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RD Lawrence 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. 

Established by Diabetes UK in 1976 in recognition of the life and work of the late Dr RD Lawrence, co-founder of Diabetes UK.

The RD Lawrence Fellowship is a career development fellowship to enable postdoctoral researchers to establish their independence in diabetes research.


RD Lawrence
RD Lawrence
  • The research must take place at an established research institution in the UK.
  • Applicants usually have three to six years' postdoctoral experience from the date of their doctoral degree examination (PhD viva). Allowance will be given to applicants whose career has been subject to a late start or interruption for family or personal reasons. Applicants are advised to contact us at research@diabetes.org.uk if they fall outside the stated experience band but feel they should still be considered for the fellowship.
  • Applicants are expected to have proven research experience and plan to maintain a long-term interest in diabetes.
  • All applicants must have identified a sponsor before applying. Diabetes UK cannot identify sponsors for potential applicants and will not accept applications from applicants without a potential sponsor.

Fellowship duration and financial support

Applicants can apply for up to a total of £525,000 over four or five years, depending on the study requirements. Funding can cover: 

  • The salary for the applicant
  • The salary for a technician or postgraduate research assistant 
  • Consumables, materials, equipment and animal costs 
  • Costs associated with travel and registration for conferences

All costs must be fully justified and will be considered by the Review Panel.

How to apply

Preliminary applications open in March each year, with a full application deadline of 30 October. 

To apply, please read the general guidelines for grant applicants and tips for writing a grant application. Then log on to the Diabetes UK online grants management system and complete the preliminary application with a CV, list of publications and details of a potential sponsor.

Eligible applicants will be invited to submit a full application.

Administrative processes

All applications will be sent out for external peer review. All applicants will be informed well 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. 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 March or April. 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:

  • Quality of the proposal and its relevance to people with diabetes.
  • Track record of applicant.
  • 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 research@diabetes.org.uk

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