Our Support

There are more than seven million people in the United Kingdom living with cardiovascular disease, with over a quarter of all deaths a year resulting from the disease.

Cardiovascular disease research matters. It has meant:

  • improving clot-busting drugs to treat heart attack patients, increasing survival by 70%
  • transforming treatments for cholesterol levels, significantly decreasing people's risk of heart disease
  • the discovery of genes linked to heart disease
  • better understanding of the mechanisms that can cause ‘sudden death’
  • supporting the trial of new medical devices to improve outcomes for patients

Research in numbers: the National Institute for Health Research supported more than 160 new studies in 2017/18, and recruited over 45,100 patients to cardiovascular studies.

National Cardiovascular Clinical Specialty Group

Each of our 15 Local Clinical Research Networks has at least one nominated local Clinical Specialty Research Lead for cardiovascular disease studies. These clinicians lead research groups to promote and support cardiovascular disease research within the NHS trusts in their area.

At a national level the local leads come together to manage the national cardiovascular disease research portfolio. This involves regularly reviewing the progress of studies, identifying barriers to recruitment, and coming up with solutions and strategies to help overcome those barriers. Our National Specialty Group of clinical experts offer advice and support to commercial and non-commercial customers looking to conduct research in the NHS.

Meet our National Specialty Group Members


Are you a patient or carer, a life sciences company or a health and social care professional? The NIHR can support you in your research journey.

Patients and carers

Patients and carers are at the heart of NIHR-supported clinical research. New and better cardiovascular disease treatments and services are only made possible because people take part in our research.

More than 725,000 people helped the NHS improve healthcare and develop life-saving treatments by taking part in NIHR supported clinical studies in 2017/18. Join in and make a difference. Learn more about the NIHR in your area.

Life sciences companies

The NIHR provides the infrastructure to make cardiovascular disease research happen in the NHS. It includes a dedicated workforce of trained, skilled and experienced research professionals. Right now over 10,000 front-line research delivery staff working throughout the NHS are funded or part-funded by the NIHR. 

We work with companies on the full range of research studies from early stage, translational research through to later stage clinical trials in the NHS. Our Study Support Service is free of charge and helps the life sciences industry plan, set up and deliver high quality research to time and target in the NHS in England. 

Health and care professionals

The NIHR supports health and care professionals to lead and deliver cardiovascular research, and to train as the next generation of cardiovascular researchers.

We are committed to attracting, developing and retaining a highly skilled health and care research workforce, a prerequisite for the nation’s capability to undertake and attract world-class health research.