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Cardiovascular disease


We fund cardiovascular disease research projects through our funding programmes, and support training and career development for cardiovascular disease researchers.

We deliver cardiovascular disease research funded by the NIHR, the life sciences industry and non-commercial organisations such as charities. We support the set up and delivery of this research in the NHS and in public health and social care settings. Our research infrastructure also supports disease research funded by these partners, offering expertise, collaborations and facilities.

We also provide opportunities for people affected by cardiovascular diseases and their families and carers to influence and take part in cardiovascular disease research.


The NIHR supports patients and the public to participate in high quality research taking place in health and care settings across England, advancing knowledge and improving care.

NIHR Clinical Research Network

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) includes 30 specialty groups, who coordinate and support the delivery of high quality research by therapy area. Some of this research is funded by the NIHR, but most of it is funded by non-commercial organisations, such as charities or universities, and the life sciences industry.

The CRN provides researchers with the practical support they need to make research happen. It supports the set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS and in other health and care settings through our Study Support Service, with tailored offers of support for:

Supporting cardiovascular disease research

The CRN Cardiovascular Disease Specialty Group supports and oversees a wide range of studies, from single-centre early stage evaluation of medical technology, through to larger multi-centre observational studies and randomised controlled trials of medical and surgical interventions.

The research we support focuses on cardiovascular disease prevention, atherothrombosis, arrhythmias, cardiac surgery, congenital heart disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension and heart failure.

During 2019/20 81% of cardiovascular disease studies supported by the CRN met the recruitment targets during the planned recruitment period, for both non-commercial and commercial trials.

Our staff and network of experts on the ground, aided by our established links with patient groups and clinicians, can provide accurate feasibility and recruitment guidance for overcoming potential barriers to successful study delivery. We can seamlessly access patients from healthcare settings across the entire cardiovascular disease pathway, from primary care to specialist hospitals.

Who we are

As well as providing research delivery staff, we also bring together highly engaged NHS consultants and clinical academics from top UK universities, bringing both clinical and academic expertise to your research. Our experts in the CRN Specialty Group can advise on delivering your cardiovascular disease study in the NHS and in particular geographic regions.

Three CRN National Specialty Leads lead the cardiovascular disease specialty. Read more about them on the Experts tab.

The National Specialty Leads are supported by local specialty leads in each of the 15 NIHR Local Clinical Research Networks.

Our collaborators and stakeholders

We work with the British Cardiovascular Society and other professional bodies representing cardiovascular disease sub-specialties in the UK to define the research agenda, identify and support new clinical researchers and promote patient involvement in study design, delivery and recruitment.

Our Specialty Group includes representation from:


Our funding programmes fund high quality research in cardiovascular disease that benefits the NHS, public health and social care. We also provide career development funding awards for cardiovascular disease researchers - see the careers tab for more information.

Our funding programmes

Most of our funding programmes run funding calls open to research proposals on any topic (researcher-led calls), including research proposals in cardiovascular disease.

Got an idea for research in cardiovascular disease?  The NIHR Research Support Service can help you turn it into a funding application, offering advice on research design, research methods, identifying funding sources, and involving patients and the public.

Our portfolio of cardiovascular disease research

You can search and view all the cardiovascular disease research we’ve funded on NIHR Funding and Awards.

In addition, a number of our research programmes publish comprehensive accounts of our cardiovascular disease research in the NIHR Journals Library.


The NIHR attracts, trains and supports the best researchers in cardiovascular disease to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future.

Our investment in people sustains excellent research capacity and expertise throughout clinical and non-clinical academic career pathways and provides high quality learning and development opportunities for the delivery workforce in our infrastructure.

Funding research careers

The NIHR Academy is responsible for the development and coordination of NIHR academic training, career development and research capacity development.

There is a wide range of NIHR training and career development awards available at different career stages, from pre-doctoral through to Research Professorships. These awards comprise both personal awards, which can be applied for directly with the NIHR, and institutional awards which should be applied for through the host institution.

Supporting the delivery workforce


The NIHR invests significantly in people, centres of excellence, collaborations, services and facilities to support health and care research in England. Collectively these form the world-class NIHR infrastructure.

This national research infrastructure is available to use by UKRI, research charities and the life sciences industry as well as NIHR researchers.

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) are collaborations between world-leading universities and NHS organisations that bring together academics and clinicians to translate lab-based scientific breakthroughs into potential new treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies.

The following BRCs undertake research in cardiovascular disease:

NIHR Applied Research Collaborations

NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) support applied health and care research that responds to, and meets, the needs of local populations and local health and care systems.

The ARCs work together nationally on a number of research areas, led by specific ARCs. The NIHR ARC Northwest London leads the national ARC effort on cardiovascular research.

NIHR Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives

NIHR Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives (MICs) build expertise and capacity in the NHS to develop new medical technologies and provide evidence on commercially-supplied in vitro diagnostic tests.

The following MICs undertake research in cardiovascular disease:

Collaborating with partners

The NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership brings together experts funded by the NIHR and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to advance the scientific and research agenda in cardiovascular (heart and circulatory) diseases.

NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative

The NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative (HIC) has been set up to deliver high quality data in key therapeutic areas and make NHS clinical data more readily available to researchers, industry and the NHS community.

Cardiovascular medicine is one of the research themes of the HIC.

NIHR Clinical Research Network

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) supports set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS and in other health and care settings. Find out more on the delivery tab.


The NIHR funds and supports world-class experts in cardiovascular disease.

In addition, our experts in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (National Specialty Leads) can advise on delivering your cardiovascular disease study in the NHS or in other health and social care settings.

National Specialty Leads

There are three CRN National Specialty Leads for the cardiovascular disease specialty:

Dr Patrick Calvert is the Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for cardiovascular disease, specialising in atherosclerosis and preventive cardiovascular diseases.

Read more about Dr Calvert

Dr Paul Clift is the Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for cardiovascular disease, specialising in pulmonary hypertension, congenital heart disease and arrhythmias.

Read more about Dr Clift

Professor Prithwish Banerjee  is the NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Cardiovascular Disease, specialising in Heart Failure & Cardiac Surgery. He is a Consultant Cardiologist at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire, UK and an Honorary Professor of Cardiology at University of Warwick Medical School and Coventry University. 

Read more about Prof Banerjee

Research Professor

The NIHR Research Professorship is the flagship personal funding award for the NIHR. The scheme funds research leaders of the future to promote effective translation of research.

Professor Gerry McCann, Professor of Cardiac Imaging and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the University of Leicester, is an NIHR Research Professor.

Professor McCann’s research aims to identify which characteristics of a multi-ethnic population with type 2 diabetes are most likely to be associated with early heart failure, detected on a MRI scan.

NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership Chair

The chair of the NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership is Professor Keith Channon.

Public Involvement

We engage with and involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research in cardiovascular disease.

Have your say in cardiovascular disease research

We involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in our national research funding and support activities, including in cardiovascular disease research.

The researchers we fund also involve patients in planning and delivering their cardiovascular disease research.

Involvement opportunities across the NIHR

Our Local Clinical Research Networks involve people in cardiovascular disease research taking place in your local area.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre are investigating conditions linked to the heart or blood vessels, known as cardiovascular diseases. Their Cardiovascular Research Advisory Group is made up of both cardiovascular patients and healthy research participants.

The Bristol Biomedical Research Centre develops interventions to prevent or treat complications in cardiac surgery patients of all ages and are keen to hear the perspectives of patients.

Take part in cardiovascular disease research

Be Part of Research is an online service that lists opportunities to take part in cardiovascular disease research across the UK.