Application Information

Funding Opportunities Webinars - Open Invitation

Each webinar will consist of a 20-minute overview of the AHA Research award offerings,  plus a 10-minute Q & A session. These calls are a great opportunity for scientists, researchers, institutions, and grant officers to get application questions answered.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at 10:00 am CT - Click to join
Tuesday, October 26, 2021, at 10:00 am CT - Click to join
Thursday, January 27, 2022, at 10:00 am CT - Click to join
Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at 10:00 am CT - Click to join

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.

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.

2020-21 Application Deadlines

Letter of Intent Deadline Application Deadline Award Start Date
Institutional Award for Undergraduate Student Training
This award is made to qualified institutions that can offer a meaningful research experience that supports the AHA mission that encourages undergraduate college students from all disciplines to consider research careers.

Sept. 9, 2021
Jan. 1, 2022
AHA Predoctoral Fellowship
Enhances the training of promising students in pre-doctoral or clinical health professional degree training programs and who intend careers as scientists, physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists, or related careers aimed at improving global health and wellbeing.
Sept. 14, 2021
Jan. 1, 2022
AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship
Enhances the training of postdoctoral applicants who are not yet independent. The applicant must be embedded in an appropriate investigative group with the mentorship, support, and relevant scientific guidance of a research mentor.
Sept. 15, 2021
Jan. 1, 2022
Career Development Award
Supports highly promising healthcare and academic professionals in the early years of first professional appointment, to explore innovative questions or pilot studies that will provide preliminary data and training to assure the applicant’s future success as a research scientist in the field of cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular disease research.
Dec. 6, 2021
April 1, 2022
NEW: Health Equity Research Network (HERN) on the Prevention of Hypertension
Hypertension is a major cause underlying cardiovascular morbidity and mortality; addressing it is a major goal of AHA. A significant health equity issue; uncontrolled hypertension is most acute in communities of color. Many risk factors associated with hypertension are preventable. This Health Equity Research Network (HERN) will provide a mechanism for AHA to advance the prevention of hypertension. A key theme is diversity/equity/inclusion, with special attention targeted to underserved populations.
April 23, 2021
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Oct. 1, 2021

Disparities in Cardio-Oncology Strategically Focused Research Network
Closed Feb. 9, 2021 Closed March 30, 2021 July 1, 2021

NEW: Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Science
Open to currently-funded AHA faculty awardees (e.g., TPA, EIA, Merit, CDA, CSA, and SFRN Project PIs) to support research experiences for predoctoral students or postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented groups in science.

April 1, 2021
July 1, 2021

AHA and Enduring Hearts Research Awards in Pediatric Heart Transplantation

Oct. 1, 2020
Jan. 15, 2021
July 1, 2021

Features of All AHA Awards

All AHA grants share the following features unless noted in the program description:

  • Each applicant must be an AHA Professional Member.  Join or renew when preparing an application in ProposalCentral, online, or by phone at 301-223-2307 or 800-787-8984. Membership processing may take 3-5 days; do not wait until the application deadline to renew or join.
  • Science Focus: The AHA funds basic, clinical, behavioral, translational and population research, bioengineering/biotechnology and public health problems broadly related to fulfilling our mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.
  • Disciplines: AHA awards are open all academic and health professionals. This includes but is not limited to all academic disciplines (biology, chemistry, mathematics, technology, physics, engineering, data science, etc.) and all health-related professions (physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, statisticians, nutritionists, etc.).

  • AHA maintains dedicated Peer Review Committees by award type and subject. The applicant is required to select the desired review group (AHA Science Classifications).

  • The extent to which the focus of the project is related to cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular diseases and/or brain health is an important factor that will be considered, though an applicant is not required to be a part of a cardiovascular/cerebrovascular-oriented laboratory, clinic or department.

  • The AHA believes diversity and inclusion is an essential component to driving its mission and strongly encourages applications by women, underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the sciences, military veterans, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, and those who have experienced varied and non-traditional career trajectories.
  • Eligible Sponsoring Institution: American Heart Association 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, except for applications specifically related to the AHA’s Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine.. An investigator may be allowed to request approval to conduct work outside the United States temporarily.

  • Applications will not be accepted for work with funding to be administered through any federal institution or work to be performed by a federal employee, except for Veterans Administration employees.

  • Scientists whose projects involve coding and/or use large amounts of data are encouraged to apply and will be given access to the AHA Precision Medicine Platform, a cloud-based solution for data analysis. See details below.

  • Percent Effort: Unless specified, no minimum percent effort is required; however, the Principal Investigator must demonstrate that adequate time will be devoted to ensuring successful completion of the project.

  • Transferability: AHA project awards are fully transferable to make the awardee a "free agent" who is empowered to move to another qualified institution while retaining the award.

  • Rebudgeting: Unless specified, award budgets are unrestricted among allowable categories (salary/fringe of PI and essential personnel, supplies, equipment/computers, travel, human subjects, etc.). Funds may be re-budgeted between categories without prior AHA approval.
  • Temporary Travel Expenditures:  Since travel is currently restricted and many meetings are being held virtually, AHA award funds that would normally be used for travel to scientific meetings or to other labs to collaborate and learn new techniques may be used for “professional development”.  Professional development includes virtual meeting attendance (awardees are strongly encouraged to participate in AHA Scientific Sessions), online education, and other electronic or distance learning to enhance awardees’ skills and further their research expertise and interpersonal skills.
  • Letters of Intent/Pre-proposals: Some programs follow a two-part application process, as indicated in the chart of deadlines above. Part one is the submission of a letter of intent/pre-proposal, applicant’s biosketch, and other preliminary documents, as requested.

  • Multiple Awards: An individual may hold more than one AHA award concurrently but may only hold one career development/recognition award (Career Development Award, Established Investigator Award, Merit Award, AHA Institutional Research Enhancement Award) at a time. Strategically Focused Research Network personnel may hold individual AHA awards.
  • AHA reserves the right to an initial triage, whereby a minimum of half of the submissions may be triaged. Of the remaining applications that will be peer-reviewed, up to half will be triaged and will receive reviewer comments. The initial triage process will be based on the project summary only. Therefore, Innovation and Impact should be specifically addressed in the project summary, rather than the standard abstract style that focuses mainly on approach.
  • Citizenship: Awardees must have one of the following designations:
    • U.S. citizen
    • Permanent resident
    • Pending permanent resident
      (must have filed Form I-485 for permanent resident status and obtained an I-797C Notice of Action that the application has been received by USCIS and case is pending)
    • E-3 Visa - specialty occupation worker
    • F-1 Visa – student (predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows only)
    • G-4 Visa - family member of an international organization employee
    • H1-B Visa - temporary worker in a specialty occupation
    • J-1 Visa - exchange visitor (for non-training awards, you must have obtained an H-1B or equivalent by the award activation date)
    • O-1 Visa - temporary worker with extraordinary abilities in the sciences
    • TN Visa - NAFTA Professional
    • DACA - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

      Trainees are not required to reside in the United States for any period before applying for American Heart Association funding. Trainees must maintain one of the designations listed above throughout the duration of the award.

      One of the designations listed above must be maintained throughout the duration of the award.

Use the AHA Precision Medicine Platform to perform data analysis, increase your capability, and receive up to $50,000 in AWS credits per year

AHA awardees may apply for a complimentary Precision Medicine Platform workspace to perform data analyses during the term of their AHA awards. 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 Platform  to learn more. 
  • Learn more about the platform (video)
  • Explore the capabilities of the platform (video)
  • Join our Forums and office hours to speak directly to the experts and users. Contact us for more information. 
  • The AHA Precision Medicine Platform provides a friendly web User Interface that allows you to write code in various languages (for example, Python, R, SAS, and more), execute the code, and view the results as they are processed. Workspaces are equipped with pre-installed software packages ranging from machine learning, statistical analysis, data analysis, visualization, and genomic and bioinformatic tools. Researchers are also able to upload their own software.  View a complete list of languages, packages, and kernels available on the Precision Medicine Platform.

* Grantees requesting a workspace are asked to pay a minimal annual maintenance fee, which may be charged to the AHA award. Please refer to this FAQs document for more details.

The Importance of Early Career Research Funding

Michelle Johansen, MD, talks about how AHA research funding early in her career has led to success.