Application Information

Rapid Response Grant:
COVID-19 and Its Cardiovascular Impact

The American Heart Association is accepting applications for an unprecedented rapid response call for cardiovascular/cerebrovascular research proposals to address the growing crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deadline is Monday, April 6, 2020 at 5 p.m. CDT
Information and instructions for applying

Grants@Heart to Retire 
AHA’s Grants@Heart system has served us well for over 10 years, and it’s time to adopt a new system to manage research applications, peer review, and awards. We are excited to announce that the AHA will transition to ProposalCentral, a popular grants management system that many researchers might already be familiar with. ProposalCentral is an e-grantmaking website shared by many government, non-profit, and private granting organizations. Moving to a new system will allow the AHA to retire older technology tools and integrate with the ORCID system, which provides a persistent digital identifier (an ORCID ID) that researchers will own and control. The AHA will stop using Grants@Heart at the end of April and start using ProposalCentral in May.

for awards that will begin in calendar year 2021

2020-2021 AHA Research Funding Application Deadlines*
for award start dates in calendar year 2021
 ProgramLetter of Intent Deadline
(If required)
Application DeadlineAward Start Date
AHA Predoctoral Fellowship Wed, Sept  9, 2020Jan 1, 2021
AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship Thurs, Sept 10, 2020Jan 1, 2021
Institutional Undergraduate Student Training Program Tues, Sept 15, 2020Jan 1, 2021
Merit AwardRequired by
Thurs, Oct 1, 2020
Invited Applicants:
Tues, Nov 10, 2020
April 1, 2021
Established Investigator AwardRequired by
Wed, Oct 14, 2020
Invited Applicants:
Thurs, Jan 14, 2021
April 1, 2021
Career Development Award Thurs, Dec 3, 2020April 1, 2021
 AHA Institutional Research Enhancement Award (AIREA)  Tues, Jan 12, 2021April 1, 2021
Innovative Project AwardRequired by
Tues, Nov 3, 2020
Invited Applicants:
Tues, Feb 2, 2021
July 1, 2021
Transformational Project Award Tues, Feb16, 2021July 1, 2021
Collaborative Sciences  AwardRequired by
Thurs, Jan 7, 2021
Invited Applicants:
Tues, March 16, 2021
July 1, 2021
Strategically Focused Research Funding Opportunities   

AHA and Enduring Hearts Research Awards in Pediatric Heart Transplantation

Required by
Mon, June 1, 2020
Invited Applicants:
Tues, Sept 1, 2020
Jan. 1, 2021
American Stroke Association-Bugher Foundation Centers of Excellence in Hemorrhagic Stroke Thurs, July 16, 2020Thurs, Aug 27, 2020Jan 1, 2021
AHA and Children’s Heart Foundation Congenital Heart Defects Research Awards Tues, Sept 22, 2020Jan 1, 2021
Cardio-Oncology Strategically Focused Research Network Tues, Oct 12, 2020Tues, Dec 8, 2020April 1, 2021
                                                                                                                                                    *Deadlines are subject to change. 

Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. CST on the deadline date. The system will shut down at 5 p.m. CST. Early submission is encouraged.

  • Supporting Documents (opens in a new window) lists the required uploads for each program.
  • View the detailed Applications Instructions (PDF).
  • Each applicant must be an AHA Professional Member.
    Join or renew when preparing an application, online, or by phone at 301-223-2307 or 800-787-8984. Membership processing takes 3-5 days; do not wait until the application deadline to renew or join.
  • ProposalCentral will open for submission approximately two months prior to each program’s deadline.

Upcoming Opportunities

AHA and Enduring Hearts Research Awards in Pediatric Heart Transplantation

Letter of Intent Deadline:  Monday, June 1, 2020

These awards provide support for investigators who are actively conducting research directly related to improving the life expectancy and quality of life of Pediatric Heart Transplant Recipients. This funding opportunity will further these areas of focus by offering competitive research grants in basic, clinical, population, and/or translational research via Collaborative Sciences Awards.

AHA Research Awards

The RFAs below will be updated by May 15, 2020 for awards that will begin in calendar year 2021. Application forms in ProposalCentral will be open for submissions approximately 60 days prior to each deadline or letter of intent deadline (when required).
AHA Predoctoral Fellowship

Enhances the training of promising students in pre-doctoral or clinical health professional degree training programs and who intend careers as scientists, physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists, or related careers aimed at improving global health and wellbeing.

AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship

Enhances the training of postdoctoral applicants who are not yet independent. The applicant must be embedded in an appropriate research group with the mentorship, support, and relevant scientific guidance of a research supervisor.

Institutional Undergraduate Student Fellowship

This award is made to qualified institutions that can offer a meaningful research experience that supports the AHA mission that encourages undergraduate college students from all disciplines to consider research careers.

AHA Institutional Research Enhancement Award (AIREA)

Supports small-scale research projects related to cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular disease at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. Supports the full range of research and development from very basic to clinical.

AHA Merit Award

Funds investigators with stellar track records of accomplishment, funding, and publications with substantial impact. Candidates have the potential to move a field of science forward with creative approaches that are aligned with the American Heart Association's mission: To be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

Collaborative Sciences Award

Fosters innovative, new collaborative approaches to research projects that propose novel pairings of investigators from at least two broad disciplines. The proposal must focus on the collaborative relationship, such that the scientific objectives could not be achieved without the efforts of at least two co- principal investigators and their respective disciplines. The combination and integration of studies may be inclusive of basic, clinical, population and/or translational research. Applications by existing collaborators are permitted, provided that the proposal is for a new idea or new approach that has not been funded before.

Career Development Award

Supports highly promising healthcare and academic professionals ,in the early years of one’s first professional appointment, to explore innovative questions or pilot studies that will provide preliminary data and training to assure the applicant’s future success as a research scientist in the field of cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular disease research.

Established Investigator Award

Support s mid-career investigators (typically at associate professor level) with unusual promise and established records of accomplishments; candidates have a demonstrated commitment to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular science disciplines that support the AHA’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives, as indicated by publication history and scientific accomplishments. A candidate's career is expected to be in a rapid growth phase.

Innovative Project Award

Funds ideas that may introduce new paradigms, challenge current paradigms, look at existing problems from new perspectives, or exhibit other uniquely creative qualities. Preliminary data is not required and not accepted as part of the proposal. However, a solid rationale for the work must be provided.

Transformational Project Award

Represents the second phase of a new idea; proposals should include preliminary data. Proposed work should be the next logical step of previous work and should already be revealing a high probability of revealing new avenues of investigation, if successful.

AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine (Institute) Awards

At the intersection of science and technology, the Institute fuels research breakthroughs in an effort to preserve and prolong health by more precisely predicting, preventing, and treating cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular diseases. The Institute's products, initiatives, and grants are centered on driving to the best precision care to improve health and quality of life, regardless of background, location or income. Strategic collaborations bring together diverse experts and individuals to advance precision medicine, from speeding the discovery of new precision treatments to empowering individuals to participate in precision care.

The Institute's Funding Opportunities Page lists grant mechanisms and deadlines.

Recent Special Programs

Strategically Focused Research Networks (SFRN)
Health Technology and Innovation (apps, wearables, equipment, etc.)
Letter of Intent (required): November 12, 2019
Invited Full Application Deadline: January 7, 2020

The AHA is interested in the science community exploring the etiology, prevention or treatment of cardiovascular disease or stroke in specific areas, which can assist the AHA in reaching its 2020 Goals and overall mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. A Network is comprised of three to five institutions, or Centers, working on projects focusing on one strategic area.

American Heart Association and Children’s Heart Foundation
Congenital Heart Defects Research Awards (CHDRAs)

Application Deadline: September 19, 2019
Award Start Date: January 1, 2020

The American Heart Association (AHA) and The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) announce this joint Request for Applications (RFA) to fund the AHA/CHF Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards (CHDRAs).  The AHA and CHF share common priorities and interests in investing in congenital heart defects (CHD) research.

Predoctoral Fellowships, Postdoctoral Fellowships, Career Development Awards, and Transformational Project Awards will be funded through this RFA.

In addition to the four funding mechanisms offered via this joint AHA-CHF Request for Applications, the AHA's Collaborative Sciences Award might also be of interest to applicants.

End the Lies: Youth Vaping and Nicotine Research Initiative 

Application Deadline:  January 7, 2020
Notification of Finalists: February 11, 2020
Invited Finalists Interviews: February 27, 2020
Announcement of Award(s): February/March 2020

The rapid pace of e-cigarette products entering the market without provision of essential safety information requires an equally rapid, ambitious, comprehensive response on the part of the research/scientific community. The AHA seeks to accelerate desperately needed answers about the health effects of e-cigarettes and other novel nicotine delivery devices (ENNDs) and how to prevent and/or reverse the developing epidemic of nicotine addiction, among children and youth (defined as 15-24 years of age). To that end, the AHA is committing up to $20 million to fund two or three (2-3) bold, ground-breaking research projects focused on the health impacts of nicotine and nicotine delivery products in children and youth.

Features of All AHA Awards

All AHA grants share the following features, unless noted in the program description:

  • AHA awards are open to an array of academic and health professionals. This includes but is not limited to all academic disciplines (biology, chemistry, mathematics, technology, physics, etc.) and all health-related professions (physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, dentists,physical and occupational therapists, statisticians, nutritionists, etc.).
  • American Heart Association research awards are limited to U.S.-based 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 (1) applications specifically related to the AHA’s Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine, and (2) Veterans Administration employees.
  • Clinical, translational, population, behavioral, and basic scientists are encouraged to apply.  AHA maintains dedicated Peer Review Committees by program type and science type.
  • Scientists whose projects involve coding and/or use large amounts of data are encouraged to apply and will be given access to the AHA Precision Medicine  Platform, a cloud based solution for data analysis.
  • AHA strongly encourages applications by  women, people in ethnic and racial groups underrepresented in science, and those who have experienced varied and non-traditional career trajectories.
  • Unless specified, no minimum percent effort is required; however, the Principal Investigator must demonstrate that adequate time will be devoted to ensuring successful completion of the project.
  • AHA project awards are fully transferrable to make the awardee a "free agent" who is empowered move to another qualified institution while retaining the award.
  • Unless specified, award budgets are unrestricted among allowable categories (salary/fringe of PI and essential personnel, supplies, equipment/computers, travel, human subjects, etc.).
  • Funds may be re-budgeted between categories without prior AHA approval.
  • Proposals for the Collaborative Sciences Award, Established Investigator Award, Innovative Research Award, Merit Award, and Strategically Focused Research Networks will follow a two-part application process. Part one is the submission of a letter of intent, applicant’s biosketch, and other preliminary documents, as requested.
  • An individual may hold more than one AHA award concurrently but may only hold one career development/recognition award (Career Development Award, Established Investigator Award, Merit Award, AHA Institutional Research Enhancement Award).
  • Strategically Focused Research Network personnel may hold individual AHA awards.

Video:  Research Opportunities from the American Heart Association

Steven R. Houser, PhD  and Ivor Benjamin, MD discuss a variety of initiatives planned for AHA research programs.