Volunteer Structure

Updated:Feb 18,2013

Volunteer scientists establish and direct the American Heart Association's research policies and programs. In partnership with science volunteers, AHA staff provide administrative support to implement the plans.  


The AHA's Research Committees, composed of research volunteers nominated by their affiliate or scientific council, ensures that all research programs are administered according to published standards. The AHA Research Committee recommends research policy for the association, ensures quality peer review through a consistent process and evaluates program success.

Each affiliate and the National Center has a Research Committee charged with directing the research program of that part of the American Heart Association. Each committee member serves a term of up to four years. Research committees are responsible for:

  • Selecting research program(s) to be offered.
  • Recommending allocation of funds based upon program priorities and the scientific merit of the applications.
  • Long-range planning. 
Team of Medical Professionals Discussing Case

Peer Review Committees with expertise in particular scientific areas conduct the actual evaluation of scientific merit of research applications.

Research peer review committees include at least twelve scientist volunteers who have experience in biomedical research. The chairman and co-chairman of each peer review committee are responsible for recruiting members familiar with the science that will be reviewed. All association peer review committees must adhere to association-wide standards established for peer review.

The American Heart Association's peer review system is structured to review affiliate and national applications. 

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