Early Career Investigator Research Opportunities

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association® (AHA/ASA) greatly value the development of Early Career Professionals. Investigator-led research opportunities are provided through a limited number of Early Career Investigator Database Research Seed Grants (ECI Grants) using data from AHA/ASA Quality Improvement Programs, including Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG).

For many professionals, these ECI Grants serve as stepping stones to future opportunities in research, collaboration and scientific advancement. The ECI Grant recipient will receive AHA/ASA national level oversight as well as valuable GWTG Committee leadership and mentorship from key volunteer physicians.

For the AHA/ASA, these ECI Grants provide a step forward in our mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

About the Get With The Guidelines® Database:

Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG) is a hospital-based quality improvement program designed to close the treatment gap in cardiovascular disease, stroke, and resuscitation. It includes modules in atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, heart failure, resuscitation and stroke.

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) collects millions of patient records in our Quality Programs, creating vast databases for advancing scientific research. Data is collected at the patient level in hospitals participating in AHA/ASA Quality programs. Patients entered in the database are from U.S. hospitals only. Data is patient and hospital de-identified at an aggregate level.

Each program provides physicians and healthcare providers with materials, information and tools based on relevant evidence based guidelines. Using standard protocols in the hospital setting will help ensure that cardiovascular disease patients are placed on appropriate medications, informed of recommended behavioral modifications, and improve the rate of intervention with cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients both in-hospital and post-discharge to reduce the incidence of CVD events.

Who is Eligible for the AHA/ASA Early Career Investigator Database Research Seed Grant:

Investigators eligible to apply for the ECI Grant are PhDs and/or MDs who are current residents, fellows in training or have completed training within the last 5 years, or other doctoral prepared professionals who are early in their career development and have interest in cardiovascular or stroke research.

Applicants must have one of the following citizenship designations:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Permanent resident
  • Pending permanent resident (must have filed Form I-485 for permanent resident status and obtained an I-797C Notice of Action that the application has been received by USCIS and case is pending)
  • E-3 Visa - specialty occupation worker
  • F-1 Visa - student (predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows only)
  • G-4 Visa - family member of an international organization employee
  • H1-B Visa - temporary worker in a specialty occupation
  • J-1 Visa - exchange visitor (for non-training awards, you must have obtained an H-1B or equivalent)
  • O-1 Visa - temporary worker with extraordinary abilities in the sciences
  • TN Visa - NAFTA Professional
  • DACA - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Trainees are not required to reside in the United States for any period before applying. 

One of the designations listed above must be maintained throughout the duration of the project.

How To Develop and Submit a Research Proposal for the ECI Grant:

Study questions (hypotheses) need to be developed within the context of data acquired through the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines® program. The applicant should review the data elements collected across each of the available programs:

Longitudinal data post discharge is not available. 

To avoid developing a proposal that overlaps previous work, it will also be helpful to review prior Quality Research Publications.

Complete the Research Proposal Form (Document) and send to [email protected]. Also include a current Curriculum Vitae. Please ensure the Research Proposal Form is completely and thoroughly filled out with details and suggested tables and charts.

Award Details and Deadlines:

The Get With The Guidelines - Resuscitation Adult deadline has been extended to January 15, 2023! 

AHA Early Career Investigator Database Seed Grant will now be awarded once per year. Proposals must be submitted by Oct 16th each year to [email protected]

Applicants may submit one proposal per module.

One ECI Grant will be awarded per program per year, if feasible. Applicants for all modules will be notified about 60 days after the cycle close.

The ECI Grant provides reimbursement of expenses up to $1,500 for the recipient to present the research results at a national scientific conference, and also includes journal publication expenses if the awardee meets required writing deadlines.

The grant also provides statistical analysis and GWTG program leadership and mentorship.

Previous Early Career Investigator Awardees

Funding Sources

The AHA/ASA and its Scientific Councils greatly value the development of young clinical investigators and assist in the funding support of these ECI Grants. 

Quality Research Data Request Forms and publication information

Contact [email protected] for more information

More information on all programs can be found here.

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Other Resources for Early Career Investigators