Awards and Lectures Guidelines

Updated:Aug 14,2015
Exhibit O1

Awards & Lectures Guidelines Update

The American Heart Association has a set of guidelines in place that serve to regulate the awards and lectures presented at its Scientific Conferences.  The Awards & Lectures Subcommittee of the Council Operations Committee manages these guidelines and uses them in its efforts to oversee the AHA awards and lectures for which it is responsible. 

The Subcommittee was recently tasked with expanding its responsibilities to oversee all awards and lectures presented at AHA Scientific Conferences, whether sponsored by an AHA Scientific Council or department or sponsored by an outside (non-AHA) entity.  The guidelines have been updated to reflect the Subcommittee’s new responsibilities and expanded to apply to all awards and lectures that are proposed for presentation at AHA Scientific Conferences.  Other minor updates were also necessary since the guidelines were last updated in June 2001.  The most major changes are summarized below by section and subsection.

Throughout the guidelines: 
All references to AHA Council-sponsored awards and lectures have been expanded to include other AHA departments and outside entities since these guidelines now apply to all awards presented at AHA Scientific Conferences, not just Council-sponsored awards.   

  1. Award Categories, Subsection A.
    Previous wording was changed from “New Investigator Awards” and “Young Investigator Awards” to now reference these types of awards as “Early Career Investigator Awards.”
  2. General Rules
    References to the Committee on Scientific Councils (CSC) were removed and replaced with the Council Operations Committee (COC).
  3. Procedures for Developing Proposals to Establish New Awards and Lectures, Subsection G.
    Verbiage was added to reflect that the Awards & Lectures Subcommittee will now be considering proposals from outside the AHA and that potential conflicts of interest will need to be considered during award or lecture approval.
  4. Named Lecture Guidelines, Subsection H.
    References to the Committee on Scientific Councils (CSC) were removed and replaced with the Council Operations Committee (COC).

    Subsection J.
    This subsection was removed.  It had stated that a Scientific Council may elect to honor an individual by the naming a Featured Research Session at the AHA Scientific Sessions, and addressed guidelines for doing so.  The Committee on Scientific Sessions Program (CSSP) now determines the names, topics, and numbers of Featured Research Sessions, so this section was no longer relevant.
  5. Funding
    A sentence was added to confirm that the AHA Corporate Development Department will be involved when endowment funding is secured for an award or lecture.


Revised January 2007

PREAMBLE:  The American Heart Association (AHA) recognizes the outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations with monetary awards, invited lectures, and other tangible forms of recognition. Through such recognition, students, young investigators, and established investigators are encouraged to pursue careers in cardiovascular research.

AHA Scientific Councils may recognize contributions of individuals or organizations with certificates, plaques or other non-monetary forms of recognition by a majority vote of the Council's Leadership Committee. Other AHA departments or entities outside the AHA may have similar recognitions with the approval of each department’s appropriate governing committee. The AHA Awards & Lectures Subcommittee of the Council Operations Committee must grant final approval for any award or lecture to be presented at an AHA Scientific Conference.

The following guidelines apply to monetary and non-monetary awards that are initiated, sponsored and administered by one or more Scientific Councils and/or other departments of the American Heart Association.


    AHA-sponsored monetary awards should fall into one of the following categories.

    1. Early Career Investigator Awards
      Early Career Investigator awards are designed to recognize endeavors by new investigators in research activities and to encourage continued research careers. Early Career Investigator awards must also comply with the rules and guidelines developed by the Committee on Scientific Sessions Program if held in conjunction with the Scientific Sessions.

      Early Career Investigator Awards
      Early Career Investigator Awards recognize promising and outstanding investigators/clinicians in the early stages of their careers in order to stimulate continued interest in basic or clinical research.

      Travel Stipends
      These stipends help defray travel costs for early career investigators, clinicians, trainees, fellows, and students to attend and participate in AHA-sponsored meetings.

      Student Scholarships
      The student scholarship programs, administered under qualified supervision, and provide an important stimulus to interest graduate students in research in cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and basic scientific research. 

    2. Special Recognition Awards

      Special recognition awards are designed to acknowledge outstanding achievements in the field of cardiovascular disease and stroke and/or contributions and service to the American Heart Association.

      Career Achievement Awards
      These awards recognize individuals for specific career endeavors and achievements that made a significant impact on the field of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The awards also may honor those who have helped further the mission of the AHA/ASA or one of its Scientific Councils.

      Lifetime Achievement Awards
      The Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize contributions to the fields of cardiovascular disease and stroke over a sustained period. Recipients of these awards exemplify excellence and are notably representatives of the best in their fields.  

      Mid-Career Award
      These awards recognize a mid-career investigator active in research for specific areas.  Candidates include PhDs and or MDs who are still within 10 years after their first faculty appointment of the award application date.

    3. Named Lectures

      Named lectures honor notable physicians, nurses, and others involved in cardiovascular or stroke research, or those who have had an impact on the field of cardiology. Named lectures are featured at an AHA Scientific Conference.


    The dollar amount or prize/honorarium to individuals shall not exceed the amount of the highest National Center Awards (currently the Basic Research Prize, the Clinical Research Prize, the Population Research Prize, the Research Achievement Award, the Paul Dudley White International Lecture, and the Connor Lecture Awards, $5,000 each). However, there will not be a ceiling on the dollar amount that may be awarded to the recipient's laboratory.

    1. The magnitude of Early Career Investigator Awards shall not exceed $3,000.
    2. The magnitude of Special Recognition Awards may not exceed $5,000 to an individual;   however, laboratory support may be greater.
    3. The magnitude of an AHA-sponsored lecture may not exceed $5,000.

    1. The Awards and Lectures Subcommittee of the Council Operations Committee (COC) will evaluate all proposals to establish new AHA-sponsored awards, lectures, and cash prizes/honoraria and will re-evaluate existing awards and cash prizes every 5 years.
    2. All AHA-sponsored monetary awards, including monetary considerations, must be approved by the Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee (SACC) and COC as well as the Committee on Scientific Sessions Program (CSSP) if the award impacts the Scientific Sessions program, or the Program Committee of the AHA Specialty Conference it impacts if other than Scientific Sessions.
    3. Joint awards with other health related organizations are permitted if equal recognition is given.
    4. Use of a corporate name in the title of an award is discouraged. The use of a council name or an honoree's name in the title of an award is preferred to a corporate name. However, appropriate donor acknowledgement is encouraged; the following specific format is acceptable:

      The American Heart Association ABC Award, sponsored by XYZ Corporation
    5. Awards and lectures sponsored by different AHA councils or AHA  departments may not have the same title.  Scientific Councils are encouraged to co-sponsor awards and lectures recognizing the same individual.


     The sponsoring Council(s) or AHA Department must develop an award or lecture proposal that accomplishes the following:

    1. Clearly states the title of the award or lecture.
    2. Defines the purpose of the award and the important or unique scientific contributions that the award recognizes.
    3. Delineates benefits to the council and/or the American Heart Association for sponsorship of the award.
    4. Specifies a mechanism for administration and presentation of the award, especially detailing any AHA staff resources that will be needed and in what manner.
    5. When cash prizes or honoraria are provided, identifies funding sources, including background information on the reputation of the donor as a person or entity with which the American Heart Association can be publicly associated.
    6. Provides documentation of the AHA’s and/or other sponsor's commitment to support the award including: 1) length of commitment; 2) amount of funds to be contributed; and 3) amount to be used for administrative costs.
    7. Establishes that neither the sponsor/proposer of the award or lecture nor the act of presenting the award or lecture at an AHA conference will create a conflict of interest with the AHA. (This is especially relevant to entities outside the AHA that purpose to present awards and lectures at AHA conferences.)

    1. Association-wide lectureships at Scientific Sessions shall be limited to two. Currently these are the Conner Lecture and the Paul Dudley White International Lecture.
    2. In addition to the two association-wide lectures, each Scientific Council shall have the right to sponsor no more than three 30-minute lectureships at the Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association.
      1. The named-lecture may change the named honoree in rotation on alternating years, or periodically at the discretion of the sponsoring council (e.g. the CVDY Council’s Jones, Taussig, and Nadas Lectures).
      2. Named lectures at AHA conferences outside the Scientific Sessions shall not be limited in number.
    3. No named lecture other than the Conner Lecture and the Paul Dudley White International Lecture will be established in perpetuity.
    4. Funding for named lectures established by the Scientific Councils shall be the responsibility of the sponsoring council.
    5. The sponsoring Scientific Council shall designate the time that the lecture will take place– in the morning or afternoon prior to their simultaneous session or cardiovascular seminar, or at its respective Council dinner.
      1. Named lectures shall compete equally with other possible lectures for placement on the program.
    6. Each council may pay an honorarium (not to exceed $5,000) if the lecture is supported by is council discretionary funds or private funds and there is no conflict of interest with the honoree.
    7. The qualifications for an individual to be honored by having a lecture named after himself/ herself are:
      1. Broad scientific and/or clinical contributions to cardiovascular disease and stroke, and active participation in the American Heart Association activities.
      2. Recognition beyond his/her area of specific interest within the realm of cardiovascular disease or stroke.
      3. No individual can be so honored until at least one year after retirement from active professional life or he or she is deceased.
    8. The process for establishing named lectureships shall be as follows:
      1.  Proposal will originate from the sponsoring council.
      2.  After approval by the council Leadership Committee, the proposed lectureship must be approved by the Committee on Scientific Sessions Program (CSSP), and the Council Operations Committee (COC).
      3. If approved by both CSSP and COC, the proposal will be submitted to the Science Advisory Coordinating Committee (SACC) if necessary.
      4. Proposals from any industrial concern to establish a named lecture will be accepted on a year-to-year basis. The committee appointed to select the speaker and topic shall contain no representatives from the supporting industry if such a lecture is approved.
    9. The Committee on Scientific Sessions Program must know the intent of each Council in regard to a named lecture at the January meeting of CSSP each year.

    Scientific Councils may obtain funding for awards and lectures through contributions from donors or use of discretionary funds. Other AHA departments may obtain funding for awards and lectures through contributions from donors or use of departmental funds. The American Heart Association general funds shall not be used to support Scientific Council-sponsored awards and lectures.

    Scientific Councils may solicit funding for awards and lectures from individuals and pharmaceutical and equipment companies whose products are used in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and stroke. Contributions from organizations and institutions whose primary purpose is to provide medical services are also acceptable.

    Any solicitation of funds must be done so in accordance with the American Heart Association Bylaws and Policies and the Guidelines for Solicitation of Funds.

    Funds to support Scientific Council-sponsored and other AHA departmental awards and lectures must be submitted to and managed by the American Heart Association National Center.

    1. Endowed Awards
      An endowment is a gift or bequest in which the principal amount is maintained in perpetuity, or for a specified time period. Only the interest earned on the principal amount may be used to support the award and/or lecture. Endowment funding offered for awards or lectures will be coordinated through the AHA’s Corporate Development Department.

      Endowments shall not be solicited by the American Heart Association or any component of the organization.

    2. Unendowed Awards
      Monies for unendowed awards are "restricted" by the donor to fund a specific project, such as an award or lecture. Restricted funds cannot be used for any purpose other than that which is stated by the donor. Unendowed funds will remain in a restricted account until either all funds are expended, or the donor's restriction lapses. Unendowed funds do not earn interest.
    3. Discretionary Funds
      Scientific Council discretionary funds are acquired primarily through Scientific Council membership dues and may be used to support Council activities such as awards, lectures, and travel stipends. Other AHA departments may have discretionary funds with which they may choose to fund an award.

    1. Revisions and/or changes to existing awards and named lectures must be reviewed and approved through the process outlined above. (Section IV.)
    2. The Scientific Council or AHA department and the donor/sponsor must mutually determine the criteria by which the recipient of the award will be chosen.
    3. The mechanism for administration and presentation of the award must be developed in consultation with AHA staff.
    4. The Leadership Committee or other specified AHA group or committee will select the recipient of the award in accordance with the criteria established with the donor/sponsor.
    5. Contributions from outside sources must be submitted to the American Heart Association National Center at least six months prior to the presentation of the award.

New awards may not be implemented until all guidelines for AHA-sponsored monetary awards and lectures have been met. Date approved by Council Operations Committee (COC): January 31, 2007.