AHA Award Agreement Terms and Conditions

Reference to Documents: All documents referenced in this Agreement, including without limitation AHA policies and regulations, are incorporated by reference in this Agreement and can be found at https://professional.heart.org/en/research-programs/awardee-policies.

The AHA will make an Award, in accordance with the AHA’s payment and schedule regulations as set out in the Award letter for the type of Award, to the Institution for the Research Project submitted by the Awardee and Institution. The AHA does not make award payments by invoice. The Institution is responsible for disbursing funds to the Awardee (typically the Principal Investigator and co-Investigator(s), if applicable). In accepting an Award from the American Heart Association (AHA), the Awardee and the Institution assume the obligation to expend the Award for the purposes as set forth in the Research Project application submitted to the AHA, and in accordance with the regulations and the policies governing the AHA Award programs or, where not specified, consistent with the policies and practices of the Institution. There can be no duplicate funding for the Research Project, meaning AHA will provide no more than one Award for each Research Project. If the Award is for a fellowship, then the Awardee must devote substantially full time to research or activities directly related to development into an independent researcher, including without limitation, clinical research and ancillary activities (as opposed to administration, patient care or teaching responsibilities). Awards are disbursed in United States Dollar currency only. Currency conversion fees are not included in the Award funding. Awardee and Institution are responsible for all currency conversion fees.

Award Period: The period for the Award starts and ends on the dates set out above and as stated in the Award letter sent by the AHA to the Awardee or Institution. 
Financial Report: For Awards (project support), the Fiscal Officer of the Institution must provide the AHA with a Financial Report co-approved by the Awardee by the date set out in the Award letter, or within 90 days following the end of each Award year period if no date is set in the Award letter. Financial Reports must be completed using the United States Dollar as currency. The Institution must, upon prior notice, make accounting records of disbursements made from the AHA's Award funds available to AHA representatives.

Scientific Report:
Each year during the Award Period, on or before the date in the Award letter, or in the last 30 days of each Award year period if no date is set in the Award letter, the Awardee must submit a Scientific Report of the Awardee’s accomplishments and activities. Additional reporting may be required as determined by the AHA.

IP Report: On or before January 31 of each calendar year after an Award has been accepted, an annual report is due under AHA’s Intellectual Property Policy for Research Funding (referred to as the “AHA IP Policy”).

Reports and Other Correspondence: All reports and correspondence must be delivered to the AHA in accordance with the AHA’s standard operating procedures, including without limitation, electronic submissions.

AHA’s Non-Receipt of Reports: If reports or other deliverables, assigned in the grants management system, are not received by the date due, the AHA may withhold all future Award payments until received. In addition, the final payment (or some lesser amount determined by the AHA) of the Award may be withheld until all reports or other deliverables have been received by the AHA. All withheld Award payments revert to the AHA if the AHA has not received all reports or other deliverables within six months after the Award period ends.
AHA Membership Requirement: The Awardee must maintain an active AHA Professional Membership account throughout the duration of the Award period.

Open Science Policies:

Public Access: The AHA requires that all journal articles resulting from AHA funding be made freely available in PubMed Central (PMC) and linked to an AHA award within 12 months of publication. It is the responsibility of the Awardee to ensure journal articles are deposited into PMC and that all necessary rights are retained in order to do so.

Open Data:
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. A list of Award programs exempt from this requirement is available in the AHA Award Guide and Open Science FAQs.

In addition to the Open Data Policy requirements, the AHA may require that research data be deposited in AHA’s Precision Medicine Platform. Any requirement of this type will be communicated by AHA prior to Award activation.

Precision Medicine Platform: If an Awardee chooses to utilize the Precision Medicine Platform (PMP) for their data analysis needs, they will be required to agree to the PMP Terms of Service which are presented electronically upon account registration and incorporated by reference herein.  Each Awardee who requests a Precision Medicine Platform workspace may be eligible to utilize a designated amount of Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits to use the PMP workspace. The PMP workspace will be decommissioned six months after the end of the Award period or after 60 days of inactivity after the end of the Award period, whichever comes first. All remaining AWS credits expire when the PMP workspace is decommissioned.

It is the responsibility of the Awardee, the sponsor and the Institution to ensure that AHA support is properly acknowledged in all references to research outputs (including but not limited to oral or poster presentations, news releases, interviews, publications, data, code, preprints, preregistration, blogs, and podcasts) resulting from work carried out during the tenure of their Award. To enable the accurate evaluation of outcomes from AHA research investments, it is critical that acknowledgements mention AHA as the funding organization, as well as the specific grant ID number or grant DOI and the names of each author supported by each AHA Award. The recommended format follows: "THIS WORK WAS SUPPORTED BY AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION GRANT # (or grant DOI)_____/ AWARDEE NAME / AWARD YEAR.” If more than one AHA Award supported the published research, then each Award should be cited separately with the grant ID or grant DOI and name(s) of supported authors.

Attribution Scope:  It is expected that outputs of research proposed in the grant application or developed during a research project-based award will acknowledge support by AHA, whether released during or after the term of award. [Please refer to the AHA Award Guide.]

Responsibilities for Reporting Attributions: The AHA must be notified according to current procedures of all research outputs acknowledging AHA support. This information will in most cases be provided in annual scientific reports; additional reporting may be required for some programs. For Awards where there is a sponsor, the Association looks to the sponsor to ensure that there is appropriate attribution and notification of the AHA. The sponsor serves as a mentor/supervisor for junior investigator awards. The sponsor’s input is particularly important for less experienced trainees and for trainees who have left the Institution after the term of Award. More information is available in the AHA Award Guide.

The Awardee and Institution will not permit release of any publicity regarding the Award or the Research Project without prior review and approval from the AHA. Also, by accepting this Award the Institution agrees to include and identify the AHA as a funder/ benefactor on any and all reports, either public or private, that detail the Institution’s list of donors.

Abstract Submission: Since AHA Awards are made possible through voluntary contributions by the public, research results should be made available to the public promptly, either by presentation to scientific societies, preprints, or publication in scientific journals. Within 18 months of the end of the Award period (and any no-cost extension), each AHA Awardee is strongly encouraged to submit the results of their AHA-funded work to at least one AHA-sponsored professional scientific meeting. AHA award funds may be used to pay abstract submission fees.

Award Transfers: The Awardee must obtain the AHA’s prior written approval for a transfer of the Award to another institution. If approval is not obtained, the Award terminates on the date the Awardee leaves or ceases their employment at the Institution.

Leave of Absence/Early Termination: The Awardee or the Institution’s department head will promptly notify the AHA if, for any reason, the Awardee will be absent longer than 60 days from the Research Project. The Award terminates if the AHA does not approve this absence or the Awardee discontinues the Research Project. If the Principal Investigator (or co-investigator(s) if applicable) is absent from the Research Project and the AHA does not receive notice of such absence for a period of 60 days or longer, then the AHA may require the full repayment of the Award.

Eligibility Requirements:
Throughout the duration of their Award, including any authorized extension period, Award recipients must meet all AHA eligibility requirements for the Program Description to which they applied. Eligibility requirements are set out in AHA’s Program Descriptions. Awards are subject to termination if the Awardee no longer meets any one of the AHA eligibility requirements. It is the responsibility of the Awardee’s Institution (as the visa sponsor or employer) to ensure the Awardee’s compliance with AHA eligibility requirements, including any legal verification of citizenship or visa status if applicable.

Department Head Change: The Institution and Awardee will promptly notify the AHA of a department head change at the Institution. 

Change in Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator(s), if Applicable: Changes of Principal Investigator on career development awards and career recognition awards is prohibited. A permanent change of Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator for research project-based awards or sponsor for fellowship awards must be approved in advance in writing by the AHA. See the AHA Award Guide for Award types.

Title to Equipment: Title to equipment purchased with AHA Award funds shall be vested in the Institution where the Awardee is conducting research with the explicit understanding that such equipment is for use by the Awardee during the term of the Award, which includes any authorized extension. If the AHA approves the transfer of an Award to another Institution, equipment purchased with AHA Award funds will be transferred and title to the equipment vested in the new Institution for specific use by the designated Awardee. Permanent vesting will be in the Institution where the Research Project is completed or terminated.

Intellectual Property:
Intellectual property, including inventions, conceived or reduced to practice in the performance or as a result of an Award will be subject to the AHA IP Policy in effect at the time the Award Agreement is signed. The Institution and the Awardee acknowledge and agree that AHA has the right to participate in revenue generated from the commercialization of intellectual property as set forth in the AHA IP Policy, regardless of whether the intellectual property is patented or copyrighted. Institution, Awardee(s), and co-investigator(s) if applicable, agree to meet all reporting requirements set out in the AHA IP Policy relative to any intellectual property.

Ethical Issues: The AHA endorses the principles of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) report, “The Maintenance of High Ethical Standards in The Conduct of Research." The AHA’s Standards on Falsification of Scientific Data, Plagiarism, and Scientific Misconduct statement will serve as a guideline when allegations are made or indications arise of falsification of scientific data, plagiarism, or other scientific misconduct. By accepting this award from the AHA, Institution represents and assures AHA that Institution: (a) has in place adequate policy(ies) and procedures for investigating allegations of scientific misconduct brought to its attention, (b) will promptly report to the AHA when the review or assessment of any allegation advances to the level of an investigation, and (c) will report to AHA a summary of any investigation that results in a finding(s) of misconduct, including submission of the investigation report to AHA.  The AHA does not fund scientific research that involves the use of human fetal tissue or the derivation or use of human fetal or human embryonic stem cells. Human adult stem cell research is governed by the AHA’s Policy on Ethical Aspects of Research with Human Subjects and Animals. Prior to AHA's disbursement of any monies from the Award, the Executive Officer of the Institution and the Awardee must affirm that research involving human or animal experimentation: 1) has been endorsed by a committee on clinical investigation, or other clearly designated appropriate body, of the sponsoring Institution; 2) that any research involving human subjects has been approved by an appropriate Institutional Review Board or an equivalent body and conforms to applicable U.S. National Institutes of Health guidelines; 3) that research involving animals has been approved by an appropriate animal care and use committee or equivalent and adheres to the U.S. Animal Welfare Act, and any applicable regulations and guidelines by the National Health Council, U.S. Department of Agriculture, or National Institutes of Health; and 4) that wherever applicable, the research protocol will be reviewed and approved by the Institution's biohazards committee, as well as conforming to NIH guidelines.

Unlawful Harassment: AHA prohibits and does not tolerate unlawful harassment or discrimination committed on the basis of age, race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, ethnic or national origin, pregnancy, disability, uniformed service, veterans’ status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status or based on political or religious opinions or affiliations, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. By accepting this Award from the AHA, Institution represents and assures AHA that (a) the Institution has in place adequate policy(ies) and procedures for reporting, investigating and addressing allegations of unlawful harassment or discrimination brought to its attention, and trains PIs and Mentors on the policy(ies) and procedures (b) no member of the research team has been determined to have violated its policy(ies) against unlawful harassment or discrimination within the last three years, (c) it is not aware that Awardee or anyone on the research team has been convicted or adjudicated as violating harassment or discrimination laws, and (d) it will promptly report to AHA any determinations that any member of the research team has violated its applicable anti-harassment or anti-discrimination policy(ies). In addition, AHA recipient Institutions are required to notify AHA when individuals identified as PI or other Senior/Key personnel included in an AHA notice of award are removed from their position or are otherwise disciplined by the recipient institution due to concerns about harassment, bullying, retaliation or hostile working conditions. An authorized Institutional representative must notify AHA within 30 days of the removal or disciplinary action. All required notifications must include, at a minimum (a) name of the authorized Institutional representative submitting the notification, (b) name of the individual of concern, (c) description of the concern(s), (d) action(s) taken, and (e) any anticipated impact on the AHA-funded award(s).

Independent Contractor: The nature of this arrangement is a funding agreement, and no employment or agency relationship is created between the AHA and the Awardee or Institution.

The AHA is not responsible for any claim, judgment, award, damages, settlement, negligence or malpractice arising from the Research Project or investigation related to this Award. The Awardee and Institution acknowledge responsibility for the conduct of research or investigations related to this Award, and release the AHA from all claims or liability that may arise from the conduct of research or investigations related to this Award resulting from any act or omission on the part of the Awardee and Institution, their employees, agents, or representatives to the extent allowed by applicable law. The AHA reserves the right to modify the terms or conditions of this Agreement upon twelve months prior written notice to the Awardee and Institution.

Use of Awardee Information: The Awardee and Institution give the AHA the right to reveal their names and other award information in any AHA web content including its research portal, publications, programs, promotional, advocacy and fundraising efforts and further to place their information into the Health Research Alliance’s (www.healthra.org), online database of privately funded grants. AHA will not use the names of Awardee and Institution to endorse or oppose AHA’s products or services without the express written permission from Awardee and Institution.

Reporting Scientific Accomplishments and Career Progress: Awardees are required to promptly respond to all requests from AHA for updates on their scientific accomplishments, impact they have made to their science areas, and career progress.

Survival: The sections on AHA’s Non-Receipt of Reports, Attribution, Inventions, and Liability all survive termination of this Award.

Applicable Law:
This Agreement and all adversarial proceedings arising out of this Agreement, shall be governed by the substantive laws of the State of Texas, without reference to its conflict of laws provisions. However, if Institution is a governmental entity or state institution, this Agreement shall be interpreted and construed under the substantive laws of the state in which the Institution resides without respect to its conflict of law principles.

Termination: In addition to the early termination provisions stated herein, the AHA may terminate this Award Agreement at any time, in whole or in part, with or without cause. In the event of this termination, the AHA reserves the right to withhold any further funding disbursement from the date of termination.

Entire Agreement: This Agreement and any attachments, constitute the entire agreement of the parties with respect to the subject matter of this Agreement, and supersedes all prior agreements and understandings, whether oral or written, and all negotiations, letters, other papers and documents, except as specifically incorporated by reference herein.

Subcontractors: AHA holds grantees accountable for their subawardees' research, spending, and reporting actions, which must conform to all terms and conditions of a grant award.

Updated 11/15/2023