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Patient and public involvement (PPI) in your study

Here at Diabetes UK, we work hard to ensure that the day-to-day experiences and insights of people living with diabetes are taken into consideration throughout research funding and implementation. We believe that involving people affected by diabetes in the development of grant applications produces higher quality, more relevant research, which is more likely to receive funding.

That is why Diabetes UK, alongside other major funders, is asking for evidence of Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in the planning, design, implementation, management and dissemination of the research it funds.

How do I involve people with diabetes in my proposal development?

It can be difficult to know how and when you can involve people affected by diabetes in your research, so we've compiled a guidance document for PPI in research.

It has been developed for diabetes researchers, but can be applicable to all researchers applying for grant funding.

Download PPI Resource Guidance Document, (478,KB), which covers:

  • What is Patient and Public Involvement and why is it important?
  • Methods of involvement, in both clinical and basic research
  • How to do PPI well
  • Helpful resources

How can Diabetes UK help?

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)

Patient and public involvement is critical to ensuring your research is relevant to people living with or at risk of diabetes. We encourage involvement at all stages of your research, right from identification of research areas through to the management and dissemination of research.

We can support you to involve people with diabetes in your research in a meaningful and timely way by:

  • Advertising opportunities to people living with diabetes in our Involve e-newsletter 
  • Putting you in contact with our local groups across the UK

Requests should be made as early as possible in your application process in order for them to be considered, as this process can take up to 8 weeks. If you would like people living with diabetes to become involved in your research, please contact the Diabetes UK Research Team: and request a patient and public involvement form.

Participant recruitment

We can also support participant recruitment for research taking place in academia, the NHS, and through pharma or commercial companies, as long as all the required ethics are in place. We will assess each request case by case. We can advertise through our website and Twitter to find participants to help your research have the greatest potential benefit for people living with diabetes. Please note that we do not accept requests from organisations undertaking market research.

Due to the high volume of requests we receive, we are only able to help researchers at PhD level and above. For a sample of the type of recruitment opportunities we currently list online, please have a look at our take part in research page.

For help with recruitment, please contact and request a ‘participant recruitment form’. Once we receive the completed form and relevant documentation, we will aim to have the opportunity advertised within 3 weeks.

Other forms of support 

We are often approached to provide support letters for grant applications which are being submitted to other funders. Whilst we are happy to consider requests for support we do have a review process in place due to the high volume of requests we receive.  Please note this refers to support requests other than patient and public involvement or participant recruitment. This support is offered to all researchers, including early career researchers, and we encourage you to get in touch as early as possible, as the process can take between 4-6 weeks.  Please contact to request a ‘support form’. 

Please note, where the support requested isn’t able to be fulfilled by the Research Team, it will be necessary to discuss the request with relevant teams across Diabetes UK.

What support we can offer:

  • A support letter where the research is a follow on from a Diabetes UK funded study
  • Assist with the representation of people living with diabetes or representatives of the Charity on research advisory/steering groups, if the research is funded by Diabetes UK or is in a strategic priority area 
  • Where research is a strategic priority we may be able to put you in touch with our Diabetes Research Steering Groups who may be able to offer support in developing research proposals – this is most helpful when the research is at an early stage of development

What support we cannot offer:

  • Requests to act as co-applicants or collaborators on grant application forms 
  • Comment on the quality of science proposed in a grant application 
  • Financial support other than through our usual grant funding schemes

Involving young people with diabetes in data-driven research

The STEADFAST project explored the perspectives of young people around research which uses their sensitive data without consent at scale. The STEADFAST toolkit takes researchers through the steps found to be the most productive in involving and engaging young people with type 1 diabetes in research.

The toolkit is primarily aimed to help researchers on projects using large-scale linked data with their public involvement efforts, but it can be used by anyone interested in involving young people in research.

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