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Research and Innovation


Find out more about the Research Committee.


The Vascular Society is committed to driving excellence in  vascular disease research and improving outcomes for patients by:

  • Increasing the opportunities for patients to get involved vascular research.
  • Raising the profile and impact of vascular research.
  • Developing the research leaders of the future.
  • Increasing investment in research through sustainable research funding streams.

Research Framework

Over recent years the VS Research Committee has directed Circulation Foundation funding towards the support of a small number of individuals with awards;

  • President’s Early Career Award
  • Surgeon Scientist Award
  • George Davis Visionary Award
  • RCS England Surgical Speciality Lead Roles (SSLs)
  • Research Fellowships

This approach has resulted in significant advancement of knowledge, individual career development and subsequent leverage of additional awards and funding and has proven to be very successful. However, this approach is resource intense and consequently there has been significant reliance on the Circulation Foundation or donors to provide continued funding. 

We also aim to increase the number of research projects, the numbers of patients involved in research, the opportunities for trainees to participate in research and finally broadening our support for research led by vascular nurses, vascular technologists, allied health professionals and other professions.

There are significant opportunities to increase our research footprint:

  • National drive for more surgical trials to be included within the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) portfolio.
  • NHS focus on innovation.
  • Potential afforded by NIHR infrastructure support.
Research Framework

The next generation of PIs and CIs will be better supported through an active research network that can collaborate and share knowledge. Most importantly this will help to improve the delivery of care for patients.

1. Support Individuals

  • Continue to support individuals through fellowships, grants and awards. 

Grants for individuals will be advertised on an annual basis dependent upon the resources available. Applications will be independently peer reviewed by experts and awarded based upon a competitive process.

2. Support collaboratives

Support teams to successfully develop and deliver externally funded research;

  • .RCS Vascular Surgical Research Group
  • Vascular and Endovascular Research Network (VERN)
  • Dragon's Den and Venous Forum Competitions during the ASM

3. Priority setting

Feed into research priority setting at a national level. This will be achived in cooperation with the allied Vascular Society's and the support of the All Party Parlimentary Group for Arterial and Venous Disease.

4. Demonstrate impact

Develop robust reporting and outcome dissemination to ensure results feed into clinical practice.

This is supported by the Vascular Research UK website.

5. Celebrate our success through promotion and events.

A sucessful research day was held in Leicester in 2023. Similar future events are planned including research sessions at the Society's 2024 ASM;

  • Leicester Research Event
  • Vice-President's session at ASM 2024

6. Delivery

Vascular Research has a large number of studies open to recruitment. It is important that we as a specialty deliver on these research projects. This requires investement in research nurses and local PI time.

7. Funding

Whilst the Circulation Foundation has provided significant research funding, we need to have sustainable and significant funding to support our longer term research ambitions.

As such, there is a requirement to explore additional, diverse funding streams and to broaden our vascular research involvement in a fashion that is complimentary to the existing strategy.

Financial Leverage and Research Funding Streams

The NIHR portfolio consists of high-quality clinical research that are eligible for consideration for support from the Clinical Research Network in England. Research activity (recruitment) data from the NIHR CRN Portfolio is used to inform the allocation of NHS infrastructure funding for research.

If Circulation Foundation or other awards are based upon a peer review process that is ‘independent, expert and proportionate’, the resultant studies are potentially eligible for NIHR Portfolio Status, which has the impact of increasing the kudos of the award, increasing the financial leverage of the award and providing access to NIHR infrastructure (research nurses etc.) to help with study recruitment and ensure successful delivery. It also enables us to support national studies and provide opportunities for vascular trainees to be exposed to research whilst training.

We have already taken steps to ensure that as many of our awards as possible are eligible for NIHR adoption and should seek to maximise the opportunities that NIHR portfolio adoption offers. We are also seeking to develop other sources of research funding.

Priority Setting Partnership

Priority Setting was a crucial step towards the generation of high-quality research applications for NIHR funded trials with potential to change clinical practice and ultimately improve the delivery of vascular patient care.

The Vascular Society undertook a UK wide initiative to survey patients, carers and vascular professionals implemented using a modified Delphi approach to generate a list of priorities. Anyone involved in the vascular speciality was invited to submit research questions which could be about anything;

  • Basic science
  • Clinical
  • Service improvement

Responses were collated and any duplicates removed before results were redistributed and participants were asked to prioritise the questions they believe to be the most important.  By involving surgeons, radiologists, nurses, vascular scientists, patients and the public, the PSP had an impact on both the NIHR research calls and also individual’s success in winning NIHR and other external grant funding.

Vascular Priority Setting Partnership (PSP)

Using the priorities in your research

The priorities are freely available to be researched and we hope they will provide useful guidance to those who are considering funding applications, research strategies or campaign work. We encourage anyone interested to let us know how you intend to use these priorities.

We encourage anyone interested to get in touch with the SIGs and let us know how you intend to use these priorities.

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Nine special interest groups (SIGs) were formed to develop the emerging questions into high quality funded research projects.

  • Access
  • Amputation
  • Aortic
  • Carotid
  • Diabetic Foot
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease
  • Service Organisation
  • Venous
  • Wounds

The SIGs have been involved throughout the Vascular PSP, they have a wealth of experience within their group memberships and are keen to work with others who might be interested in pursuing any of these priorities.

Please contact Judith Long, email: or telephone: 01482 311918

Special Interrest Groups

Vascular and Endovascular Research Network (VERN)


UK Vascular Journal

UK Vascular Journal Report 2020