AHA's Second Century Clinical Fellow Research Education Program

Find the answers to your proposal submission questions,
plus links to the best resources for building a strong research application.


Important Notes

  • Proposals must be received no later than 3 p.m. Central Time on the deadline date. Early submission is encouraged.
  • Applicants must be AHA Professional Members at the time of proposal submission. Membership must be done online. Join or begin the membership process well before the deadline. The AHA expects all mentors associated with training/mentored research awards to maintain active AHA membership, as well.

Updates for New Research Proposals

International Applicants

For all research programs – including fellowships – applicants are not required to reside in the United States for any period before applying for AHA funding. However, AHA 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. Acceptable visa types and additional information. may be found on the Application Resources page.

Use of Large Language Models & Generative AI in Proposals & Peer Review


The AHA permits the use of a large language model (LLM – e.g., ChatGPT) or a generative artificial intelligence tool to create and/or edit content in research proposals submitted for funding. This information must be disclosed at the time of submission. Disclosure of this information does not impact peer review. Should this information not be disclosed accurately, and use of these tools is identified, the proposal may be administratively withdrawn.

Peer Reviewers:

The AHA does not permit the use of a large language model (LLM – e.g., ChatGPT) or an artificial intelligence tool to generate and/or edit content in peer review critiques. Uploading any portion of a research proposal into a large language model (LLM – e.g., ChatGPT) or an artificial intelligence tool to assist in writing a critique of the proposal is explicitly prohibited as it is a violation of the AHA’s Peer Reviewer Certification Statement (to include confidentiality, non-disclosure, and conflict of interest)

Biosketch addition: Inclusive, safe, diverse environment

All applicants (excluding fellows) are to include a statement in the Personal Statement section of their biographical sketch that explicitly states how they contribute to a safe, inclusive, and diverse work environment. In addition, mentors on Fellowships, Career Development Awards, and Diversity Supplements should complete recognized training specific to sexual and gender-based harassment.

Open Data Policy Change

For awards beginning in FY 23-24, the AHA has modified its Open Data Policy to align with the NIH’s new timeline for data sharing, effective for proposals submitted to the AHA after July 1, 2023. Visit AHA Open Science Policies for more information.

Revised AHA Open Data Policy: The AHA requires certain applicants to include a data sharing plan with the proposal. Any factual data that is needed for independent verification of research results must be made freely and publicly available in an AHA-approved repository as soon as possible, and no later than the time of an associated publication or the end of the award period (and any no-cost extension), whichever comes first.

* Existing awards are subject to the policy in place when the award agreement was signed. If a new award agreement is required (e.g., change of PI, change of institution) award is subject to policies in place at the time the agreement is signed.

Supporting Rheumatic Heart Disease Research

The AHA is helping to support a broader approach to research funding focused on Rheumatic Heart Disease. To that effect, the AHA is committing to funding research in this specific area across all scientific disciplines (basic, clinical, and population) within any current AHA programs. No additional pre-proposal or proposal materials are necessary outside of individual AHA program criteria; awardees will be designated from the existing applicant pool within each program.

Request for Applications

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Thursday, February 8, 2024

Award start date: April 1, 2024


The American Heart Association recognizes the need to foster research, research-related opportunities, and ongoing optimal implementation of practice guidelines for clinical fellows. To help address this need, AHA is offering this Clinical Fellow Research Education Program. This program will provide funding for cardiology and select neurology fellows in accredited fellowship programs to attend an AHA scientific meeting (Scientific Sessions or the International Stroke Conference, respectively) and gain other training and experience integral to development of research acumen. This includes ACGME-accredited cardiology subspecialty programs and ACGME- or UCNS-accredited vascular/neuroendovascular/geriatric neurology subspecialty programs. Institutions are strongly encouraged to use funding for fellows from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine and science. Awards will be three years in duration and will support up to five fellows annually.


  • Proposals will be accepted from institutions accredited as noted above. As with other American Heart Association research mechanisms, awards are limited to U.S.-based non-profit, non-federal institutions.
  • Applicants must be the program directors of the eligible training programs noted above. Funding can be assigned to fellows in any year of their training program, including during research time. 
  • Prior awardees of the AHA's Second Century Clinical Fellow Research Education Program are not eligible to apply.
  • Note: AHA strongly encourages submissions from less resourced institutions and those who primarily serve populations underrepresented in science and medicine.

    Submission Requirements

    The proposal submission must include the following three uploaded documents (maximum of one page for each document): 

    1. Program Description (maximum one page):
    • Description of how beneficiary clinical fellows will be identified; institutions are strongly encouraged to use funding for fellows from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine and science (i.e., Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander), LGBTQ+ individuals, disabled individuals, or military veterans.
    • Information about additional research education and enrichment experiences the clinical fellows will receive from the institution.
    • Plan for obtaining feedback from fellows supported by this program on an annual basis, which will help to assess the quality and effectiveness of the experience.
    2. Five-year data on gender, race, and ethnicity of prior clinical fellows (maximum one page).
    3. Five-year data on post-fellowship placement (maximum one page).



    Program directors may request funds to support up to five clinical fellows each year for a three-year grant period. Appropriate expenses will include: conference registration, airfare, hotel, food, ground transportation, parking, other relevant incidentals, and expenses for additional enrichment and training experiences. Note: Funds from this award may NOT be used to support AHA scientific conference attendance of any fellow who is funded via another AHA research funding mechanism (e.g., postdoctoral fellowship).

    Although a detailed budget is not required for submission, applicant funding requests cannot exceed the following:

    • Up to three fellows per year: $4,000 per year per trainee, inclusive of up to 10% indirect costs
    • Four to five fellows per year: $3,500 per year per trainee, inclusive of up to 10% indirect costs

    Total budget for a program requesting support for three fellows annually would be:

    • 3 x $4,000 annually = $12,000 annually x 3 years = $36,000

    Total budget for a program requesting support for five fellows would be:

    • 5 x $3,500 annually = $17,500 annually x 3 years = $52,500

    The maximum indirect cost rate is 10%.

    Award Duration: Three years

    Total Award Maximum: $52,500 is the maximum amount available to support five trainees per year for three years, including indirect costs. Applications with fewer fellows must follow the per trainee allocation noted above.

    Interim Reporting

    After each year of the award, the program director must submit to AHA demographic and contact information for each fellow. Continued funding of the award and eligibility for subsequent awards will be contingent upon meeting these reporting requirements.

    At the end of the three-year award, the program director will submit a final report that summarizes the experiences from the standpoint of the fellows. The final report must include a review of each selected fellow’s educational and career progression.

    Review Criteria

    Institutional Considerations

    • Priority may be given to submissions from less resourced institutions and those who primarily serve populations underrepresented in science and medicine.

    Clinical Fellow Identification Plan

    • Is a procedure in place to identify the clinical fellows for this program, including plans for identifying fellows from underrepresented groups within the clinical fellow pool?

    Training Program and Environment

    • Are there planned activities and educational opportunities for the clinical fellows, in addition to those proposed in this mechanism?
    • Does the program propose a rigorous evaluation plan to assess the quality and effectiveness of this experience for participating fellows?

    2024 Holidays

    AHA offices will be closed:                                    Altum/Proposal Central will be closed:
    Jan. 1 Sept. 2   Jan. 1 July 4
    Jan. 15 Nov. 28 & 29   Jan. 15 Sept. 2
    May 27 Dec. 23-27   Feb. 19 Oct. 14
    July 4     May 27 Nov. 28 & 29

        June 19 Dec. 23-27