BHF Research Accelerator Award

The University of Birmingham is one of six universities in the UK to receive a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Accelerator Award in recognition of its excellence in cardiovascular research – in particular, atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure, thrombo-inflammation and vascular biology.

The £1 million award will boost all cardiovascular research in Birmingham, from discovery science to patient benefit, that is coordinated in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (ICVS) and translated uniquely by Birmingham Health Partners (BHP) – a strategic alliance between the University and two NHS Foundation Trusts: University Hospitals Birmingham and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s. Research enabled by the grant will be supported by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust (SWBH). 

The University of Birmingham is supporting the BHF-National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Flagship Projects into the link between Covid-19 and cardiovascular disease

This partnership has secured several pieces of national coverage including, BBC Science Focus, ITV and Mail Online and 30+ regional news articles.

BHF's link to Covid-19 research was also mentioned in The Times and the Financial Times

The Committee

April 2020

Past Committees

April 2019 - March 2020

Our partners

This award would not be possible without the support and collaboration of our partners, all of which we have built strong working relationships and together enhance the quality of research produced: 

British Heart Foundation logo

Compare logo

Health Data Research UK logo

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust logo

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust logo

Birmingham Health Partners logo

Current vacancies

This award offers the opportunity to fund a number of new positions to integrate research excellence, including new research nurse capacity in local hospitals, data scientists working within the Midlands Health Data Research UK (HDR-UK) and fundamental researchers embedded into the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and the Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors (COMPARE).

Below are the current opportunities available along with the links to the official application page:

There are no vacancies at this time, please periodically check this page as it is constantly updated.

What we fund

Update with recent awards from the Accelerator Grant Fund

British Heart Foundation Accelerator Grant: Award Announcement June 2020 Round


Lead Applicant


Transcriptome profiling of mouse bone marrow and spleen megakaryocytes using RNA-seq
Karina Bunting
Can a structured education programme for healthcare professionals improve quality of life for patients with atrial fibrillation?
Maria Chiara Arno
Engineering the cell surface with antibody recruiting polymers: a new therapeutic approach towardscardiac fibrosis
Winnie Chua
Characterising cognitive function in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation

Amanda Dalby
Endocytosis and receptor trafficking in human megakaryocytes
Bleeding Assessment Tool in X-Linked Agammaglobulinaemia (BAT-X) Study

British Heart Foundation Accelerator Grant: Award Announcement September 2020 Round

Lead Applicant


Rachel Stapley
Investigating platelet-erythrocyte interactions in Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) of CRISPR-Cas9 engineered SLFN14 K208N mice
Investigating the effect of recombinant SARS-CoV2 proteins on the activation of vascular organoids
Jimming Duan
Development of Fully Automated Deep Learning Methods for Characterising Cardiac Function in Patients withAtrial Fibrillation
Robert Stephenson
Can we rescue the hypoplastic left ventricle?

Award Opening Event

The Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences hosted an opening event to celebrate the outstanding research that secured the BHF Accelerator Award. The event took place on Monday 28th October 2019. Highlights from the event can be found on the Institute twitter account and an article has been written with all the details from the afternoon, read more.

BHF Accelerator Award Opening Event Brochure


Dretzke J, Chuchu N, Agarwal R, Herd C, Chua W, Fabritz L, Bayliss S, Kotecha D, Deeks JJ, Kirchhof P, Takwoingi Y. Predicting recurrent atrial fibrillation after catheter ablation: a systematic review of prognostic models Europace. 2020 Mar 30. pii: euaa041. doi: 10.1093/europace/euaa041. [Epub ahead of print]

Law JP, Price AM, Pickup L, Radhakrishnan A, Weston C, Jones AM, McGettrick HM, Chua W, Steeds RP, Fabritz L, Kirchhof P, Pavlovic D, Townend JN, Ferro CJ. Clinical Potential of Targeting Fibroblast Growth Factor-23 and αKlotho in the Treatment of Uremic Cardiomyopathy J Am Heart Assoc. 2020 Apr 7;9(7):e016041. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.016041. Epub 2020 Mar 26.

Kloosterman M, Chua W, Fabritz L, Al-Khalidi HR, Schotten U, Nielsen JC, Piccini JP, Di Biase L, Häusler KG, Todd D, Mont L, Van Gelder IC, Kirchhof P. Sex differences in catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation: results from AXAFA-AFNET 5. Europace. 2020 Mar 6. pii: euaa015. doi: 10.1093/europace/euaa015. [Epub ahead of print]

O'Shea C, Winter J, Holmes AP, Johnson DM, Correia JN, Kirchhof P, Fabritz L, Rajpoot K, Pavlovic D. Temporal irregularity quantification and mapping of optical action potentials using wave morphology similarity Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2019 Dec 30. pii: S0079-6107(19)30213-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2019.12.004. [Epub ahead of print]

Bunting KV, Steeds RP, Slater LT, Rogers JK, Gkoutos GV, Kotecha D. A Practical Guide to Assess the Reproducibility of Echocardiographic Measurements. J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2019 Dec;32(12):1505-1515. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2019.08.015. Epub  2019 Oct 22.

Hendriks JML, Fabritz L. AI can now identify atrial fibrillation through sinus rhythm. Lancet. 2019 Aug 1. pii: S0140-6736(19)31719-2. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31719-2. [Epub ahead of print]