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Black Leaders in Diabetes PhD Studentship Scheme

​​​​​​Key information 

  • Purpose of this studentship: To support science graduates from Black backgrounds to undertake a PhD within the field of diabetes in the UK and to encourage them to consider a career in scientific research.

  • Career level: science graduates who would like to study for a PhD in the field of diabetes.

  • Duration: 3 years starting in September 2025

  • Number of studentships awarded: 1

  • Deadlines for applications: There are two separate application forms for the supervisor and student.

    • Supervisor applications deadline: 3 September 2024

    • Student applications deadline:  31 December 2024 (opens on 15 November)


Eligibility criteria

  • Students must have UK nationality and have ‘Home’ tuition fee status.

  • Students must be UK domiciled who self-identify as being from a Black background, including a mixed background, for example: Black British, Black Welsh, Black African, Black Caribbean, Black Other and Mixed Black background.

  • Students must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2.1 honours undergraduate degree or equivalent in disciplines related to sciences.

How to apply

  • Register your interest in applying by completing the registration form.

  • Students will need to register and log on to the Windsor Fellowship portal.

  • Complete all sections of the application form.

If you have any queries or would like support at any stage of the application process, we strongly encourage you to contact us at and we will be happy to give you advice and guidance on preparing your application. Please contact Windsor Fellowship if you have any queries on the application form and the portal.

Insight Session for students

Windsor Fellowship and Diabetes UK will host an online insight session in autumn 2024 to provide prospective student applicants the chance to hear about the scheme and the application process, as well as hearing first-hand what it is like to undertake a PhD from a current/former student. This will be a great opportunity to ask questions about the scheme. A recording of the session will be shared here.


Eligibility criteria

  • Supervisors will have a tenured post or be able to demonstrate that they will have a salary for the lifetime of the grant.

  • All applications must have one lead and one co-supervisor who are located at the host institute.

  • Applications from junior researchers should include a senior supervisor who has a track record in PhD supervision and is based at the same UK host institute as the junior researcher.

  • The research must take place at an established research institution in the UK and the award will be administered by the host UK University.

How to apply

  • Read thegeneral guidelines for grant applicantsandtips for writing a grant application.

  • Log on to theDiabetes UK grants management system.

  • Complete all sections of the online application form.

Financial and mentorship support for students and supervisors

Each studentship offers a comprehensive funding and support package designed to enable students to succeed in their PhD programme and advance their career, including:

  • Student stipend for three years.

  • Student tuition fees at standard home student rate.

  • Conference attendance for the student – funding for up to £2,500 for the duration ofthe award to cover registration, travel and accommodation. These must be reasonable and fully justified and will be agreed by the Review Panel.

  • Student training costs of up to £1,500 relevant to the project may also be requested.

  • Students will have access to a mentorship programme provided by Windsor Fellowship and will have an opportunity to networking with other Diabetes UK funded students.

  • A research allowance of £10,000 per year to cover all materials, consumables, equipment, any other relevant resources and animal costs.


The stipend offered for studentships is currently:


Stipend – In London

Stipend – Outside London

Year 1



Year 2



Year 3




Application process

  • Supervisor applications will be reviewed by a Scientific Panel largely comprised of members of the Diabetes UK Research Committee. The Panel may also include other established researchers depending on the research areas submitted by the supervisors PhD Studentship applications are not externally reviewed. Please see assessment criteria below.

  • Three applications that reach the fundable threshold will be made available to prospective students to choose from.

  • Students will be asked to indicate their preferred choice of project/supervisor in the application form.

  • Student applications will be reviewed for eligibility and shortlisted for interviews based on their applications.

  • Shortlisted students will be invited to mock interviews organised by Windsor Fellowship before they are formally interviewed by their chosen Sponsor. This will provide students the opportunity to test graduate recruitment tools, including presentations and competency-based interview techniques, to prepare them for their future interviews.

  • Students will be matched to their indicated choice of supervisor/project where possible.

  • Supervisors will then interview their preferred candidates.


Assessment criteria

For supervisors who have opted for this scheme, their applications will not be considered as part of the standard PhD Studentship scheme.

Supervisor applications for this scheme will be assessed by the Scientific Panel, Advisory Panel and Windsor Fellowship on the following criteria:

  • Relevance of project to diabetes

  • Supervisor’s training record and training environment

  • Suitability of project for PhD training

  • Scientific quality of proposed project

  • Additional support the supervisor can provide to the student from a Black background


Funding decision

Final funding decision on which student should be offered the PhD will be made by the Chair of the Scientific Panel and Chair of the Advisory Panel, and will be based on the strength of the student’s:

  • personal statement

  • interview performance and feedback from the Supervisor


Next steps after funding decision

Students and Supervisors will be notified of the outcomes within a week of the final funding decision. Please refer to the timeline below. Feedback letters will be sent to all students (successful and unsuccessful) within two weeks of the final funding decision.

  • The successful supervisor will have one week to respond to comments raised by the Panel. Following approval, an award letter will be issued, and the successful student will be required to register for the PhD postgraduate course at the awarded University. The successful supervisor will be given an opportunity to attend training in inclusivity and unconscious bias.

  • Unsuccessful supervisors whose projects have been deemed as fundable are able to reapply however the project would be in competition with other projects in future rounds.

  • Unsuccessful students can reapply to the scheme and guidance can be provided.





Applications for supervisors close

3 September 2024


June 2024

Insight Session

Sept/Oct 2024 (TBC)

Applications for students open

15 November 2024

Applications for students close

31 December 2024

Shortlisting of students

January 2025

Student interviews

February 2025

Award decisions and notify outcomes

April 2025

Award letter issued

April/May 2025

Successful students register at University

April/May 2025

PhD Studentship begins

September/October 2025


Please contact you require any further information.   

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