Council-Sponsored Student Scholarships

Updated:May 10,2012
Application Deadline: March 1, 2011
The scientific councils of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association want to stimulate interest, knowledge and investigative work in students in medicine, nursing, public health, nutrition and other allied health disciplines.  AHA Student Scholarships support students conducting research projects related to cardiovascular disease, stroke and basic sciences early during pre-doctoral training, usually during the summer.  AHA scholarships provide valuable stipends for students during the research project.  The stipends may be used for student expenses, lab fees, or other costs incurred by the student during the project.

Student Scholarships in Cardiovascular Disease
(Sponsored by Multiple AHA/ASA Scientific Councils)

Up to 20 scholarships worth $2000 will be available for students researching cardiovascular disease topics within basic, clinica, or population sciences.

Student Scholarships in Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke
(Sponsored by the Stroke Council)

Up to five $2000 scholarships will be available for students specifically researching cerebrovascular disease and stroke.  Scholarship recipients will also have the opportunity to receive a travel grant to attend the AHA’s International Stroke Conference 2012.

Eligible applicants include students in medical schools or in master's or equivalent programs in an accredited school in the United States where research training in cardiovascular disease and stroke is available.  

Ph.D.s and current M.D./Ph.D. students in the basic sciences committed to research careers are ineligible unless the Ph.D. was obtained previously in an area not related to the one in the proposed study.

Each applicant and applicant's preceptor must be members of the AHA/ASA at the time of application.  Please take time to join or renew your membership in the AHA/ASA.

The awards will be made to institutions within the United States in which the research training is available to students under qualified supervision.  If the student conducts the research at a location other than his/her home institution, he/she must have written approval of his/her dean or other responsible individual.

Time Period
The award is for students to work on a project or projects either in a block of several months or over a longer period.  The minimum full-time commitment is two months as most projects take place over the summer months.  The typical applicant for these scholarships will be conducting research over the summer of 2011.

Selection of Institution/Students
A committee of representatives of the American Heart Association scientific councils will select institutions based on the quality of a proposal, supporting supervision and the student’s academic achievement.

As many as five students from a single school within an institution may be considered for the scholarship.  However, the scholarship committee reserves the right to fund only one applicant per institution each year.  No student may receive an award more than once. 

The institution must appoint a preceptor to guide the student during the scholarship period.  All scholarships are awarded with the understanding that the preceptor will accept full responsibility for the program, its supervision, and the completion of formal reports.


Student Scholarships in Cardiovascular Disease

A $2000 scholarship will be awarded to the institution in one payment upon receipt of the signed acceptance agreement at the AHA/ASA National Center. The entire amount must be used as a stipend for the selected student.


  • The top recipient of the Student Scholarships in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke will be designated the Howard S. Silverman Scholar. Dr. Silverman, despite severe heart problems, maintained a positive outlook, an active research program, and often served as mentor to medical students, residents and cardiology fellows.  The Howard S. Silverman Scholar will receive an additional $1000 stipend.

Student Scholarships in Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke:

Partial payment of $1500 will be made to the institution upon receipt of the signed acceptance agreement at the AHA/ASA National Center.  The remaining $500 in funds will be paid to the institution at the conclusion of the research project, upon receipt of the final reports from the student scholar, preceptor and grants officer.  The entire amount must be used as a stipend for the selected student. Additionally:

  • The preceptor and recipient of a Student Scholarship in Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke are required to submit a co-authored abstract to the AHA International Stroke Conference 2012.  The abstracts must be submitted in accordance with the AHA /ASA abstract submission guidelines as outlined on the conference Web site.  Abstract submission begins in the summer of 2011.
  • A $750 travel stipend to attend and present at the AHA International Stroke Conference 2012 will be paid to recipients of the Student Scholarships in Cerebrovascular Disease upon verification of an abstract accepted to the AHA International Stroke Conference 2012.  If the recipient is unable to attend the conference, the travel stipend must be returned to the AHA/ASA.

After completing the program, the student scholar is required to submit the following progress reports:

  • Description of the student's involvement in the project and experience 
  • Preceptor's description of goals of the program, observations of the student, and accomplishments 
  • Grants office declaration that funds were used as a stipend for the selected student scholar 

Failure to submit these reports will render the preceptor ineligible for future awards. The final scholarship payment will not be made until all reports are received at the National Center.

Scholarship Program Evaluation
The preceptor and student scholar must agree to allow the AHA/ASA to contact him/her in the future to evaluate the effectiveness of the Student Scholarship Programs.

All applications must be received through the Council Awards Application System by 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on March 1, 2011.

How To Apply / Required Documents
Electronic submission through the Council Awards Application System is required.  Hard copies of any part of the application cannot be accepted. 

A student may only apply for one of the two scholarship programs and should choose the program that is most relevant to his or her research.

Your application file should contain the following documents in electronic format:

  1. Student Scholar Statement:  The applicant must provide a thorough statement (minimum three pages, double-spaced) describing the purpose of the research project, the implications of the project, and what the student hopes accomplish or discover during the research period.  The statement must also include a list of relevant classes taken and current grade point average if GPA is used at the institution.
  2. Preceptor Statement:  The preceptor must provide a statement of the following:
    • A description of the proposed research program, including the facilities and personnel to be involved
    • A description of his or her responsibilities towards the student’s training, and other academic and administrative responsibilities
    • The duties and responsibilities of the student, the total duration and dates of the training period, and the specific education and training that will be provided
    • A listing of the preceptor’s research funding active during the proposed training period
    • A list of his/her trainees and project titles for the past five years
    • A description of the student selection process
    • Agreement (if selected) to accept responsibility for supervision of the project, to submit a written report to the AHA at the end of the student’s program, and to pay the entire scholarship amount to the Student Scholar as a stipend via his/her institution.
    • Any other supportive or referential information on behalf of the student
  3. Student and preceptor curriculum vitae and bibliography:  The applicant and preceptor must each provide an up-to-date curriculum vita with full bibliography (if bibliography is applicable).     

Up to three additional recommendation letters outside of the preceptor’s statement may be submitted in the file and are optional.

  • Reference letters should be from individuals familiar with the applicant’s scientific interests, academic interests and performance, research abilities, or a combination of these.  The referent should address as many of these areas as possible with regard to the student.  There is no specific format or page limitation for the letter.
  • Letters must be written on letterhead and each should include a signature before being given to the applicant (ideally in electronic/soft-copy).  Note that any hard-copy letters will require scanning by the applicant to be uploaded into the Council Awards Application System and included with the application file.
  • Reference letters will not be accepted via postal mail or electronically separate from the application file.  Any letters must be uploaded in the Council Awards Application System within the application file to be considered.

Visit the Council Awards & Fellowships Application System to complete an application. 

A username and password set up through online registration at My.AmericanHeart for Professionals will be necessary to access the Application System.  If you have not created an online profile yet, you may register as you enter the Application System by clicking "Sign Up" next to the Log In button on the sign-in page.  AHA members who are creating an online profile for the first time should make sure to register using their AHA membership identification numbers.

AHA Professional Membership is required of all applicants for a scholarship.  If you are joining the AHA to apply, please wait on your AHA membership number to arrive from AHA Member Services via e-mail before creating an online profile and starting your application file.  We suggest that new members join the AHA no later than Feb. 24 for the membership number to be processed and delivered in time for the application deadline.

All applications must be complete and submitted through the Council Awards Application System by 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on March 1, 2011.  Any applications still in "Draft" (unsubmitted) status at the application deadline will not be considered.   Applicants needing to join the AHA should do so by Feb. 24 for the membership to be processed and valid in time for the March 1 application deadline.





Abstract Submission: