Personal Chairs

We award professorships to individuals with outstanding cardiovascular research achievements and leadership qualities. Applications, which require an initial outline proposal, should be made by the Head of the School or Faculty where the professor will take up the appointment.

About BHF professors

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 on an equal basis applications for individuals with or without a current salary from HEFC (any one of the four UK higher education funding councils), but we expect that all BHF professors will devote the majority of their time to the direction of research with limited administrative, clinical or teaching duties.

Universities may choose whether to request the professor’s salary from BHF or to pay it from HEFC or other institutional resources.  If, by taking over payment of the professor’s salary, the BHF is releasing a salary previously paid by the university, the BHF will require a defined commitment from the university to use the money directly for the support of the professor. 

If the award includes the professor’s salary, this will be provided for a maximum of 10 years.

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 less than 55 years at time of appointment.

Grant duration

  • Awards are for 10 years in the first instance.  Renewal for the second 5 year period is subject to review of past achievements and of detailed future research plans, with a site visit. 
  • At renewal, the level of support will be assessed and may be increased or decreased. 
  • Award renewal beyond 10 years requires an undertaking that the university will continue to pay the professor’s salary.  Renewal requests, for up to 5 years’ support, will require a preliminary application demonstrating that the professor will remain research-active at an internationally competitive level.  If a full application is invited, a site visit may be required as part of the review process.

Personal salary level

  • For non-clinicians, we will pay up to the standard maximum level on the non-clinical professorial scale: for clinicians, we will normally pay for 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 £250,000 can be awarded if justified. In exceptional cases we may be prepared to consider an additional Infrastructure Grant to facilitate establishment of the chair.

Level of support

  • The award will pay the professor’s salary if requested.
  • The application will be judged on the quality of the applicant and their proposed programme of research over the next 5 years. 
  • Applications will normally include a detailed and fully costed programme of research for the next 5 years, usually the equivalent of a BHF Programme Grant, which will be scientifically reviewed in conjunction with review of the applicant’s CV.  For current holders of a BHF Programme Grant, the programme of research within the application will normally incorporate the current grant.
  • Applicants (often clinicians) who already receive longer term research funding from non-BHF sources do not need to apply concomitantly for funding of a specific research programme, but must provide full details of their current research funding and must be able to demonstrate significant added value to the BHF of their appointment.
  • Additional support for salaries can be requested if fully justified for core research support or research administration posts that directly assist the professor’s research. The level of core support awarded will be assessed in the context of the total funding request.
  • The professor will receive a discretionary fund of £20,000 a year towards expenses in pursuit of their research objectives.
  • After award the professor will be entitled to request additional support for up to 15 months’ salary to secure recruitment of a talented individual with the expectation that their future funding will be acquired by a separate grant application.  Only one of these can be in post at one time, and the appointment must be approved in advance by the BHF Chairs & Programme Grants Committee.   

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 by email to [email protected] Any preliminary queries should be made to the same email address.

The outline should include in a single collated file:

  1. The university’s strategy for cardiovascular research, and how this appointment will strengthen the strategy.
  2. The full CV of the proposed professor
  3. A summary of the core support posts and a scientific outline of the associated programme of research to be funded by the BHF for the first 5 years, with a budget for each.  A current holder of a BHF Programme Grant should consult the BHF to determine how this should be incorporated into the application.
  4. A summary of all current or anticipated non-BHF funded research grants that will be active during the first 5 years.   

The university will be informed if our Chairs and Programme Grants Committee recommends a full application. We will provide the guidelines and forms needed.

Decision process

There are no closing dates.

Please allow eighteen months from submission of the outline application to the final decision on a full application.

The full application will be assessed by international peer review, and the award will normally require an interview.