Lay Stakeholder Representatives in Science and Research

    The Lay Stakeholder is a volunteer without formal training as a scientist who possesses a strong interest in advancing cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and brain health research, with a focus on overall health and well-being across the lifespan. Interest might be based on intimate experience as a survivor, family member, caregiver, or advocate.

    Lay Stakeholder Engagement is Vital to AHA Science and Research

    • Increases the accountability and transparency of the research process.
    • Provides real-world understanding of what most impacts those affected by cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and/or disorders.
    • Helps shape and influence the culture of the research agenda and strengthens its impact on the mission.
    • Bridges the gap between scientists and patients to alleviate barriers in understanding the focus of why research is necessary.
    • Gives voice to the issues stakeholders think are most important.
    • Integrates a diverse range of views (researchers, health professionals and service-user representatives) so research becomes more effective.
    • Improves understanding of the benefits and burdens of patients in research studies.
    • Informs others of the human dimension of research and its outcome.
    • Prompts a sense of urgency for finding cures and more effective prevention, diagnosis and treatments.

    Benefits to Lay Stakeholders:

    • Increased awareness and respect for the importance of the research enterprise.
    • Demystify the research process for other non-scientists.
    • Gain confidence in the rigor of AHA’s selection of research projects.
    • Satisfaction of contributing to a cure for the prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and/or disorders.
    • Awareness that real-world lay stakeholder experience can influence the direction of science. 

    Benefits to Scientists:

    • Clearer connection between research focus and patients.
    • Respect for the patient's voice.
    • Broader perspective for connecting science with patients.
    • Enhances more patient-centered research.
    • Minimizes scientists' intellectual biases regarding patient involvement. 

    Lay Stakeholder Volunteer Requirements

    The AHA strives for a demographically diverse group of qualified Lay Stakeholders who have intimate experience with cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular disease or disorders from communities across the country.  When possible, Lay Stakeholders are assigned to join review committees with which they are specifically suited and have expressed an interest.

    • Survivor/Patient
    • Caregiver/Advocate/Thought Leader


    Contact: or

Lay Stakeholders' Role in Science and Research

A Lay Stakeholder (non-scientist) volunteer is an individual without formal training as a scientist who has a strong interest in advancing AHA-focused science and healthcare. Engagement is usually based on intimate experience with cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease or disorder as a survivor, family member, caregiver, or advocate.

Contact Us


Call: (214) 360-6107 (Option 1)

Lay Volunteer Interest Form

Sign up to let us know of your interest in AHA Research volunteer opportunities.