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For diabetes researchers


Diabetes UK research funding position statement on coronavirus

Last updated Friday 23 July 2020

Like all of you, we’ve been closely following the development of the Coronavirus outbreak both globally and in the UK, and we’re doing all we can to understand its ongoing effect. We remain fully committed to supporting the research community through this difficult time.

In recognition of the Coronavirus restrictions beginning to ease and research institutions across the country preparing to re-open, we have updated the information below for grant holders.

We fully support a safe return to work and are here to help make sure your research can restart as safely, quickly and seamlessly as possible. If you think your project may be able to restart, please make sure to let us know by emailing

If you have any questions or concerns about how to resume your work while remaining safe, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The Coronavirus outbreak is a fast-changing situation, and we’ll continue to closely monitor the situation and will issue further guidance to manage your Diabetes UK-funded work in response to any changes in government guidelines. Please refer to this notice regularly, as our position may change as the Coronavirus outbreak progresses.

Please see our Coronavirus FAQs for grant holders and applicants (PDF, 46KB)

Diabetes UK funds diabetes and diabetes-related research through a range of funding schemes.

Through our wide-ranging research programme we work to improve the lives of people living with diabetes – by investing in research projects to explore key research questions, and investing in people to develop the best diabetes researchers for the future.

As well as supporting project grants and early career small grants, we offer funding for research-training opportunities in the form of PhD studentships and research fellowships to support clinicians, scientists and other medical-related health professionals at different stages in their careers. You can find all our available funding schemes on the ‘apply for grant’ page.

Further details about all funding schemes can be found on our apply for a grant page, but if you have any further questions please contact the Research Department at

Our research strategy

For 80 years, we've led the way in funding pioneering research that changes lives. Looking ahead to 2025 we want to do even more. 

Our research strategy sets out our bold new plans for 2020-2025. We co-created it with people living with diabetes, scientists and healthcare professionals, by working with the Diabetes Research Steering Groups (DRSGs), to make sure it focuses on what matters most to them. It lays out research priorities identified by the DRSGs which urgently need addressing to fill knowledge gaps and transform care. 

The research priorities are for Diabetes UK but importantly they are also for the wider diabetes research community to take forward. We're calling for researchers, partners and funders to make these priorities their own. Use them to drive your work and together we can deliver research that will make people's lives healthier, easier, better and longer. 

“The priorities for research in Diabetes UK's strategy have been developed with input from key researchers, healthcare professionals and, importantly, people with diabetes. This is an exciting time to develop research proposals in these priority areas, the outcomes of which are vital to improve the health and quality of life of people with diabetes." 

Professor Rebecca Reynolds, DRSG chair, University of Edinburgh

Find out more about our approach to research and read our strategy.

The Quality in Organ Donation (QUOD) Initiative

The Quality in Organ Donation (QUOD) initiative, funded by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), is a multicentre national bioresource and a scientific platform that enables research into long-term health conditions such as diabetes.  To enable QUOD’s infrastructure, a fee per sample is requested to recoup costs and reduce the financial burden on NHSBT as its funder. Collaboration between Diabetes UK and QUOD offers the opportunity to researchers to access QUOD samples at the lowest (Tier-1) fee if applying with the support of Diabetes UK.

QUOD obtains tissue biopsies and longitudinal blood, and urine samples from almost 90% of all the deceased donors in the UK. Clinical samples are linked to a comprehensive dataset of demographic and clinical data.  It also collects whole organs that are deemed non-transplantable and are retrieved for the purpose of research. It is hoped that integration of whole organ data provided by detailed pathology atlases and analytical techniques such as histology, genomics and proteomics will provide new insights into long-term health conditions.

For more information on QUOD’s resources, sample collection process, and application details, including rates for Diabetes UK supported researchers, visit the QUOD website or email

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