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PhD Studentship

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. 

To enable experienced researchers to recruit outstanding science graduates to study for a PhD in the field of diabetes-related research. Applications are encouraged from those aspiring to join the next generation of talented researchers interested in continuing a career in diabetes research. 

Awards are made to projects that have clear relevance to the aims of our research strategy and provide training in diabetes research within a supportive environment.


  • Applications must be from potential supervisors only. Applications from potential students will not be accepted.
  • Applications must have one lead and one co-supervisor.
  • Applications from junior researchers should include a senior supervisor based at a UK institute, with a track record in PhD supervision, on the application.
  • Supervisors will have a tenured post or be able to demonstrate that they will have a salary for the lifetime of the grant.
  • The research must take place at an established research institution in the UK.

Grant duration and financial support

Awards are provided for three-year studentships. The stipend offered for studentships is reviewed periodically, and is currently:


Tuition fees for UK students is provided (at Home rate only), as well as a research allowance to cover all materials, consumables, equipment and animal costs. This allowance should not exceed £10,000 per year.

Applicants may request a maximum of £2,500 for conferences across the duration of the award to cover registration, travel and accommodation. These must be reasonable and fully justified and will be agreed by the Review Panel.

Training costs of up to £1,500 relevant to the project may also be requested. International students may apply, however international fees must be self-funded or supported by the institute.



How to apply

Applications open in March each year and have an annual deadline of 31 August. Decisions are usually made by January the next year. Applicants will be notified as to the success of their application by email.

To apply, please:

Administrative processes

Applications are sent to a panel largely comprised of members of the Diabetes UK Research Committee as well as other established researchers. The panel is reviewed each year to reflect the application portfolio. PhD Studentship applications are not externally peer reviewed.

The panel assesses applications and the top scoring applications are discussed at a teleconference before recommendations for funding are made.

Assessment criteria

Applications are judged on the following criteria:

  • Relevance of project to diabetes.

  • Supervisor’s training record.

  • Suitability of project for PhD training.

  • Scientific quality of proposed project.

Student recruitment post-award

Awarded supervisors should begin recruiting for the studentship after it has been awarded. The CV of potential students must be submitted to Diabetes UK for approval before an appointment is made and students are expected to hold a relevant degree (classification minimum 2:1) or equivalent.

Career support

We are committed to supporting our early career researchers on their journey in the diabetes research field. Please visit support for early career researchers for more information.

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