BHF Research Accelerator Award

Group photo from BHF Accelerator Event

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

Accelerator Committee

The Accelerator Committee is a diverse arrangement of staff and students who can offer various views into how the Institute can benefit the most from the funding awarded by the BHF.

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 BirminghamNHS 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


Dr Amanda Dalby

Dr Amanda Dalby

Amanda Dalby is funded by the British Heart Foundation’s Research Accelerator Award and COMPARE, and is supporting projects that use fluorescent microscopy in the cardiovascular system. Email:

Sophie Broadway-Stringer





Dr Sophie Broadway-Stringer

Dr Sophie Broadway-Stringer is funded by the Accelerator Award to assist with in vivo investigations, especially murine echocardiography. 


Disruptive idea award

Dr Abdullah Khan

Christopher O'Shea

Dr Jasmeet Reyat

Dr Mark Thomas

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]