Letter of Intent (LOI) Guidelines

Independent Research Awards

The Children’s Heart Foundation's 2022 Request for Applications (RFA) for Independent Research Awards opened on March 29, 2022. This award mechanism is used to fund the most promising research that will advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects. For further details about what constitutes mission aligned research and a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs), please see the following webpage: Independent Grant FAQs.

The Cortney Barnett Research Awards

Simultaneously, The Children's Heart Foundation is also issuing an RFA focusing on the evaluation and management of children and adults with Fontan physiology. Supported by generous funding from Cortney Barnett, her family, and their many supporters. The Cortney Barnett Research Award will support research intended to prolong longevity and improve quality of life in patients who have undergone the Fontan procedure. Examples of proposals that are of particular interest include research focusing on medications, devices, surgeries and procedures intended to improve Fontan circulatory physiology, the evaluation and management of Fontan-Associated Liver Disease (FALD), arrhythmia therapies, and the timing, evaluation, and conduct of cardiac transplantation.

The Szymczak Family Research Award

The Children's Heart Foundation is issuing an RFA focusing on the evaluation and management of children with single ventricle heart defects. Supported by generous funding from the Szymczak family and their many supporters, The Szymczak Family Research Award will support late translational and clinical research projects focusing on improving lifespan and quality of life for patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and other single ventricle heart defects.  Proposals that are of particular interest include but are not limited to those focusing on lymphatic disorders including PLE, biventricular repairs in patients with borderline left hearts, and regenerative stem cell therapies.

2022 Process and Schedule

In contrast to prior years when a full application was initially required, researchers seeking funding for either RFA must now submit an initial Letter of Intent (LOI). The Children’s Heart Foundation made this change to reduce the initial time and effort required by applicants, their collaborators, and administrative research staff to apply for funding. The LOIs are due on April 30, 2022. Selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application no later than May 30, 2022. 

Award Amount

Independent Research Awards and The Cortney Barnett Research Awards

Up to $100,000 per year for two (2) years. However, for The Cortney Barnett Research Award, exceptionally meritorious proposals that require a greater amount or duration of funding will be considered, up to a total award of $500,000.

The Children’s Heart Foundation recognizes disparities based on race, ethnicity and gender exist in all areas of healthcare. For patients with congenital heart disease, it is well-known that certain racial and ethnic groups have worse outcomes. Among researchers, underrepresented minorities face additional challenges in obtaining research funding. These are important issues for the Children's Heart Foundation.  Starting this year, we will begin collecting data on gender, race, and ethnicity for investigators who apply for research funding, as a part of our larger efforts to help address these disparities.  We strongly encourage applications from underrepresented minority investigators and/or applications that focus on investigating disparities in patients with congenital heart disease.


All applicants for the Independent Research Awards, The Cortney Barnett Research Award, and The Szymczak Family Research Award must submit an LOI through our online application portal. https://www.grantrequest.com/SID_6123?SA=SNA&FID=35009.


Key Dates

  • March 29, 2022 – Independent Call for Research Proposals opens
  • April 30, 2022 – Letter of Intent due by 5:00pm CST
  • June 8, 2022 – Applicants notified as to whether or not they may submit a full application
  • September 8, 2022 – Full Application (invite only) due by 5:00pm CST
  • December 20, 2022 – Applicants notified as to a decision regarding funding
  • January 2023 – Funds released for awardees


LOIs should be single-spaced and formatted in 11-point font with 1-inch margins. All applicants will first submit an LOI to be reviewed by the Research Leadership Committee, which consists of experienced investigators and lay members, and selected members of our Medical Advisory Counsel.

Applicants will be notified via email as to whether or not they are invited to submit a full application. For those invited to submit a full application, the due date will be in the notification email, but is anticipated to be in late August 2022.

The LOI itself is limited to two (2) pages maximum. Areas of research in congenital heart disease include clinical, translational, population, behavioral, bioengineering, biotechnology, or public health.


LOI must include:

1.     Identifiers

  • Title of project
  • Name, address, email, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator(s)*
  • Names, titles, and institution of other key personnel – ex. mentors
  • List of participating institution(s)

2.     Lay summary

  • 1/2 - 2/3 page
  • The applicant should be aware that lay reviewers are involved in the review and scoring process.

3.     Research Project

  • 1 – 1.5 pages
  • Scientific summary, including key details, such as a brief background and rationale (i.e., what is known and what is unknown), primary aims, summary of methods and data sources.
  • Indicate whether the project will be basic science, translational, or clinical (or some combination thereof).
  • Anticipated impact and prospects for future funding sources.

*The PI (only) should also submit his/her NIH bio-sketch (up to 4 pages; not counted in the 2-page LOI limit).