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Apply for a Diabetes UK research grant

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We offer a wide range of funding opportunities - you can read more about each funding scheme in this section. It is important you refer to our general guidelines for more information before applying for a grant. 

How to apply for a grant

Diabetes UK uses CC Grant Tracker for processing grants and it is mandatory that all applications are submitted through the online grants management system.

Read our research grants management system user guide for information on how to submit an application through the online portal and our tips on writing a research grant application to help you write your application.

Apply for a Diabetes UK research grant though the online grants management system.

Please note: You must allow enough time to complete the approval process - all signatories must have approved your application before the specified funding round deadline.


If you have any questions about the online portal please contact the Research Team at research@diabetes.org.uk.


Grant types

  • Project grants
    To provide support for diabetes research projects for up to five years.

  • Early-Career Small grants
    To enable early-career researchers to undertake small research projects or pilot studies.

  • Harry Keen Intermediate Clinical Fellowship
    To allow outstanding medically qualified professionals, and other clinically qualified professionals to establish themselves as independent researchers, with a view to a long-term career as a clinical research leader in the field of diabetes. This includes nurses, pharmacists and members of the Allied Health Professions, who have gained a PhD or equivalent (e.g. MD (Res).

  • Sir George Alberti Research Training Fellowship
    To enable graduates currently working in the NHS to study for a PhD or MD in diabetes research and develop a career in research. Applications are invited from individuals working in a patient-facing role including, but not limited to, doctors, nurses, midwives, psychologists and dietitians. It is our intention for this scheme to be as inclusive as possible. 

  • NIHR/Diabetes UK Doctoral Fellowship
    We have partnered with NIHR to jointly fund a Doctoral Fellowship which supports individuals to undertake a PhD in an area of diabetes related research.

  • RD Lawrence Fellowship
    To provide personal support enabling postdoctoral researchers to establish their independence in diabetes research.

  • PhD Studentship
    To enable experienced researchers to recruit outstanding science graduates to study for a PhD in the field of diabetes-related research

  • National Diabetes Audit (NDA) - Data Analyst
    The NDA measures the effectiveness of diabetes healthcare against NICE Clinical Guidelines and NICE Quality Standards in England and Wales and is delivered by NHS Digital, in partnership with Diabetes UK. Diabetes UK is seeking to fund an experienced data analyst for a six month period to work within NHS Digital, to address important research questions specified by the diabetes Clinical Studies Groups and the NDA Research Advisory Group.

  • IDia – Innovators in Diabetes Training Programme
    IDia is a fully funded three-year training programme, open to up to six early-career-stage researchers per year. The aim of the programme is to create a vibrant diabetes research network of basic and clinical researchers, to forge collaborations and to provide crucial skills training. The programme involves the attendance of a residential weekend once a year over a three-year period.


     

Targeted research

From time to time, we open strategic calls for research in a specific area of diabetes. Details of these calls will be posted online, and advertised in our publications and scientific and medical press, as they arise.

In the past, we have had targeted research calls in the following areas:

  • Improving the day to day management of diabetes;
  • Novel interventions for complications of diabetes;
  • Overcoming barriers to good diabetes care and/or supported self-management;
  • Very low calorie diets;
  • Immunotherapeutic approaches for the prevention or treatment of Type 1 diabetes.

Co-funding opportunities

Recognising the importance of a mixed economy in funding, we encourage and will consider co-funding an application with other research funders where the proposal presents a clear link to diabetes. Our goal is to increase diabetes research capacity, expertise and deliver clear patient benefits.

If you consider your research to be of interest to us and other funders and would like to apply for co-funding, please contact our Research Team in advance of submitting your application.  Please consider the following:

  • Funders have different processes and timelines for funding and it is important to approach us at the earliest point when you start thinking about your research so that we can consider the request, approach the other funder(s), and review our processes.
  • At times, funder processes are out of sync so it might be difficult to jointly consider an application. Often, we are approached too late by researchers (or other funders) to consider co-funding an application.
  • If co-funding is agreed, we, the other funder(s) or sometimes all funders will want to take the lead to manage the application review process. This will be discussed by all funders and a suitable approach will be agreed.

Specific opportunities

Kidney Research UK

Together with Kidney Research UK we are open to co-funding research into the relationship between kidney disease and diabetes, and the development of new treatments. Read our joint research statement for more information.

British Heart Foundation

Recognising the relevance and importance of diabetes to cardiovascular disease in diabetes, Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) are prepared to consider joint funding for substantial research projects where the research proposed has a clear link to both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
In particular, Diabetes UK and the BHF are prepared to consider co-funding applications for the following grant types, where there is an overlap between diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the planned research:

  • Programme-level grants or clinical trials (meaning large Project grants from Diabetes UK and Programme grants or Clinical Study grants from the BHF)
  • Diabetes UK Harry Keen Intermediate Clinical Fellowship or BHF Intermediate Clinical Research Fellowship
  • Diabetes UK RD Lawrence Fellowship or BHF Intermediate Basic Science Research Fellowship

If you have an interest in applying for one of these awards to carry out research that is related to both diabetes and cardiovascular disease, please contact the research team of the appropriate funder who you are considering applying to, before submitting your application. 

For clarity, joint funding is not appropriate for lower value awards such as smaller project grants or studentships and these should be applied for under normal processes for each funder.
 


Things to consider

Grant conditions

When applying for a grant please make sure that you read our grant conditions and intellectual property and revenue-sharing agreement. Please make sure that all applicants and the involved institutions are able to agree to accept and adhere to the grant conditions and intellectual property and revenue-sharing agreement before making your application.

Involving people with diabetes

We are committed to reflecting the views of people living with diabetes in our decision-making processes. As such, the Grants Advisory Panel (GAP), a panel of people with diabetes and their carers review all project and early-career small grant applications. GAP do not at present review fellowship or studentship applications. 

We believe that involving people affected by diabetes at all stages of research produces higher quality, more relevant research. The research application guidelines have been produced in collaboration with GAP.  We recommend that:

  • Applicants obtain the perspective of people affected by the condition when developing their application, to help guarantee the best chance of success;
  • Applicants ensure the application has been reviewed by people living with diabetes.

To find out how you can involve people with diabetes in the development of your grant application, please visit our Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) page.

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