Heart4Data - Fellowship Call

Open call for project proposals on data linkage

The ambition of the Heart4Data consortium is to train and develop the talents of future leaders in cardiovascular research. Therefore, the consortium wants to offer talented researchers and cardiologists in the Netherlands different opportunities to stimulate and support them in the next steps in their career.

We are very pleased to announce the first Heart4Data fellowship call application. This program will be an opportunity to develop research skills in registry-based research, particularly concerning data linkage, on the topic of heart failure.

  • For this call we have a budget available for three award-winning project proposals, the total budget for the call that is available is €30.000.
  • Deadline for submission is April 1st 2024, with a latest starting date September 1st 2024.

Only proposals for retrospective-observational quality projects concerning heart failure (in the broadest sense, as outcome or subject of the study) with data linkage to the Netherlands Heart Registry (NHR) will be accepted for this fellowship call. The most talented project proposals will be awarded funding to use the data linkage agreements between NHR and one of the Heart4Data partners: Centraal Bureau voor Statistiek (CBS) or Stizon/PHARMO Database Network. For more information on the data linkage partners: please read further in the call.

Download this Fellowship Call as PDF

Criteria for submission

  • Any cardiovascular researcher can apply to the fellowship call, this is not restricted to the Heart4Data consortium members
  • PhD students, researchers or clinicians with a thesis defence less than 5 years ago can apply
  • The proposal should be novel and not part of already funded work
  • The focus of the proposal should be on data linkage with the NHR and one of the partners from the Heart4Data consortium (knowing: CBS or Stizon/PHARMO)
  • The proposal should have the potential to generate future funding, for example by generating pilot data or initiating/strengthening collaborations,
  • The research project must be developed in collaboration with physicians and registration committee members. A registration committee member should be involved in the research project. Registration committee members can be found online: nhr.nl/registratie.

Budget and start date

Budget should be spent on data linkage, using the agreements that Heart4Data has made with their partners. A maximum of €1.500 may additionally be spent on presentation / publication costs based on declarations of actual costs (including traveling costs, conference fee, publication fee, open-access fee etc.)

In case the costs exceed the amount awarded, applicants must show commitment from their institution to cover the rest of the costs. You are required to fill out a budget sheet when you submit your proposal (see regulations in the submission form). In addition, you must show a guarantee from your head of department of your position for the duration of the project.

The latest start date for the project is 1 September 2024 and the budget should be spent before 1 December 2025.

How to apply

Registration committee and scientific research with NHR data

In order to apply, the applicant must contact the NHR to seek support from one of the registration committees (https://nhr.nl/registratie/). A letter of intent from the registration committee is required for the application. Award-winning project proposals will be assessed by the NHR scientific council and need to be approved before starting the project. The project is also subject to approval of the registration committee before starting the project.

Proposal template

Please record a video (in English) with a maximum of 5 minutes where you explain your research project (without slides). The video should contain at least:

  • candidate introduction and motivation for research,
  • to which data source the NHR registry will be linked,
  • project plans and methodology used,
  • relevance/impact,
  • value for the consortium (focus on data linkage).

Please send your video together with the submission form to data-infrastructure@dcvalliance.nl. Please provide details on your institute where work will be carried out, overview collaborators, provisional budget, detailed statistical analysis plan and sample size calculation on the submission form.

Download Submission Form

Process and awarding

The total budget will be spent on data linkage activities among the award-winning projects. As estimating the cost for data linkage activities can be complex, the Heart4Data consortium will assist the award-winning projects with their final budget sheet.

Data linkage workshop

In order to guide potential applicants, we will organize a workshop on data linkage in February/March. More information will follow on this.

Deadline for proposals is April 1th 2024.

All submitted proposals will be checked for the criteria and evaluated by a review committee. Expected data for awarding the grants is during the National Heart Failure week 22-28 April 2024.


Each domain is scores by 3 internal and 3 external reviewers as follows:

  1. Relevance / future impact of research question - weight 15%
  2. Quality of research proposal - weight 30%
  3. Added value for the H4Data consortium/data linkage development - weight 25%
  4. Video presentation - weight 20%
  5. Suitability of the supervisor and institute - weight 10%

Information on data linkage partners


As the national statistical office, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) provides reliable statistical information and data to gain insight into social issues and thus support public debate, policy development and decision-making, and contribute to prosperity, well-being and democracy. Microdata are linkable data at the level of individuals, companies and addresses that can be made available for statistical research to Dutch universities, scientific organizations, planning agencies and statistical bodies within the EU under strict conditions.


Available data in the microdata environment of CBS includes Dutch Hospital Data (DHD). The DHD foundation was set up from the general hospitals to direct data collection from national medical registration. The most important is the LBZ (National Key Register of Hospital Care) dataset of all hospital admissions (overnight and day admissions). Currently, the dataset consists of all admissions of patients in Dutch hospitals (± 75).


STIZON is a foundation by and for healthcare providers. They collect data from healthcare providers through more than 30 different software systems. They compile, cleanse and standardize this data. In this way, they develop a complete dataset that provides insight into disease progression and medication, with which they can optimize care.


The PHARMO Institute, founded in 1999, is an independent scientific research organization dedicated to studying epidemiology, drug use, drug safety, health outcomes and resource use in health care. The PHARMO Data Network provides access to data from primary care, secondary care and community pharmacy in the Netherlands. Important note, there is no national coverage of PHARMO.