ACC/ABC Merck Research Fellowship Award

Congratulations to the 2022 ACC/ABC Merck Research Fellowship Award Winners!


Zainab Mahmoud, MD
Barnes Jewish Hospital Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO

Brian Palmisano, MD, PhD
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stanford, CA

Victoria Thomas, MD
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, TN

The American College of Cardiology/Association of Black Cardiologists Merck Research Fellowships provide three one-year fellowships in the amount of $100,000 each to be awarded as salary support for one year of research in adult cardiology. Recipients will be expected to pursue a full-time project in clinical research during their year of supported training. The year of research will begin July 1, 2022 and run through June 30, 2023.

Research Focus

In selecting applications, proposals addressing CVD and Cardiometabolic disorders are encouraged. Included are proposals that address pathophysiology, molecular genetics, metabolic abnormalities leading to cardiovascular disease, hypertension, heart failure, hyperlipidemia, inflammatory mechanisms and new pathways for drug discovery. Proposals focusing on clinically relevant outcomes as a result of the metabolic syndrome, diabetes or obesity are also encouraged. Outcomes studies should focus on clinical/and or systems of care (e.g., quality improvement) interventions, and use outcomes measures of importance to both patients and society, including mortality, significant morbidity or quality of life changes, or economic effects.

Preference for one award will be given to applicants focusing on disparities of care. Despite increased attention to health disparities at the national, state and community levels, relatively little progress has been made in achieving the vision of eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities. Since the rates of cardiovascular mortality in the United States are significantly higher for these patients and this is in fact the leading cause of death in this demographic, innovative approaches to eliminating these disparities are critical. In an effort to encourage and support research in this area, proposals will be encouraged that focus on gender, race, geographic, and economic inequalities in cardiovascular care.

Eligibility & Selection

Anyone currently in an adult cardiology fellowship training program recognized by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association and who has the recommendation and agreement of his/her training program director and institution.

Judging for the awards will be determined by the ACC Research Fellowship Awards Committee and members of the ABC.

Criteria for selection will include:

  • Scientific quality of the project;
  • Relevance to the research focus as described above;
  • Qualifications and commitment of the applicant;
  • The quality of the training environment; and
  • Projected Career Development Plan.

Successful applicants may pursue this protected year of research either within or following their three years of required training. Preference will be given to individuals who:

  • Will pursue clinical research training and experience directly involving patients or human subjects.
  • Have had no more than two years of prior full-time research experience either in clinical or basic research.
  • Will not hold another major external fellowship or salary award, (e.g., from the National Institutes of Health or the American Heart Association) during the ACCF/Merck funded year.
  • One fellowship award will be exclusively awarded to a current member of the Association of Black Cardiologists.

The deadline to submit an application is January 7, 2022.

The ACC is grateful to Merck for their continued financial support for these awards.

For questions, please contact Rebekah Noyes at awards@acc.org.