Abstract Background The incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) has been increasing over time and is associated with a high risk of short-term death. Previous studies on hospital-acquired AKI have important methodological limitations, especially their retrospective study designs and limited ability to control for potential confounding factors. Methods The Assessment, Serial Evaluation, and Subsequent Sequelae of Acute Kidney Injury (ASSESS-AKI) Study was established to examine how a hospitalized episode of AKI independently affects the risk of chronic kidney disease development and progression, cardiovascular events, death, and other important patient-centered outcomes. This prospective study will enroll a cohort of 1100 adult participants with a broad range of AKI and matched hospitalized participants without AKI at three Clinical Research Centers, as well as 100 children undergoing cardiac surgery at three Clinical Research Centers. Participants will be followed for up to four years, and will undergo serial evaluation during the index hospitalization, at three months post-hospitalization, and at annual clinic visits, with telephone interviews occurring during the intervening six-month intervals. Biospecimens will be collected at each visit, along with information on lifestyle behaviors, quality of life and functional status, cognitive function, receipt of therapies, interim renal and cardiovascular events, electrocardiography and urinalysis. Conclusions ASSESS-AKI will characterize the short-term and long-term natural history of AKI, evaluate the incremental utility of novel blood and urine biomarkers to refine the diagnosis and prognosis of AKI, and identify a subset of high-risk patients who could be targeted for future clinical trials to improve outcomes after AKI.