American Heart Association Cardiometabolic Health with a focus on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Strategically Focused Research Network Solicitation

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary 

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.

This Strategically Focused Research Network supports a collaboration of basic, clinical and population researchers from different disciplines whose collective efforts will enhance the understanding of the etiology, biological pathways and modifiable risk factors associated with cardiometabolic disorders with a particular focus on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), and will lead to innovative and breakthrough discoveries for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and related cardiometabolic health disorders. The intent of this initiative is to support a collaboration of basic, clinical and population researchers from different disciplines whose collective efforts will lead to new approaches to the study of cardiometabolic health and T2DM. Each Center must have two to three (2-3) research projects from two to three of these disciplines: basic, clinical, and population science. All projects must focus on cardiometabolic health and T2DM. Population studies are inclusive of projects ranging from cohort studies to translational work involving community interventions. All projects must address health and health care disparities and/or health equity.

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. A Center’s application can consist of three (3) proposals from their one (1) institution; or they can reach out and bring in other projects from other institutions. 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.

Each Center will:

  • Conduct three (3) synergistic research projects of scope equivalent to a R01
  • Provide a training program for fellows; training three (3) 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

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.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST June 11, 2019

Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline (requested, but not required): June 25, 2019

Sponsor Application Deadline: August 13, 2019

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (3 pages maximum): Include the following: center science vision and synergy, information regarding current research or recent successes in desired topic of the RFA, description of the multidisciplinary training program for the AHA Strategically Focused Research Center two-year fellowships and information on current training programs and training grants, short description of each of the three synergistic research projects within the proposed center (include importance/relevance to the field of interest outlined in RFA, project aims, approach, etc.).
  • Project Team (2 pages maximum): Provide name, title, institution, and role of each team member, and short description demonstrating the qualifications of each team member to successfully carry out the proposed work. This should include the Center Director, Training Director, and PIs for each of the three research projects within the Center.
  • Center Director CV
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


AHA SFRN 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.

Each Center application should have only one (1) Center Director.

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.

Center Director

  • Must demonstrate expertise in the designated research topic, with demonstrated ability to build a Center team.
  • Should demonstrate a successful history of leadership in a research project team and in career development. A clear demonstration of the Director’s commitment to integration with the other Centers is required.
  • May also serve as a Project PI on the Center application.
  • May also serve as Training Director on the Center application.
  • Experience in multi-institutional collaboration is encouraged.
  • May not serve in a director capacity on another active or proposed Network.

Training Director

  • Should demonstrate a successful history of leadership in career development. A clear demonstration of the Director’s commitment to integration with the other Centers is required. May also serve as a Project PI on the Center Application.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An institution may submit only one AHA strategically focused research network application for any SFRN competition.

Award Information

Award Amount: $3,445,000 maximum

Award Duration: 4 years with the opportunity for up to a 12-month No-Cost Extension.

Expected Number of Awards: 1-8