The NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership has responded to the outbreak of COVID-19 by announcing a new framework to support the development and delivery of Covid-19 research projects across the UK. Researchers from across the NIHR and BHF-funded infrastructure have been invited to develop collaborative initiatives to put forward to the partnership. Those which are seemed to be of high quality and of a national priority will be given flagship status. Flagship projects selected through this framework will be put forward for national approval and be put forward to leaders of infrastructure to support the research that is approve within their centres. Though this framework is not mandatory, it comes with a number of advantages including the rapid engagement of a larger number of centres, increased chances of financial support, avoidance of duplications and higher national and international visibility.
The BHF CRC were bought on board during the planning of this initiative to provide the operational support needed to rapidly set up this response. This support includes providing a point of contact for enquiries, a method of submitting proposals, setting up a workspace for panel members, creating an interactive review form which directly feeds into a results report and providing technical support to panel members as they rapidly learnt to navigate a new workspace.