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Apply for a Diabetes UK research grant

We offer a wide range of funding opportunities and you can read more about each funding scheme in this section.

Diabetes UK Research Funding Position Statement on Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Like all of you, we’ve been closely following the development of the Covid-19 outbreak both globally and in the UK, and we’re doing all we can to understand the ongoing effect this will have on all of us.

Everyone at Diabetes UK is working very hard to make sure we can support everyone who needs us.

We understand the challenge Covid-19 presents to the Diabetes UK funded research community. It may mean that research studies funded by Diabetes UK need to be paused for a number of reasons, including to free up staff to help support the frontline response to Covid-19.

Diabetes UK is keen to support the research community during this difficult time and in recognition of this we have outlined our current position below.

Funding schemes

We have updated some of our funding round deadlines in light of Covid-19 and will contact all applicants should there be any changes. Please visit the individual scheme pages to find the most up to date grant deadlines.

As part of any funding application to Diabetes UK, we are asking applicants to include a work plan that takes into account the impact of COVID 19 on the project deliverables. 

The Covid-19 outbreak is a fast changing situation, but we’re doing everything we can to make sure the most up-to-date information on its impact to people with diabetes and the research community is available to you. Please refer to this notice regularly, as our position may change as the Covid-19 outbreak progresses.

How to apply for a grant

You must allow enough time to complete the approval process through the online grants management portal - all signatories must have approved your application before the specified funding round deadline.

If you have any questions about the online research grants management system please contact Diabetes UK at research@diabetes.org.uk.

Research privacy notice 

As part of the grant application process, we will ask you to provide us with personal details about yourself, other people applying for the grant and you collaborators. Please read our research privacy notice carefully before registering to the Diabetes UK online research grants management system.  If you have any questions about the notice, please contact Diabetes UK at research@diabetes.org.uk.

Strategic research calls

We do not currently have any open strategic calls.

Details of future strategic calls for research in a specific area of diabetes will be advertised here.

Grant types

  • Project grants
    To provide support for diabetes research projects for up to five years.

  • Early-Career Small grants
    To enable early-career researchers to undertake small research projects or pilot studies.

  • Harry Keen Intermediate Clinical Fellowship
    To allow outstanding medically qualified professionals, and other clinically qualified professionals to establish themselves as independent researchers, with a view to a long-term career as a clinical research leader in the field of diabetes. This includes nurses, pharmacists and members of the Allied Health Professions, who have gained a PhD or equivalent (e.g. MD (Res)).

  • Sir George Alberti Research Training Fellowship
    To enable graduates currently working in the NHS to study for a PhD or MD in diabetes research and develop a career in research. Applications are invited from individuals working in a patient-facing role including, but not limited to, doctors, nurses, midwives, psychologists and dietitians. 

  • NIHR/Diabetes UK Doctoral Fellowship
    To fund a Doctoral Fellowship which supports individuals to undertake a PhD in an area of diabetes related research.

  • RD Lawrence Fellowship
    To provide personal support enabling postdoctoral researchers to establish their independence in diabetes research.

  • PhD Studentship
    To enable experienced researchers to recruit outstanding science graduates to study for a PhD in the field of diabetes-related research.

Co-funding opportunities

Our goal is to increase diabetes research capacity, expertise and deliver clear patient benefits. We will therefore consider co-funding applications with other funders where there is a clear link to diabetes.

If you would like to apply for co-funding, please contact research@diabetes.or.uk in advance of submitting your application and consider the following:

  • It is important to approach us as early as possible, so that we can consider the request, approach the other funder(s), and review our processes.
  • If a co-funded application is agreed, we or the other funder(s) will manage the application review process. This will be discussed by all funders and a suitable approach will be agreed. 

Kidney Research UK

We are open to co-funding research with Kidney Research UK, into the relationship between kidney disease and diabetes and the development of new treatments. Read our joint research statement for more information.

British Heart Foundation

Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) recognise the importance of understanding, treating and preventing cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes, and are prepared to consider joint funding. This funding would be for substantial research projects with a clear link to both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In particular, Diabetes UK and the BHF are prepared to consider co-funding applications for the following grant types:

  • Programme-level grants or clinical trials (large project grants from Diabetes UK and programme grants or clinical study grants from the BHF)
  • Diabetes UK Harry Keen Intermediate Clinical Fellowship or BHF Intermediate Clinical Research Fellowship
  • Diabetes UK RD Lawrence Fellowship or BHF Intermediate Basic Science Research Fellowship.

If you have an interest in applying for one of the above, please contact the research team of the appropriate funder who you are considering applying to before submitting your application. 

Joint funding will not be considered for lower value awards such as smaller project grants or studentships. These should be applied for under normal processes for each funder.

Other opportunities 

IDia – Innovators in Diabetes Training Programme
The aim of the programme is to create a vibrant diabetes research network of basic and clinical researchers. The programme involves the attendance of a residential weekend once a year over a three-year period.


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