Strategically Focused Research Awards


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Strategically Focused Research Networks

Since 2014, the American Heart Association has been funding two Strategically Focused Research Networks (SFRN) each year. Each Network is comprised of three to five institutions working on three projects, focused on one area strategic to AHA's Mission.

AHA/Allen Initiative in Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment

The AHA and Allen Frontiers Group, along with additional contributors including the Oskar Fischer Project and Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation, have committed more than $43 million to disrupt the incremental trajectory of brain health science and open new frontiers of discovery.

AHA COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant 

In March 2020, the AHA put out an unprecedented rapid response call for cardiovascular/cerebrovascular research proposals to address the growing crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this issue's urgency, the focus was on innovative, highly impactful short-term proposals (9-12 months) that can show progress within the period of this award. 

American Stroke Association/Bugher Foundation Centers of Excellence in Hemorrhagic Stroke

The Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association have awarded research grants to four multidisciplinary teams that comprise the Centers of Excellence in Hemorrhagic Stroke Research Network. The teams are working to develop scientific breakthroughs to improve prevention, treatment and health outcomes related to hemorrhagic, or bleeding, strokes.

The network is supported by a $11.12M gift to scientific research from the Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation, who over four decades has donated nearly $50M in cardiovascular disease and stroke research.

End Nicotine Addiction in Children and Teens (ENACT)

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). The AHA is committing up to $20 million to fund bold, ground-breaking research projects focused on the health impacts of nicotine and nicotine delivery products in children and youth.

Health Equity Research Network on Disparities in Maternal-Infant Health Outcomes

The AHA has committed $20 million to establish this Network, to significantly advance understanding of the factors underlying the disproportionate impact of maternal mortality and morbidity on black, Native American, and rural living women. Because heart and vascular issues account for approximately half of these deaths, the AHA is uniquely positioned to address this critical issue.

Health Equity Research Network on the Prevention of Hypertension

The Health Equity Research Network (HERN) on the Prevention of Hypertension is part of the multi-pronged approach of the American Heart Association’s unprecedented pledge(link opens in new window)(link opens in new window)(link opens in new window)(link opens in new window)(link opens in new window)(link opens in new window)(link opens in new window)(link opens in new window) to aggressively address social determinants while working to support and improve the equitable health of all communities.

High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke and is also a health equity issue. Significant racial and ethnic disparities in prevalence of hypertension and its management are well documented. Uncontrolled hypertension is particularly acute in communities of color. This research initiative provides a mechanism to advance the science of the prevention of hypertension with a focus on health equity.

Mechanisms Underlying CV Consequences Associated with COVID-19 and Long COVID

To better understand both COVID-19 and Long COVID, the AHA has committed up to $10 million to fund research that will contribute to understanding the mechanism(s) underlying cardiac, vascular and cerebrovascular effects of these conditions, as well as mechanisms that contribute to differential susceptibility to Long COVID.

Research Partnerships Program

The AHA continues to establish research funding partnerships with organizations that share a common interest in developing targeted fields related to cardiovascular disease and stroke.

AHA/CHF Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards

AHA/Enduring Hearts Research Award

AHA/ASA/ABF Lawrence M. Brass, M.D. Stroke Research Award

AHA/VIVA Physicians Research Awards

Barth Syndrome Foundation (BSF)

California Walnut Commission

The Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER)

AHA/CHF Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards

American Heart Association (AHA) and Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) will award $22.5 million to support investigators who are actively conducting basic, clinical, population, or translational congenital heart defects research. 

AHA/Enduring Hearts Research Award

Through this award, Enduring Hearts and AHA provide funding to investigators whose research directly relates to improving the life expectancy and quality of life of pediatric heart transplant recipients. To foster innovative, collaborative approaches, applicant pairings must be from at least two different disciplines, a collaboration between established and early- or mid-career investigators, and propose a new and novel idea or approach.

AHA/ASA/ABF Lawrence M. Brass, M.D. Stroke Research Award

The American Heart Association and American Brain Foundation provide funding to the American Academy of Neurology for its Clinical Research Training Scholarship (CRTS) that supports early-career investigators embarking on a career in cerebrovascular research related to vascular neurology, stroke and neurocritical care. Award recipients will receive supportive mentorship and conduct introductory pilot studies that will guide future strategies for reducing cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular disease. 

AHA/VIVA Physicians Research Award

The AHA-VIVA Physicians Research Awards will fund meritorious research to advance vascular science and foster the development of early-career scientists including Postdoctoral Fellowships and Career Development Awards. These research awards will offer training and mentorship to potential future leaders in the domain of patient-oriented vascular research ranging from health services, to epidemiology, to clinical and translational research.

Barth Syndrome Foundation

This funding supports a predoctoral or postdoctoral fellowship for an investigator proposing innovative basic, clinical, or translational research relevant to the etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, epidemiology, and/or prevention of Barth Syndrome.

California Walnut Commission

Funding from the California Walnut Commission is available for investigators who are interested in observational or clinical research trials that will improve understanding and expand knowledge promoting healthy dietary patterns (for example Mediterranean-style diets, plant-forward or food modeling) that include walnut consumption through AHA Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships and Career Development Awards.

The Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER)

FAER and AHA are working together to establish a research award for anesthesiologists (M.D. or D.O.) who are conducting cardiovascular disease related research.

Contact Us

To learn more about Strategically Focused Awards, please email.