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£30 Million Global Cardiovascular Disease Challenge – Now Open for Applications

publication date: Feb 12, 2019
author/source: The British Heart Foundation

Call for the world’s greatest minds to tackle the world’s biggest killers. The British Heart Foundation’s Big Beat Challenge is now accepting proposals.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is calling for researchers and innovators from around the world to apply for one of the largest research grants of its kind in history. 

The charity’s Big Beat Challenge – a single funding award of £30 million – will push teams of researchers to identify a key problem in any heart or circulatory disease and propose a transformational solution. 

The call for outline applications is now open, with teams having around six months in which to submit their visionary proposals. Outline applications should capture the essence of the idea and clearly demonstrate how their proposal would not be possible without funding on this scale.

An international panel, with a broad range of expertise – including patients – will assess the outline applications. They will shortlist the very best proposals, for which seed funding will be given and a further six months to develop final proposals.


The international advisory panel is currently being assembled, and includes: 

  • The Rt Hon. Lord David Willetts, former UK Minister of State for Science and Universities 
  • Fiona Murray, Associate Dean of Innovation at MIT Sloan School of Management and Member of the UK Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology
  • Dr Jeffrey M. Drazen, Editor-in-Chief of The New England Journal of Medicine
  • Dr Mona Nemer, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor 
  • Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government
  • Sir Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief of Springer Nature, former Editor-in-Chief of Nature
  • Dr Robert Califf, Professor of Cardiology at Duke University and Advisor for Verily Life Sciences


Researchers from around the world are asked to form formidable teams and develop solution-focused, transformative ideas on a scale above and beyond traditional research schemes.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the BHF, said: “This is an unmissable opportunity. It is one of the most inclusive funding opportunities of its kind, with no boundaries to define the diversity of expertise or geographic location of the teams. The ideas can come from anywhere and tackle any heart or circulatory condition. 

“The Big Beat Challenge is looking to enable innovation by mobilising experts to collaborate and tackle heart and circulatory diseases in ways that are different to anything that has been done before.” 

The call for outline applications will close on June 14th, 2019.


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