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Application criteria

This year, to combat the devastation caused by heart and circulatory diseases, we've launched the Big Beat Challenge - a single research funding award of up to £30m.

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About the Big Beat Challenge


The Big Beat Challenge will bring together world-leading researchers and innovators to identify and solve any of the biggest problems in heart and circulatory disease. This initiative will push the international research community to identify a real-world challenge, significant unmet need, or opportunity for game-changing innovation in heart and circulatory science or medicine. A problem or opportunity, which if solved or seized at scale, would mean major progress towards real patient benefit.

Application criteria


The Big Beat Challenge is intended to transform the cardiovascular research landscape, and applications should reflect this ambition. We are seeking proposals for bold, innovative solutions that move beyond incremental gains and work towards a tangible change that would not otherwise be possible. While scientific and technical rigour will always be paramount, applicants are encouraged to submit ideas that are extraordinary, even radical. 

Clear patient relevance

Proposals must seek to address a specific area of unmet need. The end point does not need to be clinical impact within the proposed time frame, but we want to see a clear route to patient benefit, that is as comprehensible to the general public as it is to patients, healthcare professionals and researchers. 

Innovative collaboration

We want to see borderless collaboration with no boundaries: teams must be work together, mobilising new sources of knowledge, skill and resource from multiple disciplines, sectors and countries. We want to see evidence that applicants have actively sought out collaborators and partners that will bring fresh thinking to the field of cardiovascular research, and combine expertise in a way this is not already happening. Teams will need to show they are tackling challenges in a unique way compared with funding existing approaches at a larger scale.

A need for Big Beat Challenge funding

Teams must demonstrate that delivery of their proposal would not be possible without an international, multi-disciplinary approach and without funding on this scale. 


Projects must have structured project management with clear goals and milestones. The BHF expects to be updated and consulted throughout the project, and will require teams to report on progress (both internally and publically) at regular intervals.


Investigators must work with the BHF’s Fundraising and Marketing & Engagement Directorates at an agreed appropriate level to engage public interest and support through activity such as media work, events, meetings and site visits.

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