- Proposals must be received no later than 3 p.m. Central Time on May 10, 2024. Early submission is encouraged.
- Before beginning an application, review the eligibility and requirements that apply to all AHA research awards at AHA Application Resources page.
- All proposals must be submitted electronically via ProposalCentral. The system will open eight weeks prior to the application deadline to complete your proposal and upload documents. You can begin to create your documents now; please refer to the AHA Application Instructions (PDF). All submissions require a signature from a designated institutional representative.
- Applicants must be AHA Professional Members at the time of application. This must be done online. Join or begin the membership process well before the deadline.
This RFP is by invitation only* to researchers who attended the Data Science Bootcamp to learn how to use the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG) Data for Research Awards.
The goal of this RFP is to address the impact of social determinants of health on areas related to AFib, CAD, HF, or Resuscitation by using the American Heart Association’s GWTG CAD or HF data linked to SDOH or the AFib or Resuscitation datasets that can be supplemented/linked with publicly available datasets of the applicant’s choice.
* To be invited to apply, individuals must have received the travel grant to attend the Data Science Bootcamp focused on learning to use the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® data in research applications, successfully attended the workshop, and received a GWTG research certificate.
|RFP Posted:||Nov. 6, 2023|
|Application Deadline:||Fri., May 10, 2024|
|Peer Review:||May 2024|
|Award Notification:||June 1, 2024|
|Award Start:||July 1, 2024|
At the American Heart Association, equity and science are at the center of everything we do.
The American Heart Association’s (AHA) Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG) is a hospital-based quality improvement program designed to close treatment gaps. It includes modules in atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, heart failure, resuscitation, and stroke. This RFP will focus on GWTG CAD and HF data linked* to Social Determinants of Health Data (SDOH) as well as GWTG AFib and Resuscitation data that can be supplemented/linked* with publicly available datasets of the applicant’s choice.
*Please note that linked datasets provided by the AHA or any linkage the applicant chooses to do (i.e. AFib, Resuscitation) is only conducted and allowed from a geographic perspective. The datasets are not to be linked with any other patient level data sources.
The AHA collects millions of patient records in our Quality Programs (>14 million), creating vast databases for advancing scientific research. The GWTG AFib, CAD, HF, and Resuscitation datasets contain approximately 125k, 500k, 2.4M, and 1.2M records respectively. Using the data that is collected through AHA's national GWTG programs, researchers can test hypotheses and apply for AHA research grants.
The AHA and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington have recently linked SDOH to the GWTG CAD and HF data. Specifically, the data includes but is not limited to county-specific median household income, and county and race/ethnicity specific variables such as life expectancy, all-cause mortality rate, ischemic heart disease mortality rate, all cause years life lost, ischemic heart disease years life lost, income, unemployment, home ownership, poverty, environmental exposures (PM 2.5, NO2, and ozone), average annual daily traffic, percent of households with internet access, proportion of open park land, physical activity, depression among adults, all teeth lost, current asthma prevalence, and total number of hospitals per 1000.
AHA’s Quality Programs Research has been a highly valuable source for quality outcomes-based research, with more than 800 peer-reviewed studies published using these data.
To access and analyze AHA GWTG data, the AHA offers a cloud-based research data analysis platform, the Precision Medicine Platform, with secure, private workspaces equipped with tools for data analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. The Precision Medicine Platform is the only research interface with access to The American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines registry data.
The purpose of this RFP is to leverage one of the four datasets (AFib, CAD, HF, or Resuscitation) in the Precision Medicine Platform to ask new and innovative questions regarding the role of social determinants of health in cardiovascular disease.
Examples of research applications include but are not limited to:
i) Does education level impact the incidence of ___ or recovery from ___?
ii) Does median household income, poverty, income per capita, or home ownership impact the quality of care for individuals with ___?
iii) Do environmental exposure levels impact the incident of ___?
Who We Are Looking For
To be eligible and invited to apply for this award, individuals must have received a travel/training grant to learn how to use the GWTG data, successfully attended the Data Science bootcamp, and received a GWTG research certification.
The applicant must be embedded in an appropriate investigative group with the mentorship, support, and relevant scientific guidance of a research mentor. Recognizing the unique challenges that clinicians, in particular, experience in balancing research and clinical activity, this award mechanism aims to be as flexible as possible to enable applicants to develop academic careers in research alongside fulfilling clinical service commitments. The applicant and mentor should collaboratively provide a thoughtfully planned, systematic proposal aimed at clearly answering an investigative question using the GWTG dataset of choice (AFib, CAD, HF, or Resuscitation) in the Precision Medicine Platform.
Before you apply
Every applicant must be an American Heart Association professional member.
- Join or renew when preparing an application in Proposal Central, online or by phone at 301-223-2307 or 800-787-8984.
- Membership/Partnership processing takes 3 to 5 days; do not wait until the application deadline to renew or join.
Projects may include collaborators from across sectors and countries; however, the project proposal must be submitted by a project lead representing an academic or non-profit organization based in the United States.
Any member of the team can serve as the project lead. Projects may include co-investigators from other collaborating organizations. We strongly recommend that organizations identify only one project lead per project.
Preference will be given to applicant organizations that are institutes of higher education, public entities, or nonprofits that are tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations. Other types of nonprofit and for-profit organizations are also eligible to apply. The American Heart Association may require additional documentation.
Organizations that are currently funded through other American Heart Association funding mechanisms can apply.
Organizations can submit multiple proposals.
All grantees are required to use the Precision Medicine Platform.
Full Proposal, Peer Review, Award Duration & Amount
Full proposals must be submitted by Friday, May 10, 2024
A. Research Plan up to 6 pages (12-point font, single space, 1-inch margins on all sides) that includes:
- Specific Aims - Provide a clear, concise summary of the aims of the proposed work.
- State the hypothesis to be tested.
- State how the work will significantly add to the current work.
- Background and Significance
- Preliminary Studies – may include a link to a HTML Notebook created on the Precision Medicine Platform through Jupyter Notebook or R Markdown (see below)
- Research Design and Methods - may include a link to a HTML Notebook (see below)
- Expected outcomes and deliverables, a timeline, and project success milestones.
- Discuss the potential difficulties and limitations of the proposed procedures and alternative approaches to achieve the aims.
- Please review the Precision Medicine Platform section that follows for more information and expectations for use.
C. Biosketches (5 pages) Upload your NIH biosketch OMB No. 0925-0001 and 0925-0002 (Rev. 10/2021 Approved Through 01/31/2026). It is not necessary to reformat to AHA page specifications.
D. Letter of Support from a mentor or supervisor describing the environment, training, and mentorship they will provide you with during this award.
- Salary and fringe benefits of the project lead, collaborating investigators, and other participating research staff or faculty.
- Project-related expenses, such as salaries of technical personnel essential to the conduct of the project, travel, and publication costs in accordance with institutional and American Heart Association policies. Please note that the American Heart Association does not fund the costs of program implementation or operations beyond what is established in an approved budget.
- Maximum of 10% institutional indirect costs may be claimed on the award.
- The awardee will be responsible for overseeing the total budget for the grant. If awarded, the project lead and the institution assume an obligation to expend grant funds for the research purposes set forth in the application and in accordance with all regulations and policies governing the grant programs of the American Heart Association.
For all other required items not listed, please refer to sections displayed in your Proposal Central application. (e.g.: funding overlap, Assurances, Research Classifications, etc.)
PEER REVIEW CRITERIA
The applications will be reviewed 1/3 on the investigators, 1/3 on the proposed project and 1/3 on the research environment and mentorship.
1. Proposed Project
- Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well-integrated, well-reasoned, feasible (as determined by preliminary data), and appropriate to the aims of the proposal?
- How does the proposed work significantly add to the work in the field of SDOH and AFib, CAD, HF, or Resuscitation?
- Does this study move the field of research on SDOH and AFib, CAD, HF, or Resuscitation?
- If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced?
- What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods and technologies that drive this field?
- The peer review committee will assess the merit of each investigator based on the biosketch provided and information in the letter of support.
3. Research Environment and Mentorship
- The peer review committee will assess the strength of the research environment, relevant training that will take place during the award and the experience and expertise of the mentor.
AWARD DURATION & AMOUNT
- One-year award from date of funding. Up to $100,000 per award (including 10% indirect costs).
- The AHA anticipates funding up to 15 awards. The AHA reserves the right to determine the final number of awardees.
- An additional Amazon Web Services (AWS) service credit (up to $10,000) for use of the American Heart Association Precision Medicine Platform may be provided for computational time, use of AWS tools and infrastructure, and storage. Credit amount will be determined based on estimated need over duration of the grant.
Precision Medicine Platform, Research Environment
It is required that any data analysis for your project be conducted via the American Heart Association’s Precision Medicine Platform, powered by Amazon Web Services. Our intent is to help applicants gain confidence leveraging cloud computing for applications and projects.
The Precision Medicine Platform provides you with a secure cloud computing workspace for you to use for the application and during the term of the award that allows researchers to code in various languages, including R and Python, and to use statistical software including but not limited to SAS and R studio. The most up-to-date machine learning and artificial intelligence software available from Amazon Web Services is also included. Researchers are also able to install their own tools.
The American Heart Association asks that the grantees also accelerate collaboration through the sharing of data and code as well as the coordination for interoperability of data to facilitate findability and sustainability. The American Heart Association fully supports the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) guiding principles of data stewardship. The Precision Medicine Platform helps to support this principle by also serving as a data marketplace and enables you to share your data and make it available to other researchers.
The Platform is HIPAA and FedRAMP compliant. Learn more about the Platform’s Security Information.
To learn more about the Precision Medicine Platform:
- Any inventions, intellectual property, and patents resulting from this funding are governed by the AHA’s Patent, Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Policy.
- The applicant/awardee and institution are responsible for compliance with all AHA research award policies and guidelines for the duration of any awards they may receive.
- Visit the Research Programs Awards Policies page for more information on this topic: American Heart Association Policies Governing All Research Awards
GWTG Funding Opportunities FAQs
Q: The RFP says experience in R or Python is needed. t I have used SAS to work with the Registry data before. I have experience with R but would prefer to use my primary coding language (SAS) again. Would that be possible?
A: You are welcome to apply for the RFP. Please note that training at the bootcamp on the Precision Medicine Platform (PMP) will focus on R and Python and not SAS.
Q: If I am applying for a team of two people to attend the bootcamp. Is okay that we are at two different institutions?
Q: In the past, academic researchers could use the GWTG data but were not given AHA research grants. How is this different?
A: Academic researchers are still able to use the GWTG data without a research grant by completing the manuscript proposal form, which must be approved by the committee for access and to analyze the data in the PMP.
Q: Why is AHA offering these grant opportunities?
A: The goal of these new AHA research grants and GWTG data bootcamp travel grants is to introduce a new set of qualified and dedicated researchers to the GWTG data. For example, many researchers who apply for AHA research grants do not know about the GWTG data. Similarly, many researchers who use the GWTG data do not know about AHA research grant opportunities. These new AHA research grants can include past GWTG users as mentors.
Q: Must I have to use the PMP?
A: Yes. The AHA does not allow GWTG data outside of our virtual enclave – the PMP – for security reasons.
Q: The RFP states that I must be an AHA Professional Member. Can cardiology fellows and postdocs sign up as AHA Professional members?
A: Yes. AHA Professional Membership includes many categories – one at a reduced cost for trainees.
Q: I have published using GWTG data previously but have not analyzed the data myself (the AHA’s analytic center conducted the analysis). Am I eligible to apply for the travel grant?
A: Yes. If you have not analyzed the data yourself on the Precision Medicine Platform, you can apply.
Q: For the secondary invited proposal, how may the $100k award budget be used?
A: The award is intended for salary support of the research team to conduct the project within the award period. It is not intended to be used to purchase computer equipment, software, etc.
Q: If I am awarded the $100k research grant, may I conduct any analysis I want with the PMP dataset?
A: No. Your use of the dataset is limited to the approved research proposal submitted in your application.
Updates for New Research Proposals
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 here.
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.
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. More on AHA Open Science Policies can be found here.
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.
|AHA offices will be closed on the following days:||Altum/Proposal Central offices will be closed on the following days:|
|Jan. 2||July 3 & 4||Jan. 2||Sept. 4|
|Jan. 16||Sept. 4||Jan. 16||Oct. 9|
|Mar. 31||Nov. 23 & 24||Feb. 20||Nov. 23 & 24|
|May 29||Dec. 26 - Jan. 1||May 29||Dec. 25 - 29|