STS Research Award

This award provides operational support of original research efforts by cardiothoracic surgeons who have completed their formal training, and who are seeking initial support and recognition for the research program. Awards of up to $90,000 per year for up to two years are granted to support the work of an early-career cardiothoracic surgeon (within seven years of first faculty appointment at time of application deadline). The STS Research Award designation is given to the highest-ranking TSF Research Award application.

Early Career
Open Date:
July 1, 2024
Close Date:
September 15, 2024
Currently Closed


This grant is for cardiothoracic surgeons who have completed their formal training and are seeking initial support and recognition for their original research project. Awards of up to $90,000 per year for up to two years are granted to support the work of an early-career cardiothoracic surgeon. The awarded funds must be used solely for the direct expenses related to the proposed research project, including salary, services, and supplies; no additional funds will be provided. The award is not to be used to cover indirect expenses, fringe benefits, or expenditures that are not related to the project.

Preference will be given to either clinical- or laboratory-based investigations that are judged likely to generate data that will, in turn, facilitate subsequent funding support for the applicant. In making the awards, emphasis will be placed on originality; clear, concise presentation of a logical project; high probability of successful project completion; and importance of the work toward the advancement of cardiothoracic surgery.

If two years of funding are requested and awarded, a progress report must be approved by the chairperson of the TSF Research Committee prior to release of payment for the second year.

The STS Research Award designation will be given to the highest-ranking TSF research application as judged by a rigorous peer review process.


The applicant must be a cardiothoracic surgeon who has completed a program leading to certification by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery or its equivalent in a country outside of the United States, or who will be certified by the grant start date (July 1, 2025), and who is within seven years* of their first faculty appointment.

TSF recognizes that the support provided by a TSF Research Award may not be sufficient to fully fund the operational costs of your research project. Therefore, TSF research awardees are permitted to secure other research grants to supplement a TSF Research Award, but faculty are expected to have 30% of their time protected for research pursuits. Application for other external (e.g. NIH, DOD, AHRQ, PCORI, or other foundation grants) support during the TSF award period is encouraged. If an awardee receives additional funding during the period of a TSF award, the TSF funding will be managed administratively on a case-by-case basis; a TSF awardee is obligated to notify TSF in the event of such an award. Note that receipt of a faculty career development award (e.g. K08, K23) or R01-level or equivalent grant prior to applying for a TSF Research Award will weigh heavily against an applicant’s candidacy in the absence of extenuating circumstances.

*Extending applicant eligibility beyond seven years of their first faculty appointment may be considered under extraordinary circumstances. Examples include: career interruptions caused by military service, health challenges, or unusual family responsibilities. Exceptions must be requested in writing and approved by the President of the TSF Board of Directors prior to the application deadline.

Award Amount

Awards of up to $90,000 per year for up to two years are granted to support the work of an early-career cardiothoracic surgeon.


In evaluating applications for the TSF Research Award Applications, the TSF Research Committee will evaluate applications based on: 1) the quality of the research (e.g., originality, feasibility); 2) expected research impact (e.g., importance of the research question, probability that the project will lead to meaningful progress or disruptive innovation in cardiothoracic surgery); and 3) the quality of the applicant and research environment.

Required Application Materials

  • Biographical Information
  • Lay Summary of your Research Project (500 words or less)
  • Career Goals (100 words or less)
  • Career Development Plan and Environment (1,400 words or less)
  • Specific Aims (700 words or less)
  • Background and Significance (700 words or less)
  • Research Plan (3,500 words or less)
  • Budget and Justification (1,400 words or less)
  • Literature References (optional)
  • Applicant’s NIH Biosketch
  • Mentor’s NIH Biosketch
  • 2 Letters of Support
  • Budget
  • Headshot Photograph
  • Optional: Other relevant data, such as figures, additional letters of support, etc.


Application Open: July 1, 2024
Application Deadline:
September 15, 2024
Applicants Notified of Award or Regrets: December 2024 - January 2025
See full award timeline here.

About The Award

Are you qualified for this award? Start your application today!

TSF is dedicated to supporting cardiothoracic surgeons at every career stage. Don’t miss out—submit your application by September 15 to be considered in the upcoming award cycle.

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