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2019 Merit Award Invited Applicant Instructions

Invited applicants must submit AHA Merit Award applications for funding by Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 5 p.m. CT. Applications must be submitted via Grants@Heart by the institution’s Grants Officer.

Submit the application your institution’s Grants Officer in enough time to allow them to review and submit it to the AHA by the stated deadline.

Log on to Grants@Heart and navigate as follows:
Application Administration > Manage Existing Applications

  1. Your Merit Award application will be listed on the screen. Click “Update”
  2. Two sections of the application will require additional uploads. Use the navigation list on the left side of the screen for easy access to the Science/Evaluation and Supporting Documentation sections.

Uploads Required for Invited Applicants

Science/Evaluation Section

  1. Major Research Achievements (1 page limit)
    A summary of the applicant’s major research achievements. This should be written so that a non-scientist reviewer can readily understand the summary.
  2. Ongoing and Planned Research Progress and Future Vision (8 page limit)
    A summary of the applicant’s ongoing and planned research program and a statement of why the AHA should support the applicant’s research (not more than 8 pages; references and up to one page of figures are counted toward the page limit).

    This section should build upon the letter of intent by focusing on how the proposed research would:
    • transform and advance the future of CV and stroke science.
    • move into emerging and/or difficult areas of inquiry, being consistently at its forefront.
    • develop new tools and methods to support creative experimental approaches to questions, encompassing concepts or techniques from other disciplines.
    • forge links between disparate disciplines.
    • allow for collaboration with other distinguished scientists across disciplines.
    • generate original and innovative contributions.

  3. Summary of past efforts in support of the AHA programs and initiatives and plan for future service as an ambassador in support of the AHA mission (1 page limit)
  4. Top 15 Bibliography (optional replacement)
    You may leave the Top 15 Bibliography that you submitted for your Letter of Intent. If you wish to replace this document, please email a pdf of your revised list with your application ID number to

Supporting Documentation Section

Reference Letter 1, 2 (4 page limit for each)
Two references are required from those selected to submit a full application. Create two separate uploads. Each letter is limited to four pages. Reference letters are due by 5 p.m. CST on Thursday, October 11, 2018.

Format/Type Requirements

The required uploads must each be created as word-processed documents, converted to Portable Document Format (PDF) files, and uploaded within Grants@Heart.

You must comply exactly with the AHA's format/type requirements and page limits. Failure to comply will result in the administrative withdrawal (disqualification) of the application.

  • Only Portable Document Format (PDF) files will be accepted.
  • LOI 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.
    • Windows users:    Arial Font style, 12 point font size
    • Macintosh users:  Helvetica Font style, 12 point font size
  • Figures, charts, tables, graphics and legends may be smaller in size but must be clear and legible.
  • Three-page limit, after converting your document to a pdf.
Note: the Grants@Heart electronic system will reject a document that exceeds the 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. Reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites. Moreover, 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.