Strategically Focused Research

Strategically Focused Research Networks

Starting in 2014-2015, the American Heart Association began funding two Strategically Focused Research Networks (SFRN) each year. Each Network is comprised of three to five institutions working on three projects each that are focused on one area strategic to AHA's Mission.

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.

Health Equity Research Network (HERN) on the Prevention of Hypertension

This Health Equity Research Network (HERN) will provide a mechanism for the AHA to advance the prevention of hypertension. A key theme is diversity/equity/inclusion, with special attention targeted to underserved populations.

The Health Equity Research Network on Prevention of Hypertension will be a single network that will include multiple projects.  An overall project plan will be developed by self-identified sites and submitted to AHA as a coordinated submission. Proposed projects will have a common fundamental theme that will assess an intervention or approach to the prevention of hypertension in high-risk populations.  All aspects of the network application (each Project and the Coordinating Center) will be reviewed as a collective program.  The successful Network application will be one wherein each Project and the Coordinating Center are judged to be exemplary, and thus all components will be funded (i.e., either the entire network (with some possible budgetary adjustments) will be funded, or the entire network will not be funded). 

AHA / Allen Initiative in Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment

The AHA and the Allen Frontiers Group, together with additional contributors, including the Oskar Fischer Project and Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation, have committed over $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. 

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). To that end, 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.

Research Partnership Programs

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.

Contact Us

Please submit inquiries related to AHA's strategic programs to