Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Topic:

Administrative Assistants
Animal Subjects Browse Area
Application Fee
Application Instructions
Applicant/PI Publications
Budget
Change in Application Deadline Time
Co-Author Publication Name
Copy or Resubmission
Corrections & Updates after Submission
Formatting & Page Requirements
Grants Officer/Fiscal Officer Selection
Impact on Mission
Institution Information
Lay Reviewers
Lay Summary Form
Notification Timeline
Numbering & Footers for Research Plan
Open Science Policy for AHA Funded Research
Paper Copies of the Application
Reference Letters
Resubmissions
Research Classification Choice not saving
Routing the Application Within the Institution
Signatures
Submission Deadline
Third Party Documents 
Uploading the Wrong Document (before submission)
Uploading supporting documents in Grants@Heart 

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 Administrative Assistants

Question
:  My department has a person who helps us complete our applications. How can our assistant get into my form to fill it out and upload the documents?

Answer:  Grants@Heart does not have an administrator or an assistant role. Only the applicant has the ability to enter data into the fields and upload specific documents into the application. There is no “sharing” mechanism.

Animal Subjects Browse Area

Question
: In the Animal Subjects section on Research Subject/Assurances page of the application, what goes in the upload field where it says “Browse”?

Answer: If you are using Vertebrate animals, you must create a document concerning their use as outlined in your proposed research plan. Visit the Vertebrate Animal Subjects page for instructions on creating the document to upload.

Question: Where are the instructions on the use of vertebrate animals in my proposal?

Answer: The instructions are in the help text question mark on the blue bar with the title Research Subjects/Assurances.

Application Fee

Question:  Why is the AHA implementing an application fee?

Answer:  Each applicant is required to either be an American Heart Association Professional Member at any level or to pay $100 per application submission. This fee helps to defray the administrative cost of processing applications, making more funds available for research awards.  Read more about the membership/application fee.

Application Instructions

Question: Where are the instructions and how can I print them out?

Answer: Click on the question marks (?) throughout the application sections to review instructions, help text or links to formatting requirements, etc., for documents to be created and uploaded as part of your application. You can also refer to the Applicant Information Guide (PDF), which will assist you with the application process.

Applicant/PI Publications

Question: After saving my publication in the Science and Evaluation Information section, I went back and it was not there. What can I do to get the publication to save?

Answer: The file name may be too long.  Rename the file (less than 30 characters) and try to upload it again.

Question: I am unable to save the Publications section. Is it because I only have one (or two) publications? How can I get this section to save?

Answer: Each of the three areas must have an upload. If you do not have three publications, then create a PDF document that says, “Not Available.” Upload one or two as necessary to satisfy the system requirements. Save each one.

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Budget

Question: My institution requires a detailed budget. The online application only has an abbreviated budget. How can I submit the detailed budget as required by my institution?

Answer: The abbreviated budget in the online form is a requirement of the American Heart Association. If the applicant’s institution requires detailed budget information, then the applicant should submit details to the institution's grants office. However, the Association will accept only the abbreviated budget format for application submission.

Change in Application Deadline Time

Question:  Why is the AHA Application Deadline Time 5:00 p.m. Central Time?

Answer:  The AHA has decided to change its application submission deadline time to 5:00 pm CT to provide greater support to applicants, institutions and third parties. AHA staff will now be able to respond to inquiries and assist with programmatic questions and technical issues leading right up to the deadline time.

Co-Author Publication Name

Question: What does “Publication Name” mean?

Answer: This refers to the names under which your co-authors has published (not the actual journals, etc.). It could be maiden or married names; it could be different formats, i.e., J. John Jones or James J. Jones or J. Jones, etc.

Copy a Previous Application (Dual Submissions) (see also Resubmissions below)

Question:  Can I copy a previous application without making it a resubmission?

Answer:  Yes, to copy an application, you must have a previously unfunded application.  When you begin the application process and successfully complete the questionnaire, you will be asked if you would like to copy a previous application.  Select "Yes".  You will be asked if you would like to mark the application as a resubmission.  Select "No".  Select the application in the list that you would like to copy and click Copy.

Question:  Will the entire application be copied to my new application?

Answer:  No, the items copied over are: 

  • Advanced Profile
  • Project Summary
  • Science & Evaluation Information
  • Research Classification
  • Science Classification

You can - and should - modify any of the above items if the information has changed.  You should pay particular attention to the Science Classification section as the choices may change for both the major and sub-classifications.

Items that do not copy:

  • Institutional Personnel
  • Third Party Personnel
  • Co-authors
  • Budget
  • Funds Available
  • Research Subjects
  • Third Party Supporting Documents

Question:  How do I mark my application as a resubmission?

Answer:  To mark your application as a resubmission, you must have a previously unfunded application.  When you begin the application and successfully complete the questionnaire, you will be asked if you would like to copy a previous application.  Select "Yes".  You will be asked if you would like to mark the application as a resubmission.  Select "Yes".  Select the application in the list that you would like to copy and click Copy.

If you are successful in marking your application as a resubmission, you will have a Resubmission Modification tab to upload the necessary document in the Science/Evaluation Information section of the application.

Question:  What is a dual submission?

Answer: A dual submission is the same or similar application submitted to two funding opportunities. If eligible and the programs are available, an applicant may simultaneously submit an application to an affiliate and to the national award programs. The proposed research plan may need to be adjusted based upon different award terms and dollars available. The deadline dates may be different for each submission. If both applications are funded, the applicant must choose one award.

If you have a pending application in Grants@Heart, when you successfully complete the questionnaire, you will be asked if you want to mark the application as a dual submission. Answer “Yes” to copy the other application.

Corrections and Updates after Submission to GO/AHA

Question: I submitted my application to the Grants Officer but found an error afterwards. What can I do about it?

Answer: If this is before the deadline, ask the Grants Officer to reject your application. You will be able to make the correction and submit it to the Grants Officer again.

Question: After my Grants Officer submitted my application to AHA, I discovered an error. How can I correct or update my application?

Answer: Once the application is submitted to AHA, no changes can be made to the scientific content of the application.  It will go to peer review as received, unless it is withdrawn.  Exception:  if your application requires a reference letter/report, the Referent can still upload the supporting documentation after the deadline.  The deadline for the Referent is February 5, 2015.

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Formatting and Page Requirements

Question: How many pages is the research plan? What are the other formatting requirements such as page numbering and font sizes? How do I know whether to use a Word document or a PDF document?

Answer: Information regarding the research plan format and requirements can be found on the Research Plan instructions page. All supporting documents to your application must be in Portable Document Format (pdf).

Grants Officer and Fiscal Officer Selection

Question: The Grants Officer/Fiscal Officer drop-down list in my application is blank or the name does not appear in the drop-down list. What do I do?

Answer: The Grants Officer must be registered and approved as a grants officer in Grants@Heart for his/her name to appear on the drop-down list.  Contact your Grants Officer to be sure you have selected the correct person.  Also, the institution name in the Where Work Will Be Done section of the application must match exactly the approved institution for your Grants Officer.  Check the institution name in the Advanced Profile/Institution Information section of your application.  The institution you select controls your list of choices of Grants Officer and Fiscal Officer in the Institutional Personnel section of your application. Example: Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Foundation may give you different sets of names for Grants Officers and Fiscal Officers.

Question: I chose the wrong Grants Officer and submitted my application. Now, my form won’t let me change anything and the correct Grants Officer can’t see my application. How can I correct that?

Answer:  If the Grants Officer listed in the application can see it, they should reject it and it will be returned to you to change the Grants Officer to the correct person. If the Grants Officer is not unavailable to reject the application, you will have to contact AHA staff for help.

Impact on Mission

Question: What is the Peer Review Criteria ‘Impact on Mission’?

Answer: All applications for research funding will be assessed for their potential impact on the AHA mission.  This potential impact assessment will be based primarily on the lay summary information requested for each application submission. The lay summary will be reviewed for mission impact during the peer review process and may be assessed by a lay reviewer.  Lay reviewers are individuals without formal training as a scientist who have a strong interest in advancing the prevention and/or management of heart disease and stroke and assist in the review of AHA research applications. Therefore, applicants must state the potential impact of their proposed work on the AHA mission clearly and in language that can be understood by a non-scientist.

Institution Information

Question: I can’t find my institution in the drop-down. What can I do? When I click “add institution,” it says it is already there but I can’t find it. How can I find my institution?

Answer: Type in only part of the name or type in the name of the state (such as Calif).  If your institution is in a foreign country, type in the name of the country.

Question: How can I edit my institution’s street address/phone number/zip code address?

Answer: The street address, phone number, and zip code cannot be changed.

Question: I changed and saved my institution in the Advanced Profile but it will not save. How can I save the change in my application?

Answer: In the Institution Information section, there is a box to check if you would like to use your current institution (the one in your Profile Manager) as the institution where work will be done. The green check mark must be clicked off before you select a different institution. Then, it will save.

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Lay Reviewers

Question:
Who are Lay Reviewers?

Answer: The Association has recently approved the participation of lay reviewers in its peer review process.  Lay stakeholders have a unique perspective that can help shape the AHA research agenda and strengthen its impact on our mission.   Lay reviewers are individuals without formal training as a scientist who have a strong interest in the prevention and/or management of heart disease and stroke. In the AHA peer review process, lay reviewers will specifically help to evaluate the potential impact of research applications to the mission of the AHA.

Lay Summary Form

Question:
What is a Lay Summary Form?

Answer: The lay summary is the explanation of the applicant’s research proposal in layman’s terms.

Notification Timeline

Question: When will I know if my application is funded?

Answer: Applications received for Winter (January/February) deadlines will be peer reviewed throughout April, and funding decisions will be made mid-May to early June.  Applications received for Summer (July) deadlines will be peer reviewed throughout October and funding decisions will be made mid-November to early December.

Applicants and Grant Officers will receive an email from Grants@Heart prompting you to log onto Grants@Heart to see review comments, scores and funding decisions. Sponsors will be copied on messages to fellowship applicants.

Numbering and Footers for Research Plan

Question: Do I have to number or put my name on each page of the research plan?

Answer: No.

Open Science Policy for AHA Funded Research

Question: Does the AHA have Open Science Policies for AHA Funded Research?

Answer: Yes, visit the AHA Open Science Policy page for more information including links to Open Science Frequently Asked Questions, a HIPPA agreement, and a list of AHA's Acceptable Data Repositories.

Paper Copies of the Application

Question: Is there a way for me to print out a paper copy of my application?

Answer: The AHA requires online submission of the application through Grants@Heart.  A printed copy will NOT be accepted as a form of application submission.  Functionality has been added to allow the investigator to print the application for institutional use.  It should NOT be used to check the formatting requirements of the application documents.  In the left navigation of the application, the AHA has added a Download Application option. 

Reference Letters

Question: 
If my application is a resubmission will my reference letters copy over from the previous submission?

Answer:  No, they do not.  When you enter the name of your referent in the application that individual will receive an auto generated email.  The email will give instructions for submitting the reference letter.

Question:  My application has been submitted to AHA by the deadline, but my referent hasn't uploaded their letter. What should I do?

Answer: If your application requires a reference letter/report, the Referent can still upload the supporting documentation after the deadline.  The deadline for the Referent is February 5, 2015.

Question:  Will the system allow me to submit my application without reference letters?

Answer:  Yes.  Reference letters are the only documents that can be missing when you submit your application to the Grants Officer.  Reference reports/letters must be uploaded into Grants@Heart.  The AHA cannot accept reference reports/letters by email or any other method.  A referent has through February 5, 2015 to submit his/her document. 

Resubmissions

Question: After I started my application, I realized that it should be a resubmission.  How can I change my application to a resubmission?

Answer:  To mark your application as a resubmission, you must have a previously unfunded application.  When you begin an application after you complete the questionnaire, you will be asked the following: 1) Do you want to copy a previous application?  Select "Yes".  2)  Would you like to copy this application for resubmission? Select "Yes".  You must select the unfunded application you want to copy for a resubmission and click Copy.

If you are successful in marking your application as a resubmission, you will have a Resubmission Modification tab to upload the necessary document in the Science/Evaluation Information section of the application.

If you have already begun the application and are unsure whether you marked it as a resubmission, you can check by looking for the Resubmission tab in the Science/Evaluation Information section of your application.  It will be the last tab in the section.  If you intended to mark you application as a resubmission, but do not see the Resubmission tab, go to the Project Summary section of the application and check the box at the bottom of the page to mark the application as a resubmission and save.  Go back to the Science/Evaluation Information section of the application and check to see if the Resubmission tab was added at the bottom of the page.

Research Classification Choice not saving

Question: I checked "Yes" to translational and typed in the explanation but it doesn’t save. How can I save it?

Answer: Shorten the explanation and try again. It should be very brief.

Routing the Application Within the Institution

Question: My institution requires that PI’s route their applications to several people for review and/or approval. Is there a way for me to do that with the online version or with a paper copy?

Answer: The online system doesn’t have a mechanism for “sharing” your application. There is no way to route your application electronically. If you must have a paper copy, you could print out each page or do screen prints of each page. It is tedious and the quality is not the best.

Signatures

Question:
Where do the institutional signatures go? Can letters with signatures be scanned? Are electronic signatures acceptable?

Answer: Unlike the old paper copies, signatures are not required for the online applications. For the supporting documents, electronic submission is fine. DO NOT send a paper copy of your application. Application submission must be done online through Grants@Heart.

Submission Deadline

Question: Why is the Application Deadline time 5:00 p.m. Central Time?

Answer:  The AHA has decided to change its application submission deadline time to 5:00 p.m. CT to provide greater support to applicants, institutions and third parties. AHA staff will now be able to respond to inquiries and assist with programmatic questions and technical issues leading right up to the deadline time.

Question: Who submits the application to the AHA?

Answer: The Grants Officer reviews, approves and submits the application to AHA by the AHA deadline.  Early submission is encouraged.

Question: When does my application need to be submitted to the Grants Officer?

Answer: Contact your Grants Officer to verify your internal deadline. The internal deadline should allow plenty of time for the Grants Officer to review, approve and submit your application to the AHA. There should also be time allotted for you to make changes if necessary.  Plan ahead in the event your Grants Officer is out of the office on the AHA deadline day!

Question: What happens if I submit my application to the Grants Officer on the AHA deadline day and the Grants Officer has already left the office for the day and my application does not get submitted to the AHA until the next day?

Answer: Applications submitted late – even if it is just a few minutes late – will not submit. The online submission shuts down automatically – at the specified time. Start early and submit early!

Third Party Documents

Question: Do my third parties have to logon to Grants@Heart to upload their supporting documents?

Answer: No.  Third parties (except referents) will send their documents to you electronically (e-mail).  It is the applicant's responsibility to upload them to his/her application.  Be certain that all supporting documents are converted to Portable Document Format (PDF) prior to uploading to Grants@Heart. Also, check that the converted documents are legible.

Uploading the Wrong Document (before submission)

Question: I uploaded the wrong version of a document. How can I replace it with the correct one?

Answer: Repeat the upload task and select the correct version. The new one will replace the old one upon saving.

Uploading supporting documents in Grants@Heart

Question:  Where do I upload supporting documents in Grants@Heart?

Answer:  Supporting documents for third party personnel (except referents) can be uploaded in the Third Party Personnel section of the application.  Click the Upload button in each section to upload the supporting documentation for the identified party.


 


Contact us for questions/inquiries about programs and login issues/assistance.

Mailing Address:
American Heart Association
Division of Research Administration
AHA National Center
7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX  75231-4596

E-mail:  apply@heart.org 
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