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Harry Keen Intermediate Clinical Fellowship

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

It was founded in recognition of the life and work of Professor Harry Keen, a clinical pioneer who helped to shape the understanding of diabetes and its treatment.

Harry Keen
Harry Keen


General criteria for all applicants

  • The research must take place at an established research institution in the UK.
  • Applicants should have previously undergone a period of research training and must have completed a PhD or equivalent (e.g. MD (Res)). 
  • Applicants of any nationality may apply but must normally have been resident and working in the EEA (European Economic Area) for three years immediately prior to their application.
  • Applicants (including nurses, pharmacists and members of the Allied Health Professions) must be registered with the relevant professional body/council of their profession.
  • GPs are advised to contact the research team at to clarify their eligibility. 
  • It is expected that the applicant’s proposed research will be informed and strengthened by their clinical work. Applications will be accepted for basic science studies which have direct relevance to the aetiology or treatment of diabetes, through to translational and clinical research.
  • All applicants must have identified a Sponsor before applying. We cannot identify supervisors for potential applicants and we will not accept applications from applicants without a potential Sponsor. 
  • The Sponsor will lead the research group that hosts the Fellowship and must hold a contract of employment at a UK institution that extends beyond the proposed end date of the Fellowship. 
  • The Sponsor must be in a position to guarantee a successful applicant space and facilities for the duration of the Fellowship.

Medically qualified applicants

Applicants with a medical degree must meet the general criteria above. In addition:

  • Applicants must be close to completing their higher clinical training (with a national training number (NTN)) or have finished their training (with a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT/CCST)) within the last three years. 
  • The extent of clinical commitment during the Fellowship is negotiable depending on the specific circumstances, but we would normally expect that Fellows spend at least 50% of their time on research. This will depend on the training stage of the Fellow and be at the discretion of the funding panel. After CCT, it is expected that 70% of time would be spent on research.
  • Applicants who have more than one year’s higher clinical training remaining may apply for up to five years support. 

Clinically qualified professionals (including nurses, pharmacists and members of the Allied Health Professions) 

Applicants who do not hold a medical qualification may apply for up to four years support. The extent of clinical commitment during the Fellowship is negotiable depending on the specific circumstances, but we would normally expect that Fellows spend at least 70% of their time on research. This will be at the discretion of the funding panel.

We understand that the training pathways for these disciplines may vary. Therefore, if you are a nurse, pharmacist or work in an Allied Health Profession, please contact us at to discuss your eligibility for this scheme.  

Due allowance will be given to those whose career has been affected by a late start or for personal reasons. Fellowships may be taken up on a part-time basis where appropriate and this should be discussed with the Diabetes UK Research Team.

Fellowship duration and financial support

Awards will be provided for up to five years. Grants will be cash-limited at the point of award and we will not award supplementary funds.

The applicant’s salary should be set by the host institute at an appropriate level and in line with the applicant’s experience. We are willing to consider funding salary costs for up to 11 programmed activities. If a Fellowship award is recommended, the Fellow will be required to provide a copy of their contract with their substantive employer and job plan for the period to be funded prior to confirmation of the award.

Applicants expecting to be awarded an Honorary Consultant contract during the period of the award should cost in the anticipated increase in salary at the point of application. Increases will not be considered post-award.

Support will be provided for the salary of a technician or research assistant, consumables, materials, project-specific pieces of equipment, collaborative travel and animal costs. 

Funding for a period of research training overseas (up to a maximum of 12 months) will be considered, and costs associated with travel and registration for conferences may also be requested.

All costs must be fully justified and value for money will be assessed by the panel. Please note that the final level of award will be at the discretion of the Funding Panel.

How to apply 

Preliminary applications will be opening in November and closing in January 2022. The full applications will be opening in February and closing in May.

Administrative process

All applications will be sent out for external peer review. All applicants will be informed in advance when they should expect to hear if they have been shortlisted for interview.

Shortlisting and interview

Applications will be sent to a specialist review panel, made up of a subset of the Diabetes UK Research Committee, to make recommendations for shortlisting based on the criteria listed below.

Applicants will be informed via email whether they have been shortlisted for interview in September/October. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview with the relevant Panel. 

Anonymised peer reviews will be sent to all applicants. Interviews will take place in November. Shortlisted applicants will be required to give a 10 minute presentation on background and justification of their proposal. 

Assessment criteria

Applications are assessed on the following criteria:

  • Scientific quality of the proposal and its relevance to people with diabetes
  • Applicant’s research and clinical career to date
  • Applicant’s leadership potential
  • Quality of research environment and support.

Funding decision 

Feedback letters will be sent to all shortlisted applicants within two weeks of their interview. Funded applicants will have two weeks to respond to comments raised by the Review Panel. Funded applicants should expect to receive an award letter within two months of their interview.

Mid-fellowship review

Alongside annual reporting, funded fellows will be required to attend a mid-fellowship review. This informal and supportive review aims to provide encouragement and advice, and is not designed as a stop/go assessment of progress. Fellows will be encouraged to discuss any issues or problems openly. The mid-fellowship review panel will involve different individuals to those who originally interviewed the fellow. For more details about this process please contact us at

Additional information

Diabetes UK are committed to supporting our early career and fellowship researchers on their journey to independence. Please visit our support for early career researchers for more information

All funded applicants will be eligible for the Academy of Medical Sciences mentoring scheme.

Global Talent Visa 

Diabetes UK Sir George Alberti Fellowship holders requiring a visa to work in the UK are eligible to apply for a Global Talent Visa under the fast-track process of endorsement (route 2: individual fellowships). In line with the highly prestigious nature of your award, the Global Talent Visa is designed for people who are recognised as leaders and potential leaders in their field. 

This initiative is approved by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. Should you wish to apply for this visa you should select the ‘Fast Track consideration’ option on the Home Office endorsement application form and use your award letter as evidence of your Fellowship. You can apply for fast-track Global Talent Visa endorsement up to five years after the end of your fellowship and you do not need to have a post or institution confirmed. It is recommended that you arrange your visa in plenty of time before the start date of your award. Further details can be found on the UK government website and the Royal Society’s website. You can also contact the Royal Society at

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