Research Programs

Since 1949, the AHA has invested more than $4.6 billion in cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and brain health research.

About AHA Research

Funding research is a cornerstone of the American Heart Association’s lifesaving mission -- a pillar upon which the AHA was founded and a key to our future. The AHA is the largest not-for-profit funding source for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease research next to the federal government. New knowledge resulting from AHA funding benefits millions of lives in every corner of the U.S. and around the world:

  • Translation into medical advancements
  • Updated guidelines for healthcare providers to most effectively treat patients and improve peoples' well-being
  • Building careers in science and research

Our bold research vision is guided by 12 Essential Elements to ensure AHA is at the forefront of global changes, emphasizes collaborative and team research, accelerates discovery, and drives groundbreaking research outcomes.

Notice to AHA Research Community Regarding COVID-19

Dear AHA Research Community:

We know many of you are experiencing significant challenges conducting research at your institutions during the coronavirus pandemic. You no doubt have questions about steps the AHA is taking to support your research programs.

First and foremost is the safety of you and your research teams. We anticipate you are following the direction of your sponsoring institutions with regard to access to laboratories and research clinics. We are aware there are varying responses to the pandemic, ranging from all research activities being suspended indefinitely, to reduced operations and remote working until further notice. We understand the need for decisions to be made at the local level, with fluctuating degrees of interruptions on a daily and weekly basis. The AHA has adopted flexible grants management policies in recent years and will expand that flexibility and support as much as possible.


Message to AHA research awardees about disruptions to ongoing projects (PDF)

The American Heart Association is working to ensure optimal care for patients with cardiovascular disease who contract coronavirus (COVID-19). Patients with underlying cardiovascular diseases appear to have an increased risk for adverse outcomes with COVID-19. Helpful resources for health systems, clinics, care providers, patients and the public can be found on the COVID-19 Content: An AHA Compendium.

Dr. Mariel Jessup addresses the AHA research community about accommodating awardees who are having difficulties conducting their research due to limitations created by the COVID-19 epidemic.


Award offerings and resources for preparing and submitting an application for funding.

Peer Reviewer

Tools for evaluating the merit of research applications, and review committee rosters.


Rulebook and tools for managing awards.

Research Announcements

COVID-19 Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists - Letter of Intent due Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 3 pm ET
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the American Heart Association, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Rita Allen Foundation, and Walder Foundation have come together to offer this one-time grant opportunity for U.S. medical schools that are evolving to strengthen policies, practices and processes to support the research productivity and retention of early-career faculty with family caregiving responsibilities brought about by COVID-19.

Whereas the majority of funds should go toward support of clinician-scientists, PhD researchers with significant caregiver responsibilities are also eligible for support through this mechanism. Funds have been earmarked to support at least two grants to minority-serving U.S. medical schools. Each institutional grant will consist of $500,000 total cost plus 10% indirect costs over two years to support approximately 10-15 research supplements of approximately $30,000-$50,000 each.

A letter of intent consists of a simple form submitted to reserve an institution’s spot for full proposal submission. Start a new letter of intent.

Q&A Zoom Webinar:  Mon., June 21, 4-5 p.m. ET - register here.
Full details  on the grant, submitting a letter of intent, and full proposal. 
Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

AHA awardees may apply for a complimentary Precision Medicine Platform workspace to perform data analyses. The workspace will provide up to $50,000 in AWS credits per year during the course of the AHA award. Register for a free account on the AHA Precision Medicine PlatformLearn more about the platform (video)

AHA Awardees Investigate COVID-19 and Its Cardiovascular Impact
The American Heart Association is funding 21 research grants focused on learning more about COVID-19 — 17 are fast-tracked projects and four are special awards to centers of Association’s Health Technologies and Innovation Strategically Focused Research Network. Because of the urgency of this issue, the projects funded are innovative, highly impactful, and anticipated to show progress within 9-12 months.

AHA/CHF Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards
The Children's Heart Foundation and the AHA are jointly funding AHA/CHF Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards. $22.5 million will be awarded for research directly related to congenital heart defects. Learn more: AHA/CHF Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards

Follow us on Twitter @AHA_Research
The official Twitter account for the Research of the American Heart Association

Research Insider

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