Personal Chair

We award professorships to individuals with outstanding cardiovascular research leadership qualities.

Our professors are appointed in partnership with universities that can demonstrate a strong commitment to cardiovascular research.

The professors are expected to bring research leadership at an internationally competitive level and a commitment to training future cardiovascular scientists.  

Additional important considerations are how the candidate supports and enhances the overall cardiovascular research strategy of the university; and the added value to the BHF of making the award.

We will consider applications that include the professor’s salary from individuals who have not yet attained secure funding from HEFC (any one of the four UK higher education funding councils). We will provide a professorial salary for a maximum of ten years.

We will also consider applications, excluding the professor’s salary, from outstanding individuals with established HEFC funding. Only under exceptional circumstances will we consider providing a salary for a candidate with established HEFC funding.

This addition to the scheme was created primarily to allow current BHF Professors to hold their title and associated benefits (subject to satisfactory review) after 10 years, when the university will be expected to take over their personal salary. 

However, we will consider awards of personal chairs to a small number of HEFC-funded professors who have demonstrated outstanding strategic leadership in cardiovascular research within their own institutions and the broader UK cardiovascular community and would bring added distinction to the BHF.

Entry requirements

  • Senior research leader in clinical or basic cardiovascular science with an established international reputation.
  • Substantial output of high impact research papers.
  • Long-term track record of attracting significant peer-reviewed research grant income as principal investigator.
  • Normally aged under 55 at time of appointment.
  • Current holder of a BHF programme grant (or equivalent ongoing long-term support for cardiovascular research): if not, a programme grant application must accompany the chair application.

Grant duration

  • Award renewal is subject to satisfactory review, usually with a site visit, every five years.
  • At site visits, the level of annual core support will be assessed, and may be increased or decreased.
  • On renewal, funds to purchase new equipment may be awarded if justified. 
  • Award renewal after ten years requires an undertaking that the university will continue to pay the professor’s salary.

Award may include

  • Personal salary of the professor, if not already paid by HEFC, for up to ten years.
  • Start-up funds, if not already in an established professorship.
  • Annual core support.

Personal salary level

  • For non-clinicians, we will pay up to the standard maximum level on the non-clinical professorial scale: for clinicians, normally ten PAs on the consultant scale.
  • The university may supplement the professor’s salary at its own expense.

Start Up Funds

For newly established professors, or professors moving to a new institution, start-up funds for major items of equipment up to a maximum of £200,000 can be awarded if justified. In exceptional cases we may be prepared to consider an additional Infrastructure Grant to facilitate establishment of the chair.

Annual core support

  • The professor will receive additional support for salaries, up to a maximum of £80,000 per year if justified, for defined additional research or administrative posts that directly assist the professor’s research.
  • For professors whose salary is paid by HEFC, and who have a significant university administrative or teaching responsibilities, additional funding can be requested if fully justified to support salaries of staff employed to relieve the professor from these duties.
  • The professor will receive a discretionary fund of £20,000 a year towards expenses in pursuit of his research objectives.

How to apply and what to submit

  • An outline case should first be made by the Head of School/Faculty to the BHF Medical Director - email address research@bhf.org.uk
  • The outline should include:
    • the full CV of the proposed professor,
    • a summary of research plans and support requested for the first five years,
    • the university’s strategy for cardiovascular research, and 
    • how this appointment will strengthen the strategy.
  • The university will be informed if our Chairs & Programme Grants committee recommends a full application. As noted above, this must be accompanied by a programme grant application if the candidate does not currently hold an equivalent award. We will provide the guidelines and forms needed.

Decision process

There are no closing dates. 

Please allow six months from submission to decision.