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Transformational Project Award

Application Deadline: Jan. 23, 2018
Award Activation: July 1, 2018

The application must be submitted by 5 p.m. Central Time in Grants@Heart on the deadline date. The application will be submitted to the designated grant officer, who will submit it to the American Heart Association (AHA).

Program Description and Eligibility

Success Rates


Statement of Purpose

  • To support highly innovative, high-impact projects that build on work in progress that could ultimately lead to critical discoveries or major advancements that will accelerate the field of cardiovascular and stroke research.
  • Research deemed innovative may be built around an emerging paradigm, approaching an existing problem from a new perspective, or exhibit other uniquely creative qualities.
  • The Transformational Project Award (TPA) represents the second phase of a successful exploratory study that is already showing a high probability of revealing new avenues of investigation; proposals should include preliminary data.
  • This program aims to provide pilot or seed funding that should lead to successful competition for additional funding beyond the pilot period. The principal investigator (PI) is responsible for clearly and explicitly articulating the project's innovation and the potential impact on cardiovascular and stroke research.

 

Science Focus

All basic, clinical, translational and population research broadly related to cardiovascular function and disease and stroke, or to related clinical, basic science, bioengineering or biotechnology, and public health problems.
 

Disciplines

AHA awards are open to the array of academic and health professionals. This includes but is not limited to all academic disciplines (biology, chemistry, mathematics, technology, physics, engineering, etc.) and all health-related professions (physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists physical and occupational therapists, statisticians, nutritionists, etc.).

Clinical, translational, population, and basic scientists are encouraged to apply. AHA maintains dedicated Peer Review Committees by science type and subject. The extent to which the focus of the project is related to CVD and/or stroke is an important factor that will be considered. However, the applicant is not required to be a part of cardiovascular/stroke-oriented laboratory, clinic or department.

AHA strongly encourages applications by women, underrepresented minorities in the sciences, and those who have experienced varied and non-traditional career trajectories.
 

Target Audience

At the time of award activation:
 

  • The candidate must hold a post-baccalaureate Ph.D. degree or equivalent, or a doctoral-level clinical degree, such as M.D., D.O., D.V.M., Pharm.D., or Ph.D. in nursing, public health, or other clinical health science.
  • This program places no limit on eligibility based on career stage, academic rank or discipline. It requires only evidence of employment at a qualified institution.
  • While no minimum percent effort is specified, the principal investigator must demonstrate that adequate time will be devoted to ensuring successful completion of the proposed project.

 

Citizenship

At the time of application, must have one of the following designations:

  • United States citizen.
  • Permanent resident.
  • Pending permanent resident (any resident who has an approved I-765 form and has submitted an I-485 application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services)
  • E-3 Visa - specialty occupation worker.
  • H1-B Visa - temporary worker in a specialty occupation.
  • J-1 Visa - exchange visitor.
  • O-1 Visa - temporary worker with extraordinary abilities in the sciences.
  • TN Visa – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional.
  • G-4 Visa - family member of employee of international organizations.

The awardee must maintain one of the designations listed above throughout the duration of the award.
 

Eligible Sponsoring Institution

American Heart Association research awards are limited to U.S.-based non-profit institutions, including medical, osteopathic and dental schools, veterinary schools, schools of public health, pharmacy schools, nursing schools, universities and colleges, public and voluntary hospitals and others that can demonstrate the ability to conduct the proposed research.

Applications will not be accepted for work with funding to be administered through any federal institution or work to be performed by a federal employee, except for Veterans Administrations employees.
 

Budget

Annual Award Amount: $100,000, including 10 percent indirect costs

The award may be used for salary and fringe benefits of the principal investigator, collaborating investigator(s), and other participants with faculty appointments, and for project-related expenses, such as salaries of technical personnel essential to the conduct of the project, supplies, equipment, computers/electronics, travel (including international travel), volunteer subject costs, and publication costs, etc. The proposed budget must be justified in the application.

Award Duration: Three years.
Total Award Amount: $300,000
 

Restrictions

  • Resubmission of a prior application to the former AHA Innovative Research Grant program will not be accepted.
  • An applicant may submit a maximum of one Transformational Project Award per deadline.
  • In addition, applicants to this program may submit to the Innovative Project Award program, and may submit one investigator-based application (Career Development Award, Established Investigator Award, or AHA Institutional Research Enhancement Award) per fiscal year.
  • The Transformational Project Award may be held concurrently with another Association award; however, the projects must have clearly distinct aims, with no scientific or budgetary overlap.
  • Transformational Project Awards are not renewable. An awardee may submit an application for a new Transformational Project Award, provided the projects are separate in nature and concept.
  • Awards are not intended to supplement or duplicate currently funded work.
  • The project submitted may have no scientific or budgetary overlap with other funded work.
  • Postdoctoral fellows and others in research training positions at the time of application must obtain a faculty appointment by the award activation date.

Peer Review Criteria

Contacting AHA peer reviewers concerning your application is deemed a form of scientific misconduct and will result in the removal of your application from funding consideration and institutional notification of ethical concerns.


To judge the merit of the application, reviewers will comment on the following criteria. Please be sure that you fully address these in your proposal.

  1. Innovation: Is this a highly innovative, high impact project, based on work in progress, that could ultimately lead to critical discoveries or major advancements that will accelerate the field of cardiovascular and stroke research? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms and present an innovative hypothesis or address a critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area?
  2. Impact: Does the project have high probability to have a sustained and powerful influence on the research field(s)? How does this project relate to and support the mission of the American Heart Association to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke?
  3. Significance: Does this study address an important problem directly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke? If the aims of the application are achieved, will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be significantly impacted? Will there be an effect on the concepts, methods, and technologies that drive this field?
  4. Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well-reasoned and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
  5. Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work even if a new area of investigation? Does the investigative team bring complementary, appropriately qualified, and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?
  6. Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Does the proposal demonstrate that resources will be available to complete the project? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements?