2024 Enduring Hearts Direct Grant Program: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Direct Grant Program?

Enduring Hearts, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, was established in 2013 with a mission to fund research to increase longevity and improve the quality of life for children with a transplanted heart.  

What are the specific areas of research that will be considered for funding?

Enduring Hearts Scientific Advisory Committee seeks to fund projects for up to 2 years that have a combination of the best science, innovation, and potential for impact. Optional third year for clinical studies must be applied for at the time of application. Specific areas of research in which Pediatric Heart Transplant Longevity can be improved include the following:

1. Improving Longevity while also improving the quality of post heart transplant life by reducing/eliminating rejection and Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy (CAV) by:

1.1 Integrating the multiple non-invasive surveillance methods, technologies, and biomarkers for development of algorithms that support EARLY identification of the onset of:

  1. Acute cellular rejection (ACR) versus antibody-mediated rejection (AMR)
  1. And/or cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV)  

1.2 Development of therapeutics and/or therapeutic strategies for acute cellular rejection (ACR), antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) and/or cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV)

1.3 Developing methods for monitoring and determining the optimal level of immunosuppression to prevent ACR, AMR, and/or CAV while reducing/eliminating secondary conditions that may arise due to immunosuppression (renal; infectious; malignancies)

1.4 Development and validation of better experimental models to study the underlying mechanisms, therapies, and/or prevention of CAV

2. Validation and implementation of evidence-based strategies to improve longevity of adolescent recipients including:

2.1 Technologies for improving transitioning from pediatric to adult care and/or improving medication adherence.

2.2 Implementation of evidence-based diverse psycho-social support methods including technologies, hosted peer action groups, virtual visit models and remote metrics.  

3. Identify and develop pre-transplant strategies, innovations or new technologies for children waiting for, and/or immediately following, a heart transplant that would improve post-transplant longevity including:

3.1 Applying advanced data analytics to better integrate extracardiac and cardiovascular candidate risk factors such as the degree of multiorgan dysfunction and frailty, race and ethnic group, and HLA and non-HLA sensitization.

3.2 Innovative strategies that would improve organ availability, matching, utilization, and allocation.

3.3 Pre-transplant modifications in donors or recipients to increase donor utilization and reduce or eliminate immunogenicity and/or incompatibility.

3.4 Promotion of evidence-based optimization and standardization of pre-transplant protocols including donor selection and management.

3.5 Pediatric scaled xenotransplantation, and/or tissue engineering.

Are there any additional priorities that are weighted in the decision?

Additional weighting is afforded to those research studies that have the potential to translate within the next five years, directly involves  pediatric heart transplant recipients and their families or would promote the standardization of post-transplant care of pediatric heart recipients.  

What is permissible to include in the budget request?  

  1. Enduring Hearts maximizes every dollar raised toward funding research. Indirect costs may be included in the grant proposal of no greater than 5%.  
  1. Grants with a budget range of $25,000-$150,000 will be considered.  
  1. No awards will be made for projects that receive overlapping funding from other sources (unless supplementary in nature) or that duplicate other projects already funded.  

What are the requirements for the investigator to receive the award?  

  1. If any member of the Enduring Hearts Scientific Advisory Committee should become materially involved with this research, your Institution should provide an acceptable conflict of interest mitigation plan for review to the officers on Enduring Hearts. This plan should address whether the doctor(s) involved with Enduring Hearts that are also participating in the research will receive any other non-monetary benefits because of their participation in the research; it should address the process or procedure the Institution will use in overseeing the proposed conflict of interest mitigation plan, if applicable.  
  1. Primary Investigator agrees to provide Enduring Hearts with 2-3 page biannual scientific progress reports with an accompanying general audience summary. Information shall be treated as confidential, unless otherwise discussed/agreed. The general audience summary may be shared with families and the Board of Directors of Enduring Hearts.
  1. Acknowledgment of Enduring Hearts support should be made in any publication or presentation resulting from this award, with logo as appropriate. Acknowledgement should read as follows: "This work was supported by an Award from Enduring Hearts.” Investigators are strongly encouraged to provide Enduring Hearts with notification of presentations made. A copy of any publications should be sent to our grant’s administrators via e-mail: grants@enduringhearts.org
  1. Enduring Hearts may publish your name, project title and institutional affiliation except in purchased media advertising.  
  1. No awards will be made for projects that receive overlapping funding from other sources (unless supplementary in nature) or that duplicate other projects already funded. Notification of Enduring Hearts of the receipt of other financial support for this project or the intent to submit a proposal for such funding.  
  1. Enduring Hearts and the Institution acknowledge and agree that specific terms and conditions regarding title to inventions and discoveries made by applicant resulting from research performed with support from the Award may be subject to further negotiation by Enduring Hearts and applicant or his/her legal designee. The results of any negotiations shall in no way have any bearing or influence on the award decision.

LOI Guidelines

All interested Investigators for the Direct Grant Award must submit an LOI through our online application portal: APPLY HERE