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Council on Hypertension Advisory and Mentoring Program (CHAMP)

Administered by the Trainee Advocacy Committee (TAC)

Deadline Extended! Applications for the 2017 CHAMP Program are being accepted March 17 through June 30, 2017.

To Apply: fill out the Mentor or Mentee Application Form and hit "Submit" at the bottom of the page.

Mission Statement

To foster an environment of training and networking activities in order to provide support in the form of mentor CHAMPions for future career choices in the scientific community.


  • To stimulate scientific networking between trainees/early career members and other members of the Council on Hypertension.
  • To stimulate interaction between senior (mentor) and junior (mentee) scientists, where the primary purpose is professional growth of the mentee.
  • To facilitate the learning of skills related, but not limited to science, career development, scientific independence, grant applications, research integrity, and time management (work and personal).


Members of the Council on Hypertension are eligible to participate.



  • Definition: Any member of the AHA Council on Hypertension who applies to be trained/counselled by a mentor.
  • Categories:
    • Undergraduate Students
    • Graduate/Medical Students
    • Postdoctoral Fellows/Residents
    • Junior Faculty (within 5 years of their initial appointment)


  • Definitions: Any qualified member of the AHA Council on Hypertension who applies to train, guide, and counsel members who seek mentoring in the Mentoring Program.
  • Categories:
    • Graduate/Medical Students (can mentor undergraduate students only)
    • Postdoctoral Fellows/Residents (can mentor undergraduate/graduate students)
    • Junior Faculty (within 5 years of their initial appointment, can mentor undergrads, graduate students, medical students, postdoctoral fellows, residents)
    • Senior Faculty (can mentor any of the above)

The Matching Process

  • After the application deadline, the TAC will review the pool of mentee and mentor applicants and make up to 3 suggested mentor candidate recommendations (depending on the number of applicants) to each trainee based on mutual interests/fit, with the exception of scientific overlap.  The TAC will ensure that there is minimal scientific overlap for each mentee/mentor pairing. 
  • The trainee will have one month to select a mentor preference from those three (special requests can be made during that period for a new set of mentor candidates, depending on the number of applicants). 
  • Initial mentee-mentor match notifications/introductions will be made via email in August.  The email will contain information on how to make the most out of your first initial meeting at the fall Council on Hypertension Scientific Sessions meeting.
  • Initial face-to-face meeting will be held at a venue to be determined the fall conference program.  Mentee-mentor pairs should plan to attend Council career development and trainee activities (e.g. How-to Sessions) and discuss afterward.

Participation Requirements

  • Participants must be active members of the American Heart Association (AHA) Council on Hypertension at the Trainee/Early Career level (Mentees) or at the Premium Professional/Premium Professional Plus level (Senior Mentors). To become a member of the AHA please visit AHA Professional Membership.
  • Commit to at a minimum of 1 hour of face-to-face individual mentoring at the Hypertension Scientific Sessions or other specialty meeting each year.
  • The program requires the mentor and mentee to meet regularly (at least quarterly) via telephone, email, video conference, or other means to discuss issues and strategies for career development.
  • The mentee and mentor must each complete both an interim progress report (due March 1) and a final report (due October 1) to determine the success of the match.
  • Mentees with existing primary mentors (e.g. graduate students, postdoctoral fellows) will be required to acknowledge that they have consulted with their primary mentor about participating in the Council mentoring program, and that the primary mentor is supportive of their participation. 
NOTE: Participation in CHAMP does not imply an opportunity to work in a mentor's laboratory. The benefit of this program is that mentees are able to leverage mentor experience and expertise in the field of hypertension. It is not meant to be a bridge into a mentor's laboratory.


Both mentees and mentors participating in CHAMP must agree to at least a year-long commitment to the relationship.  The ultimate goal of CHAMP is to foster these relationships so that they last beyond the initial year commitment.  Participants must also commit to attending the annual Hypertension Scientific Sessions conference for both the initial and final meetings.


The TAC has assembled and developed if necessary online resources on mentoring topics such as, but not limited to:

  • Effective mentoring relationships
  • Career development
  • Publications and CV development
  • Grant planning and writing
  • Negotiation
  • Scientific independence
  • Management of expectations
  • Scientific Integrity
  • Becoming a supervisor


  • Communications
  • Internationalization
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Managing people
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Researcher development
  • Presentation skills
  • Time management
  • Work-Life balance

Application Requirements

  1. Required Documents/Uploads:

    1. Curriculum Vitae
    2. Head & shoulder photograph (.jpeg or .tiff format)
    3. Current Clinical and/or Research Activities and Professional Experience (1 page limit: ¾” margins, Arial 11 pt font)
    4. Personal Statement about your career goals (for mentees) or desire/qualifications to serve as a mentor (for mentors), and what you hope to accomplish by participating in CHAMP (1 page limit: ¾” margins, Arial 11 pt font)
  2. Complete online application and upload required documents at:

    1. Hypertension CHAMP Mentee Application Form
    2. Hypertension CHAMP Mentor Application Form


Praise from the first class of CHAMP participants:
  • "My CHAMPS mentor Dr. Matt Zimmerman has been a valuable source for me as a graduate student especially right now with applying to grants and forming my thesis. Having this type of access to a scientist that I may not have been able to get close to otherwise in the field has been a great experience and opportunity. I think CHAMPS is a wonderful way to improve networking and promote close professional relationships/mentoring and I am glad to be a part of it."
  • "I feel personally that the CHAMP mentoring program has played a crucial role in a very short time to significantly improve my academic career in the specialized field of Hypertension research with providing me an International platform for an outstanding collaborating opportunity with prestigious recognition. Best part of the program for which I consider myself as the luckiest one is to have my mentor match with Prof. David Ellison- a stalwarts and a pioneer in the Hypertension drug discovery field-on which I'm about to finish my doctoral research very soon. Last but not the least fantastic experience from the mentoring program is to make myself well aware of the future funding and research opportunities internationally. Apart from my feelings regarding the program, I must also share the outcome of the continued emailing between me and Prof. Ellison is that now I have aimed to make a knockout mouse model specific to my doctoral work to address side-effects, if any due to inhibition of Dopamine beta hydroxylase to treat CVDs including hypertension. The process is still continued and I have no words to thank Prof. Ellison for providing me suggestions all the way to reach my goals step by step, even being one of the most busiest scientists in the field. In the process, I have also requested Prof. Ellison for continuing my dream research in the similar field under his supervision and it is his kind gesture for me to even consider the request positively. At the end, I must congratulate and thank the whole team of the TAC members for doing this excellent job done very well to actually benefit careers like us."
  • "Having the opportunity to converse professionally with Dr. Rhian Touyz was an extremely valuable experience on many levels. This time allowed me the time to converse with one of the eminent researchers in our field on how to progress towards becoming an independent scientist, as well as giving me a glimpse of her life outside of research. I feel honored for the experience and look forward to participating in more CHAMP events in the future."
  • "This was my first experience participating in a mentoring program at a national meeting. Overall, I believe my experience was a success. I am a senior postdoc, and currently interviewing at several institutions for a tenure track faculty position. At this point in my career, I was looking for a mentor who could give me added input in regards to this process (i.e. tips for interviews, negotiating techniques, opinions on certain institutions, etc.). I was placed with a very well established and well known investigator who was able to answer all of my questions. Not only was he incredibly helpful, but I now have networked with a new member of the research community, which was another goal going into this program. Since the meeting, we have not actively communicated, but that is to be expected due to where I am at in my career development. However, my mentor provided me with all of his info to contact him, so I know if I had any questions I could get ahold of him at any time. Overall, I think the program met my expectations, and I would recommend it to other trainees.
  • "As for the actual event, I felt it was great to have a formal place/time to meet the mentors. This is always a difficult thing to do for mentees, so having something set up really facilitated this process. I also enjoyed having a couple of presentations, as when you meet someone new it is not always easy to keep making conversation, so this broke up the formality which was nice."
  • "All is going well so far, we have arranged a monthly date to exchange emails/papers/discussion points etc - I think this works well in terms of frequency of contact."
  • "The lunch was inspiring, I enjoyed hearing from both Stephanie and Jennifer and their different approaches to mentoring. Jennifer's analytical view using the quadrant particularly appealed to me, however, Stephanie's more personal approach came across as very nurturing and morale boosting for her lab. It was easy to see that fluidity in mentoring style is required and no one style will suit everyone."