Frequently Asked Questions

When & Where

Q: What are the official dates of the 2020 AHA Research Leaders Academy?
A: The Academy begins at 9:00 am CT on Tuesday, September 15th and ends at 11:30 am CT on Thursday, September 17th, 2020.

Q: What is the location of the 2020 RLA?
A: The Academy will take place in Chicago, IL at the Chicago Hilton.


Q: Can I just attend one day of the RLA?
A: No, unfortunately since the Academy is only two and a half days and we are very limited in the number we can invite, we ask that attendees who accept our invitation (and have the registration fee waived) be there for the entire meeting. Attendees who pay the registration fee are welcome to attend only part of the Academy.

Q: What do I do if I need to cancel my registration?
A: All registration cancellations must be sent in writing to by June 15, 2020. Name changes are not permitted, and badges are non-transferable.

Q: Can I bring a guest to the Academy?
A: Because we have very limited space, we cannot accommodate guests at the Academy sessions, or any academy social events.

Q: Are there any meals included?
A: Yes, we will feed you! Daily meals and snacks will be available.
Tuesday – Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.
Wednesday – Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.
Thursday – Breakfast and lunch provided.


Q: Is there a conference schedule available?
A: A high-level version of the Academy schedule is available on the programming page. A more detailed version will be posted closer to the Academy.

Q: What types of sessions or workshops are being offered?
A: The RLA provides a multitude of educational offerings at all levels of experience and all career stages.

Q: What do I need to bring to the conference?
A: If you will be a mentee during the mentor/mentee match-ups, it is recommended that you bring a copy of your CV. For some of the hands-on workshop sessions you may find it beneficial to have a laptop or tablet.

Q: How should I dress for the Academy?
A: The attire for the Academy is casual—jeans, slacks, khakis, golf shirts, other casual blouses and shirts are appropriate. Hotel meeting rooms are often cool, so bring a jacket or sweater. Wear RED on Wednesday to show your support for the American Heart Association!

Q: Will I have access to the internet while I am at the Academy?
A: You will be able to stay connected by taking advantage of complimentary wi-fi in the meeting area. Access code will be announced at opening session and will be available at the registration desk.

Q: Who should I contact if I have special dietary needs or allergies?
A: Let us know your dietary needs and/or restrictions at

Q: Will the event be filmed and photographed?
A: Yes. By registering and being at this event, you consent to be filmed and photographed.


Q: What is the closest airport to the Academy hotel?
A: You have two options to fly into Chicago. The hotel is 19 miles from Chicago O’Hare, drive time is approximately 45 minutes. The hotel is 11 miles from Chicago Midway Airport, drive time is approximately 30 minutes.

Q: What are the ground transportation options from the airport to the hotel?
A: From O'Hare International Airport: Take CTA Blue Line train to the Jackson stop. This is the only subway train leaving O'Hare. Walk 0.6 miles southeast to 720 S. Michigan Ave. From Midway Airport: Take the CTA Orange Line train to the Roosevelt stop. Walk 0.5 miles north to 720 S. Michigan.


Q: Where can I find recorded sessions after the Academy?
A: Select sessions will be available on the AHA Lifelong Learning site after the Academy. You can find sessions from past academies at:

Q: I am not an AHA member. How can I join?
A: Join here

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