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Project grants

For high-quality, hypothesis-driven diabetes research projects, lasting up to five years and costing less than £500,000.

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.

Research priority areas

Understanding the clinical relevance of C-peptide concentrations in type 1 diabetes 

We welcome applications for research which seeks to better understand the clinical relevance of C-peptide concentrations in type 1 diabetes, including in different age groups as well as the impact on qualitative factors such as quality of life measures. Read the highlight notice (PDF, 1.1MB) and plain English summary (PDF, 1.2MB).

Previous research priority areas

Menopause and diabetes self-management (2019)

Research to clarify the issues experienced by women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes during menopause. Read the highlight notice (PDF, 5.9MB)

New glucose monitoring technologies in inpatient care highlight notice (2020)

Research to evaluate the introduction of new glucose monitoring technologies in an inpatient setting, to develop the case for changing practice across the UK. Read the highlight notice (PDF, 6.1MB)

Practice-based pharmacy research into diabetes (2020)

Research exploring how pharmacy and pharmacists can support people with diabetes. Read the highlight notice (PDF, 110KB).

Understanding the pathogenesis of diabetes that develops atypically, or in minority populations (2021)

Research to better understand the aetiology and progression of diabetes that sits outside of the majority of cases. Read the highlight notice (PDF, 11.5MB)

How can we address the issues in foot care which lead to people with diabetes developing foot conditions? (2021)

Research which seeks to address the issues which lead to people with diabetes developing ulcers or other diabetes-related foot conditions. Read the highlight notice (PDF, 1.5MB)


  • The Principle Investigator will usually 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

  • Up to five years. A scientist looking at a technical image on a computer screen

Financial support

  • Staff salaries. For example: technician, research assistant, postdoctoral researcher. This excludes support for PhD students, who are not eligible to work on a project grant.

  • Research consumables directly attributable to the project.

  • Research equipment essential for the project. While there is no upper limit on this amount, host institutions are encouraged to contribute towards the cost of requested equipment. A contribution will be expected when applicants plan to use the equipment across multiple projects and departments at their institute, rather than solely on this project. We would expect the contribution to be proportionate to the total amount requested.

  • Clinical and secretarial assistance may be provided in some cases, if essential, but this must be fully justified within the application.

  • Please review our disallowed costs before submitting a grant application.

Applicants applying for £500,000 or more must contact Diabetes UK in the first instance and should already hold substantial funding from Diabetes UK or another funding body. Please contact us at to discuss further.

Early-career basic scientists and clinical lecturers should consider applying for an Early-Career Small Grant. Please check your eligibility for either scheme before applying.


  • 6 June (Committee meets in October) 

  • 1 December (Committee meets in May/June)

How to apply

Administrative process

All applications will be sent out for external peer review.

Applicants will be given the opportunity to rebut peer reviewer comments. The anonymised peer reviews will be sent out via the Diabetes UK online grant management system, which allows applicants to submit their response (1,500 word limit).The date applicants will be contacted for rebuttal will depend on the grant round, but as a guidance:

  • December application deadline: March (May Committee)

  • June application deadline: August (October Committee)

Pre-selection process

Due to the high number of applications received by Diabetes UK, it is not possible to take forward all applications to the Research Committee for discussion. Therefore, following external peer review and rebuttal, applications undergo a pre-selection process, ratified by the Chair of the Research Committee and Committee members designated to speak to that application. 

Applications that have not progressed through the pre-selection stage will be informed of the outcome before the Research Committee Meeting. Individual feedback is not provided for these applications.  

Grants Advisory Panel and Research Committee

Prior to the Research Committee meeting, the Diabetes UK Grants Advisory Panel (GAP) will discuss all grant applications. GAP is comprised of people living with and affected by diabetes, who use the lay summary of each grant application to establish how relevant the research is to people living with diabetes. Several GAP members attend Research Committee to provide feedback.

The GAP perspective can directly influence the funding decision made. We recommend applicants take this into consideration, making sure that the summary for people living with diabetes is written in plain English.

Our Research Funding Process and Review Panels page provides more insight into the Research Committee and lay review process.

Assessment criteria

Applications are assessed on the following criteria:

  • Potential difference the research will make to the lives of people with diabetes.

  • Scientific excellence.

  • Track record of the applicants.

  • Value for money.

Funding decisions

Feedback letters will be sent to all lead applicants within one month of the Research Committee meeting.

Funded applicants will have two weeks to respond to comments raised by the Committee.

Funded applicants should expect to receive an award letter within two months of the Research Committee meeting.

Global Talent Visa 

Diabetes UK 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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