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Funding Process, Research Committee and Review Panels

All funding decisions made on research applications we receive are informed by external peer review, followed by review and recommendations from an expert and external Research Committee and Funding Panel. This is to ensure that only research of the highest standard is supported by us.

We also commit to ensuring that our activities have the maximum possible benefit for people with diabetes. It is with this in mind that we include people affected by diabetes in our research funding decisions.

Different funding schemes have different funding processes and we recommend that applicants consult the individual schemes for details. We make all our funding decisions with the advice and recommendation of experts in relevant fields and, for project grants, early-career grants and targeted call applications, also with advice from people living with diabetes. We do not at present ask lay members to review fellowship or studentship applications.

Below you will find information about the role of the Research Committee, Funding Panels and Grants Advisory Panel in the reviewing and funding of grant applications.

Research Committee and Funding Panels

The members of our Research Committee and Funding Panels agree to abide by a conflict of interest policy and code of conduct.

Research Committee

Diabetes UK’s Research Committee is composed of diabetes experts, including clinical and scientific experts.

The Research Committee meets twice a year to make funding decisions on project grant and small grant applications.

Throughout the rest of the year, Research Committee members are called upon to make funding recommendations on fellowship and studentship applications.

From time to time, as needed, we also invite people with special expertise onto the Research Committee.

More information about the project and early-career small grant funding process.

Diabetes UK Research Committee

As of January 2022


  • Professor David Adams, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of Medicine, University of Birmingham

Specialist experts:

  • Professor Khalida Ismail, Psychiatry and Medicine, King’s College London
  • Professor Nishi Chaturvedi, Director of MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing, University College London
  • Professor Mark Kearney, British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular and Diabetes, University of Leeds
  • Professor Gary Frost, Chair in Nutrition and Dietetics, Imperial College London
  • Professor Vivien Coates, Florence Nightingale Foundation Professor of Clinical Nursing Practice Research, Ulster University
  • Professor Hari Hundal, Professor & Chair of Molecular Physiology, University of Dundee
  • Professor Noel Morgan, Professor of Endocrine Pharmacology & Director of the Institute for Biomedical & Clinical Science, University of Exeter Medical School
  • Professor Alan Stitt, McCauley Chair of Experimental Ophthalmology, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Professor Luigi Gnudi, Professor of Diabetes and Metabolic Medicine & Honorary Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology, King’s College London
  • Professor David Wynick, Professor of Molecular Medicine and Consultant in Pain Medicine, University of Bristol
  • Associate Professor Richard Stevens, Associated Professor of Medical Statistics, University of Oxford
  • Professor Ines Barroso, Professor of Diabetes, University of Exeter
  • Dr Bo Liu, Lecturer in Physiology, King's College London 
  • Dr Sophie Eastwood, Clinical Research Fellow, University College London
  • Dr Aileen King, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology, King's College London 
  • Professor Kathleen Gillespie, Professor of Molecular Medicine, University of Bristol 
  • Professor Sheila Greenfield, Professor of Medical Sociology, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Rachel Besser, Consultant in Paediatric in Diabetes & Endocrinology, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Professor Lucilla Poston, Professor of Maternal & Fetal Health, King's College London
  • Dr Beverley Shields, Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics, University of Exeter 
  • Professor Daniel Cuthbertson, Reader and Honorary Consultant Physician, University of Liverpool 
  • Professor Gwyn Gould, Professor of Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde
  • Dr Julia Mader, Associate Professor of Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Austria 
  • Professor Nicholas Morton, Personal Chair of Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Steve Bain, Assistant Medical Director for Research & Development, Swansea University 

Funding Panels

RD Lawrence, Sir George Alberti and Harry Keen Research Training Fellowships

Funding Panels that comprise appropriate members of the Research Committee, and may have co-opted expertise if required, review the RD Lawrence, Sir George Alberti and Harry Keen Research Training Fellowships.

Each panel shortlists applicants based on the criteria outlined in each scheme and on comments from external peer-reviewers. Shortlisted applicants are invited to Diabetes UK London Office for interview – applicants are interviewed based on the criteria outlined in each scheme.

The panel makes recommendations on who should receive the fellowship based on the interviews.

PhD studentship

The Funding Panel for PhD Studentships also comprises appropriate members of the Research Committee, and may have co-opted expertise if required.

The panel makes funding decisions based on the criteria outlined for each scheme. Applicants are not required to be interviewed.

Grants Advisory Panel

Diabetes UK is committed to involving people living with diabetes in the research funding process.

To reflect this, we established our Grants Advisory Panel (GAP), comprised of people with diabetes and parents/carers, who alongside the research committee, advise on project grants, early-career small grants, career awards and targeted call applications. Their role is to reflect the collective perspective of people living with or at risk of diabetes, and their input directly influences the funding decisions made on research grant applications.

Prior to the research committee meeting, members of GAP meet to discuss and score project, early-career small and career grant applications. A sub-select of GAP members then attend the research committee/panel meeting to provide feedback (please see below for how GAP are involved in the different funding schemes).

GAP does not comment on the scientific quality of the research; it ensures that the research is of relevance and importance to people affected by diabetes and includes patient and public involvement (PPI).
Please be aware that the GAP score is used to lift applications that are deemed fundable but fall on the borderline of the funding budget cut off. The GAP score can therefore influence whether a particular project is funded.

Grant applicants must take this part of the funding process into consideration, especially when they are completing the plain English summary for people living with diabetes. To help GAP review your application, the plain English summary must contain enough information for the panel to assess the relevance and importance of your research and quality of PPI in the research proposal. It should include the project aims, plans, outcomes and patient benefits. It should also highlight how people with diabetes have been involved in the application design and delivery, or as research participants.

Please refer to our guidance on writing a good lay summary and Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) to help you complete this section of the application form, as well as our guidance on writing a grant application.

GAP - Project Grants

Prior to the research committee meeting, members of GAP meet to discuss and score pre-selected project grant applications. A sub-select of GAP members attend the research committee meeting to provide feedback and an overall score for each application.

The GAP score for each application can be influential in whether a project is funded.

GAP - Early-Career Small Grants

A small subgroup of GAP is invited to meet, discuss and score all early-career grant applications. One GAP member represents GAP at the early-career small grants panel meeting to provide feedback and an overall score for each application.

The GAP score for each application can be influential in whether a project is funded.

GAP - Fellowships

A small subgroup of GAP are invited to meet, discuss and score all fellowship applications. One member of the subgroup is invited to sit on the interview panel for the shortlisted candidates.

GAP members – as of May 2022

  • Robert Nicholls
  • John Turner
  • Clare Dowling
  • Robert Lowndes
  • Rohit Patel
  • Ron McDowall
  • Goher Ayman
  • Jo Slesser
  • Kurtis Kenningley
  • Katerina Zachapourolou
  • Abhijit Chakrabarti
  • Dilys Shepherd
  • Kay Murray 
  • Sophie Maitland Smith 
  • Kumar Varma 
  • Jessica Hibbert 


Our recruitment round is now open (deadline 25 July 2022).

Please complete our Volunteer application form and return this to our Research team at, or by post. For more information, you can read the GAP role description (PDF, 137 KB) and Terms of Reference (PDF, 547 KB). 

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