American Heart Association Preaward

Page Updated: February 3rd, 2017

In Fall 2008, the American Heart Association (AHA) released Grants@Heart, a new system for proposal submission and award management. If you are planning to submit an application to the AHA, please see below for information about the application/funding process.

Note that the AHA has extensive information on their website. Go to: http://my.americanheart.org/professional/Research/FundingOpportunities/ForScientists/For-Scientists_UCM_316962_SubHomePage.jsp

Ohio State University also has excellent information about the AHA system. See: http://rf.osu.edu/grants@heart/

The Application and Membership Fee Process

What are the new fees/membership dues and do they apply to me?
Effective with the winter 2012 deadlines, each AHA applicant is required to either be an American Heart Association Professional Member or to pay $100 per application submission. This fee helps to defray the administrative cost of processing applications, making more funds available for research awards.

A new Membership/Application Fee page has been added to the AHA application form in Grants@Heart. From this page, one may click a link to renew or join AHA Professional Membership. Membership tiers start at $75.

Undergraduate Student Program applications are exempt from application or membership fee requirements.

At what membership level should I join?
Application fees are waived at the minimum membership level of $75. Talk with your Dean’s office to determine if a different membership level is appropriate for you based on your involvement with the American Heart Association programs.

What kind of funds can I use to pay for the application or membership fee?
Discretionary funds can be used to pay the membership or application fees. These funds include, but are not limited to: gift funds (233), federal f&a return funds (150), and general purpose revenue funds (101).

Can I use my AHA award to pay for the application or membership fee?
Yes, you can use your AHA award to pay for the AHA membership fee. However, you cannot use the award to pay for an application fee.

Can I use any sponsored funds to pay for the application or membership fee?
No. Federal guidelines specifically prohibit payment of membership fees as direct costs on awards.

Can I use a P-card to pay for the membership fee?
P-cards cannot be used to pay for an initial membership, however can be used to pay for membership renewals. Initial memberships must be paid for by an individual and reimbursed by the department with a direct payment.

Can I use a P-card to pay for the application fee?
Yes, P-cards can be used to pay for the application fee.

If I pay for the application or membership fee myself, how can I be reimbursed?
Your department will reimburse you with a direct payment from a discretionary fund.

Can I pay the membership/application fee after the application is submitted?
No. Until the applicant joins/renews their AHA Membership or pays the application fee they will not be able to submit the application to the Grants Officer (RSP). Please follow these application steps carefully:

  • Start your application in Grants@Heart early. Membership confirmation generally takes 3 days to receive confirmation. In the event you have not received confirmation there is a “quick shortcut” available within the grants system.
  • Complete your application in Grants@Heart and forward it to the Institutional Grants Officer (RSP).
  • Create and route a WISPER record with the finalized forms and documents attached. Once RSP receives the approved WISPER record we will submit the application to AHA on your behalf.

To whom should we direct questions?
Questions regarding application submissions can be directed to:

  • Your Dean's Office
  • RSP - Email PreAward - Darlene Holte (890-3509) or Brenda Egan (262-9029)

Questions regarding membership/application fees can be directed to:

  • Your Dean's Office
  • Bonniejean Zitske (262-9727)

Click Here for a list of FAQs prepared by AHA.

About the Application Process

What browser should I be using for the Grants@Heart system?
PC users must use Internet Explorer, and Mac users must use Safari. Other browsers will not work.

Does the Grants@Heart system time out?
The Grants@Heart system times out after 30 minutes of inactivity.

Who should be selected as Grants Officer? Fiscal Officer?
Applicants need to be sure to select Kim Moreland as the Grants Officer and Robert Andresen as the Fiscal Officer. (Please be careful when selecting the Fiscal Officer’s name. Note the spelling of the last name.)

How will RSP know when my application is ready to submit to AHA?
Once all application components are completed, the PI will press a button “Submit to Grants Officer,” which will notify RSP by e-mail that an application is ready for institutional review.

Do I need to route a WISPER record for my application?
Yes, a WISPER record must be routed for each application that’s entered into the Grants@Heart system. To ensure that the record is matched with the correct application, include the AHA Application ID in the Sponsor Reference Number field. The WISPER record must be routed through the Dean’s office before RSP can submit your application to AHA.

Who can make changes to my AHA application in the Grants@Heart system?
Grants@Heart does not allow for changes to be made by anyone other than the PI, including the Dean’s office and RSP.

What if something in the application needs to be changed?
In their review, if the Grants Officer identifies something in the application needs to be changed, then the application will be rejected. This will enable the PI to access the application. The PI must make corrections, and then click on “Submit to Grants Officer” again.

How do I know if AHA has received my application?
You will receive an e-mail confirmation from AHA once your application has been successfully submitted.

Can my application be modified after it’s been submitted to AHA?
Once the Grants Officer has submitted an application to AHA, it CANNOT be modified. There is NO window for corrections.

How many times may I resubmit an application?
An application may be submitted up to three times (the original plus two resubmissions).

I thought I saved my publication in the Science and Evaluation information section, but it wasn’t there when I checked. How can I get it to save?
The file name may be too long. Rename the file (less than 30 characters) and try to upload it again.

I only have one (or two) publications. How can I get the Publications section to save?
Each of the three areas must have an upload. If you do not have three publications, then create a PDF document that says, “Not Available.” Upload one or two as necessary to satisfy the system. Save each one.

What if a Third Party is having problems accessing my application?
American Heart Association applications have a role for Third Parties (e.g., Department Head, Referent, Sponsor). The type of Third Party involved depends on the type of application being submitted. Third parties are required to provide certain information to support an application; to do so, they must go into the Grants@Heart system and upload information (a form or letter, etc.).

When an applicant creates an application, s/he is responsible for entering the Third Parties. Once a person is entered as a Third Party in an AHA application, s/he will receive an e-mail notice informing her/him of this.

In ANY situation, it is critical that the first/last names and e-mail address for the Third Party entered by the applicant matches information in the Third Party's account. The first/last names and e-mail address are essential to link a Third Party's account to an application.

If a Third Party is not sure if they've used AHA's Grants@Heart site before:

If the Third Party is not sure whether they have been to AHA's site before, they should go to the link that says "DID YOU FORGET YOUR ID OR PASSWORD?" (beneath the Login) and click on it. This will bring up another screen. Use the right-hand side which says Forgot Username and Password. After the Third Party enters First/Last Names & E-mail Address, they will receive an e-mail with their User ID and Password. Once they receive their User ID and Password, they should go into the e-mail they received that informed them they were a Third Party. They should use the link in the e-mail to log in to the Grants@Heart system. Using the link to log in will provide them the appropriate access to upload the document(s) to the application.

If a Third Party had an account in the previous AHA online system, but has NOT used the Grants@Heart system:

If a Third Party had an account in the previous AHA online system, but has NOT used the Grants@Heart system, they should go to the link that says "DID YOU FORGET YOUR ID OR PASSWORD?" (beneath the Login) and click on it. This will bring up another screen. Use the right-hand side which says Forgot Username and Password. After the Third Party enters First/Last Names & E-mail Address, they will receive an e-mail with their User ID and Password. Once they receive their User ID and Password, they should go into the e-mail they received that informed them they were a Third Party. They should use the link in the e-mail to log in to the Grants@Heart system. Using the link to log in will provide them the appropriate access to upload the document(s) to the application.

If a Third Party has used the AHA Grants@Heart system and DOES NOT remember their User ID/Password:

See instructions for “If a Third Party had an account in the previous AHA online system, but has NOT used the Grants@Heart system.”

If a Third Party has used the AHA Grants@Heart system and DOES remember their User ID/Password:

They should go into the e-mail they received that informed them they were a Third Party. They should use the link in the e-mail to log in to the Grants@Heart system. Using the link to log in will provide them the appropriate access to upload the document(s) to the application.

If a Third Party has NEVER used an AHA online system before:

They should go into the e-mail they received that informed them they were a Third Party and use the link in the e-mail to register for the Grants@Heart system. They should then receive two subsequent e-mails from AHA: the first acknowledges the registration, and the second confirms that the registration has been authenticated. The e-mail will contain their User ID and a temporary password. With this information, they should use the link in the e-mail that informed them of their role as a Third Party to log in to the Grants@Heart system. Using the link to log in will provide them the appropriate access to upload the document(s) to the application.

My Third Party can access my application. How does s/he upload the supporting document?
Once a Third Party is able to log in to the Grants@Heart System, then they should see beside "Welcome (name): User Profile" a drop-down that displays a choice for them to choose from (Department Head, Consultant, Referent, Principal Investigator, etc. - depending upon how many applicants they are associated with). When they choose a User Profile (e.g., Referent) from the drop-down, a page will be displayed with Supporting Documents on the left-hand navigation. If they click on Supporting Documents and Upload Supporting Documents under that, they will see application ID's, names, etc., with an Upload button beside it. Click on the Upload button and then a page is displayed for the document(s) they will need to upload.

About the Award Process

Has my application been funded?
After the AHA has reviewed all applications and made decisions about which ones to fund, they will send an e-mail message to each applicant. The e-mail notice will look something like this:

AHA Application #0930279N

Dear John Doe,

The peer review of your application to the AHA NCRP Scientist Development Grant program is complete. Please login to Grants@Heart and view the status of your application. If you need assistance, please send an email to awards@heart.org

CLICK HERE TO LOGIN ( http://research.americanheart.org/ris )

This is an automatically-generated message. Do not reply directly to this message!

To find out if your application has been funded, you will need to log into the system.

What does an award notification look like?
If your application has been funded, you will find an award letter. It should look like this.

What should I do now that I know my application was funded?
Please be sure to upload a copy of the award notification letter to the WISPER record.

At this point, AHA requires that you submit several forms.

What forms do I need to submit and how should they be submitted?
You will need to print the Award Agreement Form and the Grantee Release Form, as they require original signatures. The Award Agreement Form requires a signature from RSP. The other activation forms (Acceptance Form, Project Budget, etc.) need to be submitted online.

What information should be entered on the Award Agreement Form?
Complete the top part of the form. The AHA Reference Number can be found at the top of the award notification letter. For RSP, on the right side of the form, enter the following information:

Who needs to sign the Acceptance Form?
In addition to the Awardee and Department Head signatures, the Award Agreement Form must be signed by an Authorized Official at RSP. You need to make sure to provide the form to RSP with sufficient time to return it to AHA by the deadline. You may choose to pick up the fully signed form and send it back to AHA yourself, or you may ask RSP to send it back to AHA on your behalf. If the deadline is imminent, please provide an overnight delivery slip. The Grantee Release Form only needs the Awardee’s signature. It can be sent either with the Award Agreement Form or independently.

My budget needs to be approved. Who does the approval?
Once you find out your grant has been funded, you will submit your Project Budget online. After you do so, RSP will receive a message that looks like this:

Dear Kim Moreland,

The project budget has been submitted for your review on award 0910248G – John Smith. Login to the Grants@Heart electronic system to review the project budget. The budget should meet institutional requirements as well as AHA standards and guidelines. Please contact us at awards@heart.org if you have questions or need additional information.

Click Here to Login

This is an automatically-generated message. Do not reply directly to this message!

If you received a similar message, please forward it to your Dean’s office. RSP will forward any such messages to the Dean’s office, which has the responsibility of approving your budget.

I received a message that Bank Information has not been submitted. What should I do?
You will get a message stating that Bank Information will need to be entered for your award. It will look like this:

AHA Award #0910103G

Dear Jane Smith,

This is a reminder that the following award forms for your AHA Midwest Predoctoral Fellowship titled ABC have not been submitted:

Bank Information

Please submit the missing items as soon as possible. The AHA requests all original signatures on the Award Agreement and Grantee Release forms. The Bank Information must be submitted by your grants officer.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Awards Administration at awards@heart.org. Please be advised that award payments may be held pending receipt of some award forms.

This is an automatically-generated message. Do not reply directly to this message!

If you receive such a message, please forward it to preaward@rsp.wisc.edu. RSP will enter the information for you.

I received the award notification and submitted all my paperwork to AHA, but my award hasn’t been set up yet. What’s the hold up?
Prior to an award being set up, the Projects tab of the WISPER record needs to be completed. Any compliance protocols need to include this specific project/sponsor. Be sure to have the compliance protocols updated and attached to the WISPER record. Also, make sure that your budget has been approved in the Grants@Heart system. Check with your departmental administrator or the RSP Pre-Award staff person assigned to your record to find out if anything is missing that’s preventing the award set up.

About the Award Management Process

I received an e-mail saying that my financial status report is overdue. What should I do?
Forward the message to the RSP Post-Award Accountant who manages your award.

Who prepares financial reports for AHA awards?
RSP Post-Award Accountants prepare the annual financial reports. After the RSP accountant has submitted the report online, the Grants@Heart system sends an e-mail to the PI. The PI is then responsible for reviewing and approving the report. If the PI wishes to carryover $10,000 or more, s/he must provide justification with the financial report. Note that financial reports are generally not required for fellowships.

My award is supposed to last for two (or more) years, but WISDM only shows the first year. Why is that happening?
During the first year of an AHA award, only the first year’s funding can be spent. Each subsequent year is set up when funding for it has been released. About 60 days prior to the start of a subsequent year of funding, send an e-mail to the RSP Post-Award Accountant who manages your award to let them know that the upcoming year should be activated.

I want to continue my award past the official end date. What should I do?
In their final year, award recipients (except fellows) may request a twelve-month extension. You should request an extension prior to the official end date for your award, about 90 days prior to the end. To request an extension, you should follow the instructions provided by the Center/Affiliate funding the award.