TSF Research Award


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 $85,000 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 awarded by TSF based on merit as judged by a rigorous peer review process. Award of up to $90,000 per year for up to two years is available.


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, 2024), and who is within seven years* of their first faculty appointment.

TSF recognizes that the support provided by a TSF Research Grant may not be sufficient to fully fund operational costs. Therefore, TSF’s Research Grant awardees are permitted to secure other research grants to supplement a TSF Research Grant, but are expected to have 30% of their time protected for research pursuits. Prior receipt of an NIH grant (K08, K23, R01) will weigh heavily against an applicant’s candidacy in the absence of mitigating circumstances. Application for NIH support during the TSF award period is strongly encouraged. If an awardee receives NIH 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 the TSF in the event of such an award.

*Extending applicant eligibility beyond seven years of his/her 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.


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.

Application Open: July 1, 2024
Application Deadline:
September 15, 2024

Required Application Materials:

  • Completed online application*
  • Applicant’s NIH Biosketch (pdf)
  • Mentor’s NIH Biosketch (pdf)
  • 2 Letters of Support (pdf)
  • Budget (pdf)
  • Optional: Applicant’s Photo (jpeg)
  • Optional: Other relevant data, such as figures, additional letters of support, etc. (pdf)
  • *Lay Summary: 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

Click here to view the 2025 Awards Timeline.