Mentored Clinical and Population Research Award

Application Deadlines:

  • Founders Affiliate – Jan. 15, 2016
  • Great Rivers Affiliate Jan. 12, 2016
  • Greater Southeast Affiliate Jan. 15, 2016
  • Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Jan. 12, 2016
  • Midwest Affiliate Jan. 13, 2016
  • SouthWest Affiliate Jan. 14, 2016 
  • Western States Affiliate – Jan. 14, 2016 

Award Activation Date:  July 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 Rates


To encourage early career investigators who have appropriate and supportive mentoring relationships to engage in high quality introductory and pilot clinical studies that will guide future strategies for reducing cardiovascular disease and stroke while fostering new research in clinical and translational science, and encouraging community- and population-based activities.

This grant does not fund basic science or support senior researchers, but encourages mentoring of early career investigators.

Science Focus

Funding is available for research related to cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention or treatment, or to related clinical and public health problems, including multidisciplinary efforts.  Proposals are encouraged on provider behavior, patient behavior, behavioral outcomes, risk factor outcomes, disease outcomes, cost benefit analyses, efforts to evaluate outcomes of patient care delivery and patient/provider and/or system compliance and adherence to recommendations, as well as pilot clinical research studies that may provide preliminary data for larger-scale investigation. Studies using existing databases are also encouraged.  Ancillary studies or a clearly defined sub-study of an ongoing clinical research study are also encouraged. There must, however, be clear justification that the proposal is a sub-study and not a piece of an already funded project.

Target Audience

  • Healthcare professional with a masters or post-baccalaureate doctoral degree, including M.P.H., R.N., Pharm.D., M.D., D.O. or Ph.D.  
  • Interdisciplinary research teams are eligible.
Individuals are not eligible to be the principal investigator if they hold or have held:
  • Certain NIH awards (such as RO1, R21, PO1)
  • Certain AHA awards (BGIA, SDG, EIA, GIA); or
  • An award equivalent to any of the above (an independent investigator award) 


All applicants must  identify a sponsor with an earned doctorate and a track record of high quality clinical investigation.

Percent Effort

While no minimum percent effort is specified, the PI must demonstrate that adequate time will be devoted to ensure successful completion of the proposed project.


At the time of application, must have one of the following designations:
  • U.S. citizen
  • Permanent resident
  • Pending permanent resident.  Applicant 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 U.S. (having filed an Application for Employment form I-765)
  • E-3 Visa - specialty occupation worker
  • H1-B Visa - temporary worker in a specialty occupation
  • F-1 - Student Visa - temporary worker in a specialty occupation
  • J-1 Visa - exchange visitor
  • O-1 Visa - temporary worker with extraordinary abilities in the sciences
  • TN Visa - NAFTA Professional
  • G-4 Visa - family member of employee of international organizations and NATO

Awardee 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 before applying for American Heart Association funding.

Location of Work

The award may be completed at any accredited institution in the following funding component:

Founders - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont
Great Rivers - Delaware, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia
Greater Southeast - Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, U.S. Virgin Islands
Mid-Atlantic - District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina or Virginia
Midwest - Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin
SouthWest - Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming
Western States - Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington

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 Administration employees.

Funding is prohibited for awards at non-U.S. institutions. 

Annual Budget

$77,000 per year, including 10% institutional direct costs.

Salary/Fringe:  Up to 50% of total award may be used for salary and fringe benefits of the principal investigator, collaborating investigator(s), and other participants with faculty appointments, consistent with percent effort.

Project Support:  Project-related expenses, such as salaries of technical personnel essential to the conduct of the project, supplies, equipment, travel, volunteer subject costs, and publication costs. 
  • Travel is limited to $3,000 per year
  • International travel is permitted without prior AHA approval.

Award Duration:  Two years

Total Award Amount:  $154,000


  • An investigator may not hold more than one AHA award concurrently.

a) An investigator may hold two AHA grants (affiliate and association-wide) concurrently if all three apply:
  1. There will be no more than six months remaining on the initial award.
  2. The projects have no overlap in specific aims.
  3. There is no budgetary overlap between the two projects.
b) Awardees from all affiliates may hold this award concurrently with the association-wide Innovative Research Grant.
  • An applicant may submit only one affiliate application per deadline. If eligible, an applicant may simultaneously submit an application to an affiliate and to the association-wide award program.  The proposed research plan may need to be adjusted based upon different length of award and dollars available. The deadline dates may be different for each submission.  If both are funded, the applicant must choose one award.
  • 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.

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.

This grant is not intended to fund basic science or to support senior researchers. Rather, it encourages the mentoring of early career clinical and population research investigators.

To judge the merit of the application, reviewers will comment on the following criteria. Please be sure that you and your sponsor or co-investigator fully address these in your proposal:
  1. Investigator:  Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers?  Do the investigative team and sponsor bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project?  Will this grant support the investigator's further development into an independent investigator?
  2. Environment:  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is the strength and nature of the mentoring relationship appropriate? Is there evidence of institutional support?
  3. Significance:  Does this study address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke?  If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods and technologies that drive this field?
  4. Approach:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well-reasoned and feasible (as determined by preliminary data) and appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?  Does the investigator have access to an appropriate population group for the study?  Does the investigator address issues of statistical power when appropriate? If the proposal is for a pilot study is there a rationale for development of more definitive studies?
  5. Innovation:  Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms and address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area?
  6. Impact: How does this project relate to and support the mission of the American Heart Association to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke?

Interim Reporting
Periodic reports and a final progress report from primary investigator(s) including research and training accomplishments, abstracts, and publications will be expected.

Publications, citations by others, ability to attract ongoing research funding, faculty advancement, and contribution of Association support to career advancement.

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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.

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

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