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Get involved in diabetes research

Diabetes research would not be possible without the support of people with diabetes.

You can play a vital role by taking part in a research study or trial.

Why we need clinical trials

Before new treatments can be used to help people with diabetes, they must be carefully tested to determine their safety and effectiveness. Clinical trials rely on volunteers to help them work out if treatments are safe, what the side effects are and whether they are more effective than existing treatments. By taking part in trials, you could play an important role in helping to prevent diabetes, to develop new and better treatments, or to find a potential cure.

Things to consider

If you would like to take part in a clinical trial, you should always consult your healthcare team and speak to the healthcare professionals involved in the study.

You should be aware that there may be adverse side effects or disadvantages when participating in research or trials. Find out more about what it's like to take part in medical research by listening to those who have already done it at HealthTalkOnline.

UK Clinical Trials Gateway

If you would like to find clinical trials in which you might be able to take part, the UK Clinical Trials Gateway can help. They offer guidance on how trials work and can connect you to researchers running trials that you might be interested in.

To find out what trials are currently underway for diabetes, please access the gateway here. We are keen to find out whether you found the gateway helpful, so please contact us on research@diabetes.org.uk with any feedback.

Diabetes research trial opportunities

We list current opportunities for getting involved here. The list is provided for information purposes only and should not be treated as advice or a recommendation for participation in any of the studies.

All clinical trials are reviewed to ensure they are fair to participants and have the necessary ethical approval before advertising on this page.

Studies for people with Type 1 diabetes

Supporting parents of children with Type 1 diabetes

Researchers at the University of Sheffield would like parent(s) who have a child with Type 1 diabetes (under the age of 18 and living in the UK) to take part in a study to understand their experiences parenting a child with a long-term health condition. Taking part will firstly involve answering an online questionnaire. Participants will then be randomly allocated into one of two sides of the study: a trial to help develop an effective online intervention to help parents feel supported and better equipped to help their child manage their diabetes, OR a study exploring how parenting style links to quality of life for their child. You will be entered into a prize draw to win £50 Amazon vouchers for taking part. 

For more information, please contact Catherine Lilley (clilley2@sheffield.ac.uk) or Kirsteen Meheran (kmeheran2@sheffield.ac.uk), or go to the study website

Can omega-3 improve blood glucose management for people with Type 1 diabetes?

Researchers at Leeds Beckett University would like people with Type 1 diabetes to take part in a study investigating whether taking omega-3 supplements can improve blood sugar management around meal-times. They are looking for adults aged 18-65 years who manage their Type 1 diabetes using insulin injections or a CSII (insulin pump).

For more information, please contact Lauren O’Mahoney. Email: L.Omahoney@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or call +44 (0)113 8122059. 

Understanding beta-cell destruction through the study of EXtremely Early-onset Type 1 diabetes (EXE-T1D)

University of Exeter Medical School is interested in understanding the cause of extremely early onset Type 1 diabetes when the immune system is not yet fully developed. They would like to recruit people of any age up to 70 years, diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes before the age of 1 year old. The trial will involve giving consent to the researchers to access health information from your clinician about your diabetes and family history. A nurse will also collect blood samples (and optional urine sample) taken at a location of your choice, such as at home or your local clinic. They will measure the levels of insulin, antibodies and immune cells from the sample(s). For participants aged under 18 months, a second appointment and sample collection will be arranged 2 years later.

For more information, please contact Suzie Hammersley: suzannehammersley@nhs.net Tel: 07766 606282.

Young people and shared-decision making

Researchers at the University of Cardiff are looking for young people, aged 12-19 years, with Type 1 diabetes to take part in a study about shared-decision making during doctors' appointments. Participants will be asked to take part in an interview, which can take place over the phone or in person, and will last around one hour. The researchers are offering participants a £20 Love2Shop voucher for taking part. From this researchers hope to develop a way of helping adolescents get more involved in decisions about their own health care.

For information, please contact Amber Jordan at JordanA3@cardiff.ac.uk or call 029 2068 7643

The history of Type 1 diabetes treatment

Researchers at the University of Strathclyde are studying the history of Type 1 diabetes. They would like to recruit people with Type 1 diabetes and practitioners involved in the treatment (including those now retired) to take part in an interview. Participants will answer questions about their lives, their experiences with Type 1 diabetes, and their attitudes to medicine and health more generally. The research will examine the way insulin therapy has changed since the mid-twentieth century as people with diabetes became more involved in making decisions about their condition.

For information, please contact Stuart.bradwel@strath.ac.uk

Studies for people with Type 2 diabetes

Psychological barriers to good self-management of Type 2 diabetes

Researchers at the University of Southampton would like adults aged 18 or over who live in the UK and have Type 2 diabetes to take part in their study investigating what helps and what hinders the self-management of their diabetes. Taking part will involve an online questionnaire, and participants will have the chance to be entered into a prize draw to win a £30 gift voucher for taking part. 
 
Go to the study website to take part, or contact Sarah Wadham for more information: sw21g11@soton.ac.uk.

Understanding how technology helps people with Type 2 diabetes manage their condition

Researchers at the University of Oxford want to understand how web-based and mobile technologies, such as mobile apps or websites, help people with Type 2 diabetes manage their condition. They have developed a questionnaire and would like to get your thoughts on how easy it is to understand. If you have Type 2 diabetes and have used web-based and/or mobile technology to help you manage your diabetes, they would like to invite you to take part in a phone interview to give feedback on their new questionnaire.

Contact Laura Kelly by emailing laura.kelly@dph.ox.ac.uk to find out more.

Altitude to treat Type 2 diabetes

Researchers at the University of Westminster would like to recruit people with pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, who are not taking metformin, to take part in a study that aims to use altitude to treat Type 2 diabetes. Participants will need to visit the University frequently over a period of 4 weeks. Costs of £120 will be provided for completion of the study.

For information, please contact Polly Aylwin at p.aylwin@Westminster.ac.uk.

Appetite and Type 2 diabetes

Researchers from the Leicester Diabetes Centre would like to recruit men and post-menopausal women with Type 2 diabetes, who are currently taking the drug metformin or use diet and lifestyle alone to control their diabetes. The researchers would like to see how the medication Empagliflozin affects people’s appetite. Participants would need to attend six visits for tests and questionnaires.

For information, please contact Lucy Ayres at LDCTrials@uhl-tr.nhs.uk or 0116 258 4028.

Experience of Type 2 diabetes and education courses

Researchers at the University of Surrey would like to recruit adults with Type 2 diabetes living in the UK to take part in a study. They want to understand the experience of living with Type 2 diabetes and your views about diabetes education courses (e.g. DESMOND, X-PERT) and want to talk to people who have and who haven’t taken part in a diabetes education course. Taking part in a study involves an interview, which can take place in person or over the phone.

For information, please contact Eolie Hampson at e.hampson@surrey.ac.uk.

Studies for people with any type of diabetes

Studies for children and young people with diabetes

It’s really important that young people and families have opportunities to take part in research. A portfolio of studies currently underway and looking to recruit people across the UK can be found on the British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes website.

Families interested in taking part in any of the studies can contact the relevant research teams provided within the descriptions.

Discover research opportunities in North West London

Discover is a register of adults living in North West London who are interested in and want to find out more about health research opportunities. The register is for both healthy people and those with a medical condition. Research could relate to any condition, including diabetes, and can range from answering surveys to having your blood tested, to testing new medical devices or phone apps, and participating in clinical trials. If you are registered to a GP in Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea or Westminster you’re able to join Discover. With your help, we can improve healthcare services in North West London and beyond, and find better ways to treat and prevent illness and disease.

Click here to sign up, or email enquires@registerfordiscover.org.uk if you have any queries.

Understanding the experiences of people living with multiple long-term physical health conditions alongside a mental health condition

Researchers at the University of Exeter are interested in how people who have more than one long-term physical health condition (such as diabetes), alongside a mental health condition (such as anxiety or depression), view, prioritise and manage their different health conditions. They hope to develop an understanding of any barriers in seeking help for mental health conditions, when they may also have physical health conditions. Taking part involves a questionnaire and an interview, which could take place face-to-face or via Skype. 
 
For more information, contact Charlotte Donegan or cd510@exeter.ac.uk phone 07791380462.

Matching people with diabetes to the right research

Researchers across the country are looking for people living with diabetes to take part in their research. Meanwhile, people with diabetes are also looking for projects to take part in, but it can be difficult to find a match. That’s where the British Research Panel comes in: matching scientists to people with diabetes. It’s free to join and doesn’t commit you to take part in any studies. They’ll let you know when a relevant clinical trial is happening close to where you live. Go to www.britishresearchpanel.co.uk to find out more and register.

Developing a cognitive behavioural therapy approach to treat painful diabetic neuropathy

Researchers at King's College London would like people with diabetes who also have painful diabetic neuropathy to take part in their study to test whether an online psychological treatment is an effective way of helping to treat their pain. It will involve an online questionnaire, followed by eight short sessions testing the online treatment. To take part in the study you must be at least 18 years of age and have a confirmed diagnosis of diabetes and painful diabetic neuropathy.

For more information, contact Kitty Kioskli: aikaterini.kioskli@kcl.ac.uk.

Supporting people with long-term health conditions

Researchers at the University of Leeds would like to recruit people with any type of long-term health condition, including diabetes, to take part in a study that aims to understand medication use - how people respond to taking it, how it affects them, and how people deal with it on a day-to-day basis. Taking part involves completing two online surveys with questions around these topics. This will help researchers develop new treatments aiming to support people living with long-term health conditions such as diabetes. 

For more information, please contact Dr Anthony Harrison: umamh@leeds.ac.uk 

Treating painful nerve damage

Researchers at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals would like to recruit people aged 18 or over with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, who have painful nerve damage as a result of their diabetes, to take part in a study. This study is looking to find the most effective way to treat painful nerve damage in people with diabetes. Participation will involve frequent clinic visits and following a course of medication. Participants will also be asked to keep a medication and pain diary and give blood tests.

For information, please contact Jennifer Petrie at option-dm@sheffield.ac.uk.

Helping people with diabetes get the right diagnosis

Researchers at the University of Exeter would like to recruit adults diagnosed with diabetes in the last 12 months, and aged 18 to 50 at diagnosis OR aged over 50 and on insulin treatment, to take part in the StartRight study. The study aims to help people who are recently diagnosed with diabetes to get the right diagnosis of what type of diabetes they have. The study is recruiting at approx 50 hospital & community sites across England and Wales. Go here to see the site locations.

For information, please contact the study team: rde-tr.DiabetesResearch@nhs.net.

Have you experienced harassment online?

Researchers at the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research (NCCR) would like to speak to people aged 18 or older, living with any type of chronic condition and residing in the UK. They’re examining the impact of cyber victimisation (cyberharassment, cyberstalking, cyber disability hate incidents) on people living with chronic conditions or disabilities.

If you are interested in taking part, please go to the survey website or contact NCCR@beds.ac.uk for information.

Healthcare professionals and cyber victimisation

Researchers at the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research (NCCR) would like to recruit GPs in the UK to take part in a study, to examine their perceptions on the impact cyber victimisation (cyberharassment, cyberstalking, cyber disability hate incidents) has on people living with chronic conditions or disabilities.

If you are interested in taking part, fill this short survey or contact NCCR@beds.ac.uk for information.

 

Diabetes UK accepts no responsibility for participation in any research or clinical trial and is therefore not liable for any claims (except in respect of death or personal injury caused by Diabetes UK’s negligence) that might arise during the course of research.

 

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