NIHR-British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Partnership



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, ultimately translating scientific discoveries into tangible benefits for people affected by cardiovascular disease. The partnership capitalises on world-leading research expertise and infrastructure as well as cohorts of well-characterised patients. This collective expertise is available for collaborations with industry; especially for the design, development and delivery of early phase exploratory clinical studies.

The NIHR’s early translational infrastructure, which is at the core of the NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership, has significant expertise and capabilities in cardiovascular science. The NIHR has committed over £41.5 million from 2017- 2022 in cardiovascular research through several of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs), which are also supported by NIHR Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs), as well as genomics, imaging and informatics platforms.

With a strategy focused on bridging the gap between lab-based science and new treatments for patients, the BHF is the UK’s largest independent funder of research into heart and circulatory diseases. The BHF awarded in 2018 more than £100 million in medical research grants and will continue to be committed to supporting research that will improve the lives of millions of patients.

"The new initiative will allow us to promote collaborative experimental medicine studies, foster new collaborative research programmes and leverage greater support from other external partners, including those in industry."

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation

Read more about the launch of this partnership.


COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Health

The NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership is working to develop large-scale projects that will help address many important questions regarding Covid-19 and cardiovascular diseases:

Our aim

More than a quarter of all early deaths in the UK are due to heart and circulatory diseases. In addition, there are around 7 million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK. The aim of NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership is to catalyse and accelerate the translation of promising research into clinical benefits for patients with heart and circulatory disease. 

The NIHR-BHF CV partnership:

  • identifies shared research priorities and strategic goals that will deliver world-leading research and innovation by NIHR and BHF researchers
  • provides a collaborative framework for NIHR and BHF Cardiovascular translational research in order to leverage funding and facilitate streamlined delivery of research projects
  • increases research capacity and capability in cardiovascular research across the NIHR and BHF infrastructure as well as partner organisations.


The benefits of the NIHR-BHF CV Partnership are:

  • faster translation of scientific discoveries into tangible benefits for patients
  • increased capacity to support early phase clinical research delivery (through development of national cohorts, pooling capability and expertise, developing the next generation of researchers)
  • increased scope and capacity for high quality of research in an identified area of focus or unmet need
  • increased operational efficiency for delivery of collaborative, experimental medicine research
  • multi-centre research enabled through creating a national “research platform” which is underpinned by agreed processes and ways of working
  • improved interactions with external stakeholders such as industry, patient groups and charities
  • opportunities to create strategic alignment between the NIHR, BHF, and other key partners for further cardiovascular research in defined areas of need.

Our participating centres

The NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership is chaired by Professor Keith Channon, who directed the Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for 10 years and is the BHF Field Marshal Earl Alexander Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford.

The participating NIHR Biomedical Research Centres and Clinical Research Facilities co-locate with BHF Centres of Research Excellence, BHF Accelerators, BHF Professors and fellows.


The breadth of expertise in cardiovascular health in the UK

The map below demonstrates some of the key NIHR and BHF centres based across the UK which are part of this Partnership (listed below).

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres and Academic Leads

NIHR Clinical Research Facilities and Academic Leads

British Heart Foundation (BHF) Centres

The Partnership also includes expertise from BHF centres.

  • Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Oxford:
    BHF Professors and Centre of Research Excellence
  • Leeds and Southampton:
    BHF Professors
  • Birmingham, Bristol, Leicester and Manchester:
    BHF Professors and Accelerator
  • London:
    BHF Professors, Queen Mary University of London and University College London BHF Accelerators, and King's College London and Imperial College London BHF Centres of Research Excellence. 

For further information about the NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership and to find out how to work with us, please contact

Related pages


External links

Latest news about the Cardiovascular Partnership