British Heart Foundation Clinical Research Collaborative

British Heart Foundation Clinical Research Collaborative

The British Heart Foundation Clinical Research Collaborative (BHF CRC), hosted by the British Cardiovascular Society, and launched in June 2019, aims to support the planning of high-quality national cardiovascular research by bringing together cardiovascular professional societies, research groups and patient and public involvement to better coordinate and prioritise clinical research efforts.

The BHF CRC’s core values are centred around inclusivity and diversity in research with an aim to truly democratise research. Collaborating with other researchers who have similar ideas will help to get the most value out of research, avoid duplication, ensure greater patient participation and offer a joined up approach to promote the wider benefits of cardiovascular clinical research activity in the UK.

For more information and to contact the BHF CRC core team please visit their website or send your query to

Past Updates

  • Tuesday 7 July 2020:
    BHF and CRUK urge Prime Minister to prevent catastrophic fall in charity research funding
    More than 60 of the UK’s top cardiovascular disease and cancer research scientists have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister pressing for urgent financial support for UK medical research charities. Read the letter here...
  • Wednesday 22 April 2020:
    NEW COVID-19 Research Framework Announced
    The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) & British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Partnership (BHF CP) today announced the launch of a new research framework to support flagship COVID-19 research projects across the UK. Read the full announcement.

The BCS and BHF CRC believe the combined infrastructure, which falls under the NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership, can be repurposed to deliver impactful COVID-19 research across the UK. We welcome proposals from the UK cardiovascular research community for COVID-19 cardiovascular disease flagship projects. If you have any questions regarding the framework or application process, please email

  • Friday 27 March 2020:
    British Heart Foundation: Position statement on COVID-19 & Research.
    Although the full implications will take some time to become clear, we intend to address the issues that arise as sympathetically and flexibly as possible. Read the update for researchers here...


The BHF Clinical Research Collaborative (BHF CRC), launched in June 2019, funded by an award of over £870,000 by the BHF over 3 years. The collaborative aims to support the prioritisation, planning and delivery of clinical research in heart and circulatory diseases in the UK. The BHF CRC will provide the infrastructure to facilitate, enhance and coordinate the research planning of existing cardiovascular and surgical societies.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director of the BHF said:

The BHF is committed to a research strategy that improves and saves the lives of those with heart and circulatory diseases. To do that we need to make the most of the great research landscape that we have, support the very best collaborations across disciplines and ensure clinical research exists an environment where it can develop and thrive.  The Collaborative will help to draw out key issues for the clinical cardiovascular community, pick out the big questions and, we hope, align those with the best expertise to answer them.

The BHF CRC will enable research teams, working with patient groups, to:

  1. Identify and prioritise clinical research questions
  2. Develop robust and integrated study proposals
  3. Engage and mobilise clinicians in conducting clinical research to complete studies effectively
  4. Enhance UK cardiovascular clinical research capacity and capability.

The collaborative, hosted by the British Cardiovascular Society on behalf of all the specialist societies and research groups, provides opportunities for face-to-face and virtual meetings to discuss research ideas and plan studies.  The BHF CRC are also developing an online collaborative workspace where researchers can connect through efficient communication channels, have access to a simple and secure file structure and the ability to access a one stop hub of information. Further down the line there are also plans to facilitate training for clinicians who want to engage in research.

It is hoped that, as a result of the initiative, that more clinicians will get involved in research as part of their roles, and a greater share of patients living with cardiovascular disease interested in research can participate.  The ultimate beneficiaries will be patients and health services both in the UK and worldwide through the prioritisation of research questions that matter to patients and development of high-quality research-driven evidence that will inform clinical practice.

Now over halfway through its first year, the BHF CRC has made some great progress including:

  • Engaging with a number of affiliated societies to begin supporting their research efforts along with supporting those who are just beginning.
  • Establishing a relationship with Cochrane Heart. This has enabled the opportunity for individuals to author systematic reviews of open titles released by Cochrane free of charge. In the future the partnership aims to make more resources available to aid the production of reviews which can greatly improve research proposals.
  • Forging strong links with the BHF Data Science Centre whose focus will be to work in partnership with patients, the public, NHS, researchers and clinicians to promote the safe and ethical use of data for research into causes, prevention and treatment of all diseases of the heart and circulation.
  • Working with New Signature, a major Microsoft partner, to develop a state-of-the-art collaborative workspace. The core team have now set up their workspace alongside a full suite of Microsoft 365 tools with the aim to onboard study groups over the next few months

View the latest newsletter

To get involved or for further information please contact;

Allyson Arnold, Chief Operating Officer:

Rani Buskell, Coordinator: