Research Plan - 5 Pages - CVGPS Specific

Updated:Nov 20,2015

To judge the merit of the application, reviewers will comment on certain criteria. See the peer review criteria for your program type.

Before beginning the Research Plan review the program description, noting especially the qualifications and any restrictions for the program for which you are applying, and peer review criteria. The Research Plan should address all of the peer review criteria.


The Research Plan must be created as a Word-processed document, converted to a Portable Document Format (PDF) file, and uploaded to Grants@Heart.  Only PDF files will be accepted.  When creating the Research Plan, you must comply exactly with the association's format/type requirements and page limits below.  Failure to comply will result in the administrative withdrawal (disqualification) of the application.  

  • Only Portable Document Format (PDF) files will be accepted.
  • File must be single-spaced. 
  • No more than 15 characters per inch (cpi) or an average of no more than 15 cpi (cpi includes symbols, punctuation and spaces).
  • No less than ¾" margins allowed.
  • Sixty lines per page are the maximum allowed  (The average number of lines per page using the font and point size below will be approximately 50-55 lines).
  • Arial Font style, 12 point font size for Windows users; Helvetica Font style, 12 point font size for Macintosh users
  • Figures, charts, tables, graphics and legends may be smaller in size but must be clear and legible
  • Five page limit

Users of other word processing programs must adjust settings appropriately and should measure text after saving and printing as a PDF.  Type requirements should be checked using a standard measuring device (such as a ruler), rather than relying on the font selected for a particular word processing/printer combination.  Type size specifications must be observed in the text of your research plan or the application will not be reviewed and will be withdrawn.  Adherence to font and margin requirements is necessary.  No applicant should have an advantage over other applicants by providing more content in his/her application by using smaller, denser type. The AHA has the responsibility to make the final determination of conformance to format requirements and the authority to withdraw applications.  This decision is final and not subject to appeal.

Internet Web site addresses (URLs) may not be used to provide information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites. Moreover, the reviewers are cautioned not to directly access an Internet site as it could compromise their anonymity.

The only place a URL may be used is in the biographical sketch as described in the instructions for that form. Provide a URL to a full list of your published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as SciENcv or My Bibliography, which are maintained by the US National Library of Medicine.

Type the research plan specifically following the outline given below, in the same sequence.  Although information about personnel and environment are contained in other areas of the AHA application, if you desire you may include brief information about unique features to this project (such as personnel, features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements). (This is not required.)  The entire proposed research plan must not exceed the 5-page limit.

  1. Impact on AHA Mission
    How does the project relate to and support the mission of the American Heart Association: building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke? 
  2. Innovation
    Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies to address the question?
  3. Approach
    Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well-reasoned and feasible and appropriate to address the defined question?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?  Is it reasonable to expect meaningful results to address the question in a one-year time frame?
  4. Timeline
    The Research Plan must also include a timeline and list of milestones as stated in the Request for Applications.

End of text for the Research Plan (not to exceed 5 pages.) 

Applications to the CVGPS Discovery Grants will be assigned to a group of multidisciplinary reviewers. You may be writing for a reviewer in a related field and an expert directly in your area. Aim the application at both the expert in the field and at the generalist. The level of detail should be appropriate for reviewers who have a broad knowledge of the scientific area.

PLEASE NOTE:  Although your project may study the same or a similar issue/problem as another investigator, your research proposal should be your own original/creative writing.  You should cite all information taken from another researcher or publication. Failure to do so may result in your proposal being flagged for Ethical Disapproval due to plagiarism.

Notice: A document that exceeds the page limit or file type will be rejected by Grants@Heart.