director detailing how much of the design and research work was done by the candidate and by any co-investigators. This letter may also address the candidate's strengths and research experience. In case of multi-authored manuscripts, the supervisor should also indicate that among all the co-authors the applicant is the most appropriate candidate for the award, and offer rationale for this opinion.

Though not required, up to two additional letters of support or reference from individuals familiar with the applicant's background or research may be submitted. Including additional support letters does not guarantee higher consideration of an application but it can be beneficial.

Visit the Council Awards & Fellowships Application System to complete an application.

A username and password previously set up through online profile registration at Professional Heart Daily will be necessary to access the Application System. If you have not created an online profile yet, please visit Professional Heart Daily to create an online member profile before accessing the Council Awards Application System. AHA Professional Members who are creating an online profile for the first time should make sure to register using their AHA membership identification numbers.

An active AHA Professional Member account is required of all applicants for this award. If you are joining the AHA to apply, please wait on your AHA membership account number to arrive from AHA Member Services via e-mail before creating an online profile and starting your application file. We suggest that new members join the AHA no later than one week prior to the application submission deadline for the membership account number to be processed and delivered in time for the application deadline. The membership number will be required on the award application form.


Finalists for the Early Career Investigator Awards competitions associated with Scientific Sessions will be announced in August. The top candidates for the Hill Award will present their research results at Scientific Sessions. Each finalist will also receive the following:

  • Cash award: The first-prize winner will receive a plaque and $1,000; two additional finalists will each receive a plaque and $500.
  • Complimentary council dinner ticket, along with recognition at the council dinner.

Each finalist will be designated in the Scientific Sessions online supplement to Circulation. Acceptance for the competition does not guarantee publication in any other American Heart Association-sponsored journal. Abstracts associated with a published manuscript can be presented an AHA scientific event if the manuscript was published after the time the abstract was submitted to the event, however the abstract will not be published as a part of the journal publication.