Merit Award

Funding Agency:
American Heart Association

To fund investigators with stellar track records of accomplishment, demonstrated by federal or equivalent funding [NIH, AHRQ, HRSA, etc.] from multiple sources and excellent publication records with substantial impact, who have the potential to move a field of science forward with creative approaches that are aligned with the mission of the American Heart Association: To be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

This award supports exceptional scientists with established track records of success, who propose novel approaches to major research challenges in the areas of cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular disease that have the potential to produce unusually high impact. This competition will enable AHA to further develop and strengthen the community of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular researchers and bring innovative approaches to basic, clinical, population and translational studies through funding a variety of disciplines. Applications are encouraged from all basic disciplines as well as epidemiological, behavioral, community and clinical investigations that bear on cardiovascular and stroke problems and must describe the capacity of the investigator’s work to transform fundamental scientific understanding, clinical practice, and/or public health policy.


  • Letter of Intent (required) - Thursday, July 13, 2023
  • Full Submission Deadline (for invited applicants only) - Thursday, August 24, 2023

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

It is anticipated this award will be given to applicants with the following or equivalent credentials:

  • PhD and/or MD (or the equivalent).
  • Tenured or tenure-track professor (exceptional associate professors may be considered) at an eligible nonprofit U.S. institution or, if at an eligible institution that has no tenure track, hold an appointment that reflects a significant institutional commitment at the time of the application deadline. (Federal government employees are not eligible.)
  • Principal investigator on multiple active, national peer-reviewed research awards of at least three years’ duration, such as an NIH R01 grant, at the time of application. Mentored awards, career development and training grants do not qualify.

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 I765)
  • H1-B Visa - temporary worker in a specialty occupation
  • J-1 Visa - Note: You must have an H-1B or equivalent by the award activation date. If the H1B or equivalent is not received by the award activation date, the award must be relinquished.
  • O-1 Visa - temporary worker with extraordinary abilities in the sciences
  • G-4 Visa - employee of international organizations and NATO family member
  • TN Visa - NAFTA Professional
  • E-3 Visa - specialty occupation worker

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.



Amount Description

  • Awards are for a five-year period
  • $200,000 annually for 5 years = $1,000,000 per award
  • Budget can cover costs such as PI salary/fringe; salaries/fringe of lab personnel; other expenses such as laboratory costs; animal costs; human subject recruitment/reimbursement; travel; publication costs, etc.
  • Indirect costs are limited to 10 percent of the annual award total

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

July 13, 2023