DZHK-BHF-DHF Funding Scheme

Key facts

Total available funds up to €5 million per call
Number of projects funded up to three per call
Duration of funding 4 years
Research theme open

Key dates - 2nd call (2019)

Application deadline 3pm BST/4pm CEST on 11th October 2019
External review process until end of 2019
Announcement of awards March/April 2020

Key dates - 3rd call (2020)

Application deadline summer/autumn 2020
External review process until end of 2020
Announcement of awards March/April 2021

Contact at the DZHK main office:
Dr. Katharina Eulenburg / Dr. Ute Eggers
p: +49 30 346 5529-06


Partnership research funding scheme between the British Heart Foundation (BHF), the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) and the Dutch Heart Foundation (DHF, Hartsichting)

The BHF and DZHK formally agreed in 2018 to a partnership research funding scheme committing to three annual calls. After one successful call the DHF has joined as a third partner in this scheme.   

Awards will fund research projects where the cross-national dimension enables work of higher impact than can be carried out nationally, and which will tackle novel and globally important themes.

The scope of the scheme is for innovative research that contributes to improved clinical diagnosis, prevention or treatment of cardiovascular disease. Partnerships that involve a multidisciplinary approach are strongly encouraged.

Applications for the third call will be invited in 2020 (exact deadline to be announced in spring). An application should be for a specific hypothesis-led and focussed research project or programme, supporting postdocs (or similar) plus consumable expenditure, with a small fraction of the budget allocated to annual partnership meetings. PhD students will only be eligible for support within the Dutch component of any application. Clinical trials are not eligible for support though early clinical investigation based on a preclinical research programme may be proposed. There are no specific restrictions on the scientific theme, but there are two limitations. First, applications will not be accepted that name applicants who were part of the two successful BHF-DZHK awards from the first call. Second, applicants from the Netherlands should ensure that the research programme contributes to and strengthens an existing DHF funded consortium and that it aligns with the goal of the DHF to lower the cardiovascular disease burden significantly.

Applications must include investigators from at least two of the three countries (UK, Germany, Netherlands). There is no obligation to include investigators from all three countries. Experienced academic cardiovascular investigators in the UK and the Netherlands and members of the DZHK ("DZHK PI" or "DZHK Scientists") will be eligible to apply. Each application must name one investigator from each country as a principal investigator (PI). The total number of named applicants must not exceed three in each country. Applications may include participation of commercial partners, though each PI must be an academic.

Up to €5 million will be available for the third call with a maximum of £2 million from BHF, €2 million from DZHK and at least €1 million from DHF. Grants will be awarded by competitive scientific selection in open competition and will provide funding for research programmes for up to 4 years.  Up to three programmes per year will be funded. The level of support requested for a proposed programme is therefore expected to be around €1-2million and applicants should ensure good value for money.

The requested budget distribution between countries should be driven purely by the science. For successful applications the funding will be administered nationally according to the distribution awarded, i.e. each funder will pay for the fraction of the work to be carried out in its country.