Application Information


The American Heart Association is in the process of resetting its research award schedule because of disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The chart below lists application deadlines that have been set for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Other program offerings will be posted as deadlines for submission are finalized. We encourage you to revisit this page periodically for updates and appreciate your patience.

AHA Research Award Programs

Note: Beginning September 1, 2020 applications must be received no later than 3 p.m. Central Time on the deadline date. Early submission is encouraged.

AHA and Enduring Hearts Research Awards in Pediatric Heart Transplantation 
Letter of Intent Deadline: Thursday, October 1, 2020, 3 p.m. Central Time

These awards provide support for investigators who are actively conducting research directly related to improving the life expectancy and quality of life of Pediatric Heart Transplant Recipients. This funding opportunity will further these areas of focus by offering competitive research grants in basic, clinical, population, and/or translational research via Collaborative Sciences Awards.

American Heart Association and Children’s Heart Foundation Congenital Heart Defects Research Awards (CHDRAs)
Application Deadline: Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 3 p.m. Central Time

The American Heart Association (AHA) and The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) announce a joint request for applications to fund the AHA/CHF Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards (CHDRAs).  The AHA and CHF share common priorities and interests in investing in congenital heart defects (CHD) research. Predoctoral Fellowships and Postdoctoral Fellowships are being funded through this initiative.

American Stroke Association-Bugher Foundation Centers of Excellence in Hemorrhagic Stroke
Application Deadline: Thursday, August 27, 2020, 5 p.m. Central Time

This RFA describes a collaborative network of basic, clinical and population researchers from different disciplines whose collective efforts will enhance the understanding of the etiology, biological pathways and modifiable risk factors associated with hemorrhagic stroke (HS) and will lead to innovative and breakthrough discoveries for the prevention and treatment of HS.

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.

AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship
Enhances the training of postdoctoral applicants who are not yet independent. The applicant must be embedded in an appropriate research group with the mentorship, support, and relevant scientific guidance of a research supervisor.

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.

AHA Institutional Research Enhancement Award (AIREA)
Supports small-scale research projects related to cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular disease at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. Supports the full range of research and development from very basic to clinical.

AHA Merit Award
Funds investigators with stellar track records of accomplishment, funding, and publications with substantial impact. Candidates have the potential to move a field of science forward with creative approaches that are aligned with the American Heart Association's mission: To be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

Collaborative Sciences Award
Fosters innovative, new collaborative approaches to research projects that propose novel pairings of investigators from at least two broad disciplines. The proposal must focus on the collaborative relationship, such that the scientific objectives could not be achieved without the efforts of at least two co- principal investigators and their respective disciplines. The combination and integration of studies may be inclusive of basic, clinical, population and/or translational research. Applications by existing collaborators are permitted, provided that the proposal is for a new idea or new approach that has not been funded before.

Career Development Award
Supports highly promising healthcare and academic professionals ,in the early years of one’s 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.

Established Investigator Award
Support s mid-career investigators (at the associate professor level) who have unusual promise and established records of accomplishments; candidates have a demonstrated commitment to cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular science disciplines that support the AHA’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives, as indicated by publication history and scientific accomplishments. A candidate's career is expected to be in a rapid growth phase.

Innovative Project Award
Funds ideas that may introduce new paradigms, challenge current paradigms, look at existing problems from new perspectives, or exhibit other uniquely creative qualities. Preliminary data is not required and not accepted as part of the proposal. However, a solid rationale for the work must be provided.

Transformational Project Award
Represents the second phase of a new idea; proposals should include preliminary data. Proposed work should be the next logical step of previous work and should already be revealing a high probability of revealing new avenues of investigation, if successful.

AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine (Institute) Awards
At the intersection of science and technology, the Institute fuels research breakthroughs in an effort to preserve and prolong health by more precisely predicting, preventing, and treating cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular diseases. The Institute's products, initiatives, and grants are centered on driving to the best precision care to improve health and quality of life, regardless of background, location or income. Strategic collaborations bring together diverse experts and individuals to advance precision medicine, from speeding the discovery of new precision treatments to empowering individuals to participate in precision care. The Institute's Funding Opportunities Page lists grant mechanisms and deadlines.

Recent Special Programs

The AHA is interested in the science community exploring the etiology, prevention or treatment of cardiovascular disease or stroke in specific areas, which can assist the AHA in reaching its 2020 Goals and overall mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. A Network is comprised of three to five institutions, or Centers, working on projects focusing on one strategic area.

The rapid pace of e-cigarette products entering the market without provision of essential safety information requires an equally rapid, ambitious, comprehensive response on the part of the research/scientific community. The AHA seeks to accelerate desperately needed answers about the health effects of e-cigarettes and other novel nicotine delivery devices (ENNDs) and how to prevent and/or reverse the developing epidemic of nicotine addiction, among children and youth (defined as 15-24 years of age). To that end, the AHA is committing up to $20 million to fund two or three (2-3) bold, ground-breaking research projects focused on the health impacts of nicotine and nicotine delivery products in children and youth.

In March 2020, the American Heart Association put out an unprecedented rapid response call for cardiovascular/ cerebrovascular research proposals to address the growing crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the urgency of this issue, the focus was on innovative, highly impactful short-term proposals (9-12 months), which can show progress within the period of this award. The AHA anticipates funding at least 10 awards of $100,000 each and a nationwide Coordinating Center. The need to move quickly is similarly driving the AHA’s timeline and process for submission and peer review, with activation of the awards is planned to occur as early as six weeks after grant submission.

Features of All AHA Awards

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

  • 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 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Pre-proposals: Some programs, including the Collaborative Sciences Award, Established Investigator Award, Innovative Research Award, Merit Award, and Strategically Focused Research Networks follow a two-part application process. 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 streamlining, whereby up to half of the submissions may be streamlined with no reviewer comments and no peer review score. Of the remaining applications that will be peer reviewed, up to half will be streamlined and will receive reviewer comments. An initial streamlining 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 a 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 employee of international organizations
    • 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. Requires additional AHA approval to apply. Send an email to with an explanation of your status and a statement of support from your sponsor.

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 duration of the award.

Upcoming Deadlines

The American Heart Association is in the process of resetting its research award schedule because of disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The chart below lists application deadlines that have been set for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Other program offerings will be posted as deadlines for submission are finalized.

Program Letter of Intent Deadline (If required) Application Deadline Award Start Date
American Stroke Association-Bugher Foundation Centers of Excellence in Hemorrhagic Stroke   Thurs, Aug. 27, 2020 Jan 1, 2021
AHA and Enduring Hearts Research Awards in Pediatric Heart Transplantation Required by Thurs, Oct 1, 2020 Invited Applicants: Fri, Jan. 15, 2021 July 1, 2021
AHA and Children’s Heart Foundation Congenital Heart Defects Research Awards   Tues, Sept 22, 2020 Jan 1, 2021
AHA Predoctoral Fellowship    TBD TBD
AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship    TBD  TBD
Institutional Undergraduate Student Training Program    TBD  TBD
Merit Award    TBD  TBD
Established Investigator Award    TBD  TBD
Career Development Award    TBD  TBD
AHA Institutional Research Enhancement Award (AIREA)    TBD  TBD
Innovative Project Award    TBD  TBD
Transformational Project Award    TBD  TBD
Collaborative Sciences Award    TBD  TBD
Cardio-Oncology Strategically Focused Research Network    TBD  TBD