Great Rivers Affiliate Undergraduate Student Research Program

Updated:Aug 11,2015

Application Deadline:  September 16, 2015

Award Activation:  February 1, 2016

Applications must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. CDT on the deadline date.  The system will shut down at 5:00 p.m. CDT.  Early submission is encouraged.  Your institutional Grants Officer (GO) has the final responsibility of submitting your completed application to the American Heart Association.  It is important that you check with your GO for his/her internal deadline.

Program Description, Eligibility and Peer Review Criteria

Success Rate 


The purpose of this undergraduate research training program is to encourage promising students from all disciplines, including women and members of minority groups underrepresented in the sciences, to consider research careers while supporting the highest quality scientific investigation broadly related to cardiovascular disease and stroke. *Note: this is an institutional award. Individual students do not apply to the AHA for this award.

Science Focus

Funding is available for research broadly related to cardiovascular function and disease, stroke, or to related clinical, basic science, and public health problems, including multidisciplinary efforts.  

The laboratory sponsor and institution are responsible for disclosing the nature of research and activities taking place in the laboratory where the student will be conducting research, and the safety or health-hazards/risks which are known or reasonably likely to be encountered.  Students are responsible for learning and following appropriate safety procedures in the laboratory.

Students will not receive college credit for their summer research activities.  Therefore, participation in the program will not appear on an official transcript from the institution where the student is assigned.

Target Audience

To be eligible for this program, undergraduate students should be currently classified at the junior or senior academic status at the time of award activation.  Students must be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate degree program, at the time of application, in either a four-year college or university, or a two-year institution with plans to transfer to a four-year college or university by the fall semester immediately following the summer program. 

This is an institutional award to qualified research institutions, within the affiliate's geographic boundaries, that can offer a meaningful research experience to undergraduate students.

The extent to which the focus of the projects offered to students is related to CVD and/or stroke is an important factor that will be considered.


At the time of application, must have one of the following designations: 
  • U.S. citizen
  • Permanent resident 
  • Pending permanent resident.  Applicants must have applied for permanent residency and have filed form I-485 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and have received authorization to legally remain in the United States (having filed an Application for Employment Form I-765).
  • J-1 Visa -- exchange visitor
  • E-3 Visa -- specialty occupation worker
  • H1-B Visa -- temporary worker in a specialty occupation
  • TN Visa - NAFTA professional
  • O-1 Visa - temporary worker with extraordinary abilities in the sciences
  • F-1 Visa - student visa
  • G-4 Visa - family member of employee of international organizations and NATO
Awardees must meet American Heart Association citizenship criteria throughout the duration of the award.

Applicants are not required to reside in the United States for any period of time before applying for American Heart Association funding.

Program Structure

This is an institutional award to qualified research institutions that can offer a meaningful research experience to undergraduate college students.  An institution may only hold one Undergraduate Student Research Fellowship award at any time.  The institution my request support for up to five student fellows per institution, per year. 

Location of Work

The award may be completed at any accredited institution in Delaware, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia.

American Heart Association research awards are limited to non-profit institutions, including: medical, osteopathic and dental schools, veterinary schools, schools of public health, pharmacy schools, nursing schools, universities and colleges, public and voluntary hospitals and others that can demonstrate the ability to conduct the proposed research.

Applications will not be accepted for work with funding to be administered through any federal institution or work to be performed by a federal employee, except for Veterans Administrations employees. 

Budget - Great Rivers Affiliate Undergraduate Student Research Program

Annual Award Maximum Amounts

Trainee Stipend/Salary: $4,000 per student for the summer research experience

Payment will be made to the institution for disbursement to the fellow.  Faculty mentor and institution assume fiscal responsibility.  The institution may supplement the award amount.  The award is for educational purposes and does not constitute an employee-employer relationship between the student and the American Heart Association.

Direct use of award funds to pay tuition is prohibited.  The AHA will not pay dependent allowances.

Students accepted into the program are responsible for arranging housing and transportation.

Total Annual Award Amount: $20,000 maximum per year for institution; $40,000 maximum for two-year award.

Duration: Two years to qualified institutions.

Up to 5 student fellows per institution allowed.

The student and the laboratory supervisor will determine the number of hours and days the student will spend in the laboratory.  The student is expected to devote full-time effort (40 hours per week) for a minimum of 10 week to laboratory activities.

Peer Review Criteria

Contacting AHA peer reviewers concerning your application is deemed a form of scientific misconduct and will result in the removal of your application from funding consideration and institutional notification of ethical concerns.

To judge the merit of the applicant for the award, reviewers must comment on the following criteria.


  1. Program organization -- selection process and monitoring of student progress
  2. Training opportunities for students
  3. Scientific and academic qualifications of faculty/leadership for the program
  4. Resources and funding available to students
  5. History of student research training/ability to attract students


  • The fellow cannot hold a comparable award as a source of supplementation.
  • An applicant may submit only one affiliate application per deadline.
  • Only one application for up to five fellowships per year per institution will be awarded.
  • New applications are allowed in the final year only.
  • Institutions may hold only one American Heart Association Undergraduate Student Research Program award at any given time. Note: The institutional representative listed as the principal investigator on a Undergraduate Student Research Program award may hold the award and, if eligible, an affiliate or national grant award at the same time.
  • An applicant who is unsuccessful in a competition may resubmit the same or similar application three times (the original plus two resubmissions). The same or similar application submitted for the fourth time will be administratively withdrawn

Need Help?

Select "For Scientists" under the "Funding Opportunities" tab for helpful information regarding:
  • AHA Research Policies and Procedures
  • Applicant Information Guide
  • FAQs
  • Login Issues
  • Membership/Application Fee
  • Resubmissions
Log in to Grants@Heart (opens in new window)
The Grants@Heart site is a web-based
system for application preparation,
submission, peer review, and awards

Required Documents

When completing an application for funding, the Applicant(PI) is required to submit certain documents.  In addition, other individuals (referred to as Third Parties) associated with the application will provide supporting documents.  All required documents must be uploaded to Grants@Heart by the applicant before the application can be submitted to the Grants Officer.  The G.O. is responsible for sign-off and submitting the application to AHA.  Toggle between the tabs above to view a complete list.

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

214-360-6107 Call 2 1 4 3 6 0 6 1 0 7 (Option 1)