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Early-career small grants

For researchers at key career transition points, with the aim of enabling successful recipients to go on to secure further funding. 

The scheme operates through three distinct funding streams:

Please read the guidance below to determine which scheme to apply for and contact us at research@diabetes.org.uk if you have any questions.

Academy of Medical Sciences Starter Grants for Clinical Lecturers

Applications from medically qualified applicants will be considered through our partnership with the Academy of Medical Sciences Starter Grants for Clinical Lecturers.

The scheme supports clinical lecturers who are looking to develop and strengthen their research careers. The grants allow research-active clinical lecturers to gather data to strengthen their bids for longer-term fellowships and funding. 

Awardees can also benefit from the Academy’s one-to-one mentoring scheme and a programme of career development events.

Grant duration and financial support

Awards are provided for up to two years. Up to £30,000 will be provided for directly incurred research costs, such as consumables and equipment.

Deadlines

There are two funding deadlines each year:

  • March (June panel decision) 
  • September (December panel decision)

How to apply

Applications must be made directly through the Academy of Medical Sciences online grants application form. Further details, including full eligibility requirements, are available through the Academy of Medical Sciences.

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The Academy of Medical Scientists Springboard for Biomedical Scientists 

Springboard offers support to basic scientists at the start of their first independent post, to help launch their research careers. Awardees can also benefit from the Academy’s one-to-one mentoring scheme and a programme of career development events.

Grant duration and financial support

Awards are provided for up to two years. Up to £100,000 will be provided for research costs (including support staff, purchase of consumables and equipment, access to technical support, training and travel). Funds cannot be used to pay for personal salary costs.

Deadline

  • One funding round each year with a Selection Panel meeting usually in November/December. Please refer to the Springboard website to find out when the next round opens.

How to apply

This scheme involves a two-stage application process: an eligibility check and a full application. Applications are invited from selected research-active higher education institutions (HEIs), which may put forward up to three applications per round. 

Applications must be made directly through the Academy of Medical Sciences online grants application form. Further details, including full eligibility requirements, are available through the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Diabetes UK Early-Career Small Grants 

Our Early-Career Small Grant scheme supports early-career basic scientists and members of Allied Health Professions to undertake small research projects related to diabetes. The scheme will enable scientists at an early stage in their career to develop their work and go on to obtain additional grant funding from other organisations.

Nurses, pharmacists and members of the Allied Health Professions who meet the eligibility criteria may apply through this scheme.

Eligibility 

  • Applicants must be in receipt of a salary for the duration of the proposed award.
  • The research must take place at an established research institution in the UK.
  • Applicants should normally be no more than four years into their first academic position. Allowance will be made for applicants whose career has been subject to an interruption for family or personal reasons.
  • Applicants who currently hold an early career fellowship that provides salary support are eligible to apply for this scheme. We advise that these potential applicants contact research@diabetes.org.uk to discuss their eligibility in more detail.
  • Applicants who are current Diabetes UK grant holders must clearly identify that this support is distinct from any current awards held.
  • Applicants must identify a mentor on the application.

Researchers who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the early-career small grant scheme may apply for small amounts of funding through the project grant scheme. However, these applications will be in competition with all other project grant applications.

Grant duration and financial support

Awards are provided for up to one year (longer periods of time may be requested if fully justified). Up to £15,000 can be provided for material and consumables, small pieces of equipment, animal purchase and maintenance and collaborative travel. 

The scheme does not support costs associated with salaries. Early-Career Small Grants are not intended to be used as ‘top-up’ funds to meet a shortfall in funding from another body.

Deadlines

  • 1 June (Committee in October)
  • 1 December (Committee in May/June)

How to apply

Please read the general guidelines for grant applicants and tips for writing a grant application. Following this, log on to the Diabetes UK online research grants management system and complete all sections of the online application form, using the grants management system user guide .

Administrative process

All applications will be sent out for external peer review. 

Grants Advisory Panel and Research Committee Sub-Panel Teleconference 

Prior to the Research Committee Sub-Panel teleconference, the Diabetes UK Grants Advisory Panel (GAP) will discuss all Early Career Small Grant applications. GAP is comprised of people living with and affected by diabetes, who use the lay summary of each grant application to establish how relevant the research is to people living with diabetes. 

The GAP perspective can directly influence the funding decision made. We recommend applicants take this into consideration, making sure that the summary for people living with diabetes is written in plain English. 

Our Research Funding Process and Review Panels page provides more insight into the Research Committee and lay review process.

Assessment criteria

Applications are assessed on the following criteria:

  • The potential difference the research will make to the lives of people with diabetes.
  • Scientific excellence.
  • Track record of the applicants.
  • Value for money.
  • The potential for obtaining further funding resulting from the proposed research.

Funding decisions 

Feedback letters will be sent to all lead applicants within one month of the Research Committee Sub-Panel teleconference. Funded applicants will have two weeks to respond to comments raised by the Panel. Funded applicants should expect to receive an award letter within two months of the Research Sub-Panel teleconference.

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