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Surgical Investigator Program

Applicant Requirements: Deadline ends at 11:59pm Eastern on 12/1/2024

Career Stage: Early Career Surgeons

Program Type: Flagship Program, Research Grant

Specialty: Research

Status: Upcoming

Opens: September 1, 2024

Deadline: December 2, 2024

Program Overview

The Surgical Investigator Program supports clinical and translational research by young cardiothoracic surgeons, including topics related to quality and outcomes research, and studies of new and innovative therapies, procedures, and technologies in cardiothoracic surgery.

Fall 2023 Available Awards

  • Roth AATS Foundation Surgical Investigator Award – open to proposals focused on Thoracic Surgical Oncology
  • AATS Foundation Surgical Investigator Awards – open to all subspecialties

Eligibility Requirements

  • Completed his/her formal training in cardiothoracic surgery and be certified or in the process of obtaining certification by the appropriate Thoracic Surgery Board in the United States, Canada or international equivalent.
  • Must have a current academic or hospital appointment at a U.S. or Canadian institution.
  • Candidates must have completed their cardiothoracic residency within 7 years of application.

Application Process

  • Biosketch.
  • Description of the proposed research, including background, specific aims, significance, and research plan (5 page limit).
  • Description of research facilities.
  • Detailed budget (up to 10% of the total funding can be used for indirect costs and/or overhead assessments).
  • Disclosure of other currently funded research projects and pending applications for support.
  • Letter of support from the Surgical Chief or Director of Laboratory where research will be conducted addressing his/her endorsement of proposal and feasibility of the research proposal being carried out.*
  • First most significant reprint.
  • Second most significant reprint.
  • One page statement describing the relationship of the proposed research to the applicant’s career goals.

*For those looking to send letters of support for the candidate directly to the AATS Foundation, please email


  • Applications for the Surgical Investigator Awards may request up to $50,000 per year for up to two years, two year proposals are preferred. For requests of more than one year, a progress report and request for additional funding are required prior to the end of the originally funded year. Additional funding will be made after review of the progress report.
  • All applications will be subjected to a rigorous peer-review process which will be established and overseen by the program's Review Committee.
  • If selected, the award will be paid to the successful applicant’s institution for support of salary, research supplies, travel, and other legitimate academic expenses.
  • The funding is to be used for initial support or for bridge funding for the continuation of a project between grants. Preliminary data and publications in the area of research will be required to assess feasibility.
  • After the research has concluded, investigators are required to submit a final report of their research activities and findings to the AATS Foundation Board.
  • All publications emanating from the research must include acknowledgement of the award.

Suggestions and Guidelines for Year One Progress Report

  • Briefly list the specific aims of the project.
  • Indicate what you expected to have done at this point in the project cycle.
  • Describe the barriers to progress to-date.
  • Update your project plans for the second year.
  • Indicate how you expect to continue or complete this research project.
  • Describe plans to submit a manuscript/grant proposal or some other tangible mark of progress in the coming months.
  • If available, submit any tables, figures or graphics from a report or paper you are working on.
  • Feel free to add any additional information that will support a second year of funding.

Thanks to the generosity of following supporters, the AATS Foundation has been able to fund numerous Surgical Investigators:

  • AATS
  • AATS Past Presidents
  • Angel Heart International
  • AstraZeneca
  • Ethicon
  • Honoring Our Mentors Lawrence H. Cohn Fund
  • Honoring Our Mentors Timothy J. Gardner Fund
  • Honoring Our Mentors Jack A. Roth Fund
  • Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
  • Mehmet C. Oz, MD
  • Merck
  • Texas Medical Center

All applicants will be notified with an official letter from the AATS Foundation within 2-3 months of the program deadline. Should you have any questions regarding your status prior to receiving this notification, please contact

Program currently closed:

Program will open September 1, 2024.