Internal Deadline: Contact ORIF.
LOI: Prospective applicants are requested to submit a Letter of Intent for any AHA Strategically Focused Research Network offering.
External Deadline: The American Heart Association has rolling deadlines throughout the year. If your proposal is unsuccessful, you are encouraged to reapply the next time the program is offered if you continue to meet the application requirements. New deadline dates are generally posted with several months’ notice.
Estimated Number of Awards: 3-5
Anticipated Award Amount: $12-20 million
Who May Serve as PI: Directors and Principal Investigators of projects of the Centers
- Must possess an MD, PhD, DO, DVM or equivalent doctoral degree at time of application, and
- Must have a faculty or staff appointment.
- May hold another AHA award simultaneously.
- Must demonstrate a 20% minimum effort requirement for the Director, a 5% minimum effort for the Training Director and a 10% minimum effort requirement for Principal Investigators (PI) of Center projects. These responsibilities are mutually exclusive.
Process for Limited Submissions
PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal: https://orif.usc.edu/oor-portal/.
Materials to submit include:
- (1) Single Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 1-page limit will be excluded from review.
- (2) CV – (5 pages maximum)
Note: The portal requires information about the PIs and Co-PIs in addition to department and contact information, including the 10-digit USC ID#, Gender, and Ethnicity. Please have this material prepared before beginning this application.
A Strategically Focused Research Network (SFRN) is a mechanism that provides AHA an opportunity to address key strategic issues as determined by the AHA Board of Directors. Specific SFRNs focus on the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a particular research topic of interest. Three to five (3-5) Research Centers will make up the Network (diagrammed in Figure 1 for illustrative purposes) and will be supported for a period of four (4) years. These Centers will constitute the Network and will be awarded a total of $12-20 million over that period (including costs for Network oversight and administration). The desired characteristics of these Centers, the general requirements of the application, and the peer review criteria are described in this document.
Centers seek to have basic, clinical and/or population/behavioral health teams join together and submit proposals which address the designated topic via their individual areas of expertise. A Center may be sited at one or at multiple U.S. institutions under the leadership of one. Each Center applies for funding individually and is peer reviewed by the AHA. The most meritorious Center applications and their research projects will be combined by the AHA to form an AHA Strategically Focused Research Network. Broad collaborations for expertise are highly encouraged. For example: a basic project could come from laboratory X in Delaware; a clinical project from hospital Y in Texas and a population/ translational project from University Z in California, with the primary applicant being any of these institutions.
It should be noted that the increased availability of consumer-oriented health tools and social media, among others, has created new opportunities for natural experiments and novel interventions that could inform the development of effective health behavior change strategies that might improve disparities in risk factor control or enhance patient recovery. Multidisciplinary research that takes advantage of such innovative tools could also fall within the scope of these Networks. Furthermore, collaboration is encouraged with social and behavioral scientists, health policy experts, community-facing organizations and other experts to identify programs that effectively aid individuals in beneficial lifestyle modifications or engage clinical interventions in a fashion that unequivocally reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke or improves outcomes after an event.
The Network will include:
- Three-five (3-5) Centers working together to advance research on the designated topic
- One (1) Oversight Advisory Committee
- Post-doctoral fellows over the course of four years, refer to the RFA on the number required at each Center.
- Each Center must have research projects in any of the following science disciplines as mandated by each RFA: basic, clinical, population. All will focus on the determined research area or disease.
Each Center will:
- Conduct synergistic research projects of scope equivalent to a R01
- Provide a training program for fellows; training Center-funded postdoctoral fellows during the period of the award
- Be linked to the other Centers by AHA-organized interactions and meetings with the intent to accelerate exchange of ideas, encourage sharing of commonly-useful knowledge and methods, facilitate collaboration, and provide networking opportunities for trainees
- Report annually on its efforts towards integration with the other centers, as well as observations on successes/challenges of such integration
- Interact as part of the AHA Strategically Focused Research Network according to the Collaboration Expectations outlined in this RFA and further defined by the Oversight Advisory Committee
The AHA intends to fund three-five (3-5) Centers that will encompass the following goals:
- Accelerate generation of important, novel ideas
- Answer significant questions addressing gaps in knowledge
- Yield important gains in knowledge and research capacity (developing new investigators is one such gain)
- Link research and training components through the program
- Prioritize multidisciplinary approaches with frequent collaborative interactions within the Centers and across the Network
- Demonstrate productive and effective data collection and evaluation
- Demonstrate the effectiveness or the applicability of clinical findings in clinical, public health or community-based settings such as workplaces, schools, churches or other “real-life” settings
It is anticipated that the results of the funding and formation of an AHA Strategically Focused Research Network will:
- Produce a cadre of new investigators who will energize the field of research and generate an expansion of the numbers of such investigators in later years
- Produce new research results based on the initial ideas of the funded Centers and on ideas generated by the collaboration of the Centers and their investigators
- Provide insights into and report on both successful mechanisms for and the challenges to active collaboration
- Identify programs that focus on the designated research topic/disease to reduce gender, racial and ethnic disparities through a variety of approaches that could include seeking better understanding of disease etiology, pathophysiology, treatment, prevention and health care delivery across the lifespan
Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.