2025 Transformational Project Award

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


Key Dates

RFP posted: July 8, 2024 
ProposalCentral open: Dec. 2, 2024
Proposal deadline:
Thur., Feb. 13, 2025
Award notification:  June 2025
Award start: July 1, 2025

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.


  • To support highly innovative, high-impact projects that build on work in progress that could ultimately lead to critical discoveries or major advancements that will accelerate the field of cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular research.
  • Research deemed innovative may be built around an emerging paradigm, approaching an existing problem from a new perspective, or exhibit other uniquely creative qualities.
  • Successful applications are likely to be those building on strong preliminary data supportive of the hypothesis.
  • This program aims to provide funding that should lead to successful competition for additional funding beyond the award period. The principal investigator (PI) is responsible for clearly and explicitly articulating the project's innovation and the potential impact on cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular research.


At the time of award activation:

  • The candidate must hold a post-baccalaureate Ph.D. degree or equivalent, or a doctoral-level clinical degree, such as MD, DO, DVM, PharmD, or PhD in nursing, public health, or other clinical health science.
  • This program places no limit on eligibility based on career stage, academic rank, or discipline. It requires only evidence of a faculty/staff position, above the rank of trainee/postdoctoral fellow, at a qualified institution.
  • While no minimum percent effort is specified, the principal investigator must demonstrate that adequate time will be devoted to ensuring the successful completion of the proposed project.


Annual Award Amount: $100,000, including 10 percent indirect costs

The award may be used for salary and fringe benefits of the principal investigator, collaborating investigator(s), and other participants with faculty appointments, and for project-related expenses, such as salaries of technical personnel essential to the conduct of the project, supplies, equipment, computers/electronics, travel (including international travel), volunteer subject costs, data management, and publication costs, etc. The proposed budget must be justified in the application.

AHA does not require use of the NIH salary cap.

Award Duration: Three years.

Total Award Amount: $300,000


  • An applicant may submit a maximum of one Transformational Project Award per deadline.
  • The applicant may submit the same or similar application three times (the original plus two resubmissions). The same or similar application submitted the fourth time will be administratively withdrawn.
  • Applicants to this program may also submit proposals for other AHA research award programs; an applicant may submit only one investigator-based application (Career Development Award, Established Investigator Award, or AHA Institutional Research Enhancement Award) per fiscal year.
  • The Transformational Project Award may be held concurrently with another Association award; however, the projects must have clearly distinct aims, with no scientific or budgetary overlap.
  • Transformational Project Awards are not renewable. An awardee may submit an application for a new Transformational Project Award, provided the projects are separate in nature and concept.
  • Awards are not intended to supplement or duplicate currently funded work.
  • The project submitted may have no scientific or budgetary overlap with other funded work.
  • Postdoctoral fellows and others in research training positions at the time of application must obtain a faculty appointment by the award activation date.

Transformational Project Award Peer Review Criteria

Contacting AHA peer reviewers concerning your application is deemed a form of scientific misconduct and will result in the removal of your application from funding consideration and institutional notification of ethical concerns.

To judge the merit of the application, reviewers will comment on the following criteria. Please be sure that you fully address these in your proposal.

  1. Preliminary Data: Does the proposal build on strong preliminary results that already show a high probability of revealing new avenues of investigation?
  2. Investigator and Environment:
    Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work, even if a new area of investigation? Does the investigative team bring complementary, appropriately qualified, and integrated expertise to the proposal (if applicable)?
    Does the environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?
    Does the proposal demonstrate that resources will be available to complete the project?
    Does the proposal benefit from specific features of the environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements?
  3. Significance: Does this proposal address an important problem directly related to cardiovascular disease and/or cerebrovascular disease and/or brain health? If the aims of the application are achieved, will knowledge or clinical practice be significantly impacted? Will there be an effect on the concepts, methods, and technologies that drive this field?
  4. Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well-reasoned and appropriate to the aims of the proposal? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
  5. Innovation: Is this a highly innovative, high impact proposal, based on work in progress, that could ultimately lead to critical breakthroughs or major advancements that will accelerate the field? For example: Does the proposal challenge existing paradigms and present an innovative hypothesis, or address a critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the proposal develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area?
  6. Impact: Applications for research funding will be assessed for their potential impact on the AHA Mission, and on the applicant’s ability to effectively describe the proposal and its potential outcomes to non-scientists. This potential impact assessment will be based primarily on the Summary for Non-scientists. This assessment will be factored into the Impact peer review criterion, which will account for 5-10% of the overall priority score.

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 3-5     May 27 Nov. 28 & 29

    June 19 Dec. 23-27