The Vivien Thomas Early Career Investigator Award acknowledges the accomplishments of early career investigator members of the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia (CVSA) who are focusing on fundamental and applied surgical research.
The award is named in honor of Vivien T. Thomas, a key player in pioneering the anastomosis of the subclavian artery to the pulmonary artery. The surgical work he performed with Dr. Alfred Blalock paved the way for the successful outcome of the Blalock-Taussig shunt in 1944.
- Peter J. Altshuler, MD
- Ahmed Aboulgheit, MD
- Nicholas A. Oh, MD
- Rohan Shad, MD
Past Award Recipients
- 2019 Michael J. Paulsen, MD
- 2018 Laura A. Scrimgeour, MD
- 2017 Brittany Potz, MD
- 2016 Holly Mewhort, MD, PhD
- 2015 Jonathan Yau, PhD, MSc
- 2014 Quintin J. Quinones, MD, PhD
- 2013 John MacArthur, MD
- 2012 Shiana Eckhouse, MD
- Candidates include surgery residents working in a cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, or anesthesiology laboratory; PhDs and/or MDs who have completed training within the last four years in cardiothoracic surgery, vascular surgery or anesthesia; or PhDs and/or MDs who are still within in the first four years after their first faculty appointment in cardiothoracic surgery, vascular surgery or anesthesia, as of the award application date.
- All applicants and applicant sponsors for Early Career Investigator Awards sponsored by a scientific council must be members of the AHA. If you need to become an AHA Professional Member, you should do so no later than May 30 for your member account to be processed in time for the application submission deadline. Learn more about AHA Professional Membership.
- Abstract must be submitted to one of the categories for presentation at Scientific Sessions in which the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia is the lead/primary sponsor. Make sure that your abstract has been submitted in a category listed under the award for which you want to apply. View a list of Scientific Sessions Council Awards and Travel Grants Available by Abstract Category and Community (PDF).
- 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 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.
- Winners and Finalists are not eligible to re-enter the competition in subsequent years.
- There are no citizenship requirements.
- Abstract results and presentations (abstract or manuscript) are prohibited from release until AHA embargo date and time (5 a.m. ET/4 a.m. CT, Monday, November 9, 2020). You will be contacted by AHA communications if you are selected to participate in an AHA news event.
- The case may not be presented at a national or international meeting or world congress before the date and time of presentation at Scientific Sessions.
- The case abstract must comply with the AHA Abstract Submission Guidelines 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 are available here and 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.
Panels of distinguished researchers, scientists, clinicians and academicians representing the breadth of cardiovascular disease and stroke will judge applications. Applications will be judged on the:
- Scientific merit of the abstract
- Quality and originality of the manuscript
- Letter from the candidate's sponsor and any other included reference letters
- The candidate's curriculum vitae
- 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:
- 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 before the abstract submission deadline. Visit Scientific Sessions to submit your abstract before submission of this award application; your abstract control number is needed for the award application form.
- An unpublished manuscript based on independent research.
- Curriculum vitae and bibliography.
- A letter detailing how much of the design and research work was done by the candidate and by any co-investigators. The candidate's immediate supervisor, division head, department chairman, or institute director must write this statement. 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. Supportive statements of the candidate and his or her relevant qualifications as a researcher are also encouraged.
Though not required, up to two additional letters of support or reference from individuals familiar with the applicant, his or her background, or his or her research may be submitted. Inclusion of additional support letters does not guarantee higher consideration of an application, but can be beneficial.
Visit the Council Awards & Fellowships Application System to complete an application.
A username and password set up through online registration at Professional Heart Daily will be necessary to access the Application System. If you have not created an online profile yet, you may register as you enter the Application System by clicking "Sign Up" next to the Log In button on the sign-in page. AHA Professional Members who are creating an online profile for the first time should make sure to register using their AHA member 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 member 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 May 30 for the member account number to be processed and delivered in time for the application deadline.
Finalists for the Early Career Investigator Awards competitions associated with Scientific Sessions will be announced in August. Up to five finalists will present their research results at Scientific Sessions.
Each finalist will also receive the following:
- The first-prize winner will receive a plaque and $2,000 honorarium.
- Up to four other finalists will each receive a plaque and $1,000 honorarium.
- Each finalist receives a complimentary council reception ticket, along with recognition at the council reception.
Each finalist will be designated in the Scientific Sessions supplement to Circulation. Acceptance for the competition does not guarantee publication in any other American Heart Association sponsored journal.