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Type 1 diabetes Senior Research Fellowship

This senior research fellowship provides funding for type 1 diabetes researchers who have a track record of leading impactful research, and to become international leaders in their field and lead the race for a cure for type 1 diabetes. 

Becoming a type 1 diabetes Senior Research Fellow will make you part of the programme of the Steve Morgan Foundation funded research, which will bring together researchers from across the UK all motivated by accelerating progress to a cure for type 1 diabetes. 

This fellowship will be administered by Diabetes UK on behalf of the Type 1 Diabetes Grand Challenge Partnership. 

Scope

Applications are invited which will lead to new treatments for type 1 diabetes and help us reach a cure, specifically focused on: 

  • Investigation into the root causes of type 1 diabetes. 

  • Replacing and restoring beta cells in people with type 1 diabetes. 

We also welcome applications that address both areas, for example how immunotherapies could advance replacing or restoring beta cells. Applications must be focused on improving the lives of people with type 1 diabetes. This may range from basic through to translational and clinical research if there is a clear line of sight to impact for people living with type 1 diabetes.

Eligibility 

This fellowship is open to clinical and non-clinical researchers. 

  • Applicants should already be a leader in their field and be leading their own independent research group. 
  • Applicants should have a higher degree (PhD or equivalent) and significant research experience. 
  • Applicants must have a track record of holding independent research funding and have made significant contributions to their area of research. 
  • Applicants must clearly detail how this award will help to support early career researchers in their team, and show demonstrable experience.
  • Clinical researchers should be registered healthcare professionals. 
  • Applicants must have the support of a host institute in the UK.

Please note: 

  • There are no eligibility rules based on years of postdoctoral experience. 
  • You are not eligible to apply if you have previously held a comparable senior fellowship. 
  • You cannot hold a salaried position and a fellowship at the same time. 
  • If you are awarded a fellowship, you will need to give up your permanent position for the duration of the fellowship or change to a proleptic appointment. 
  • We will consider any career breaks, flexible working and changes in field when assessing your research experience and current track record. 
  • Clinical fellows may undertake up to two clinical sessions per week and non-clinical fellows may undertake up to six hours per week for non-fellowship activities such as teaching and other projects for the duration of the award (pro rata for part-time fellows).

Fellowship duration and financial support 

Applicants can apply for up to a total of £1.5 million over five years. Please contact the office if your application exceeds this amount before submitting. Funding can cover: 

  • Salary for the fellow. 
  • Salary for additional staff. 
  • Consumable, materials, animal and project specific equipment costs. 
  • Costs associated with a period overseas.
  • Costs associated with travel and registration for conferences.  
  • Project relevant training costs. 
  • Patient and public involvement costs.  

A contribution towards the cost of the fellowship by the host institution would be welcomed and applicants are asked to detail this in the application. This may include in-kind contributions.

All costs must be fully justified and will be considered by the review Panel. Please visit our general guidelines for grant applicants to learn what cost are covered by Diabetes UK, and any disallowed costs.

What this fellowship will give you 

  • Fellows will be part of the Type 1 Diabetes Grand Challenge programme of funded research and will join a community of researchers across the UK leading the race to a cure for type 1 diabetes. 
  • Fellows will be able to access the Academy of Medical Sciences mentorship scheme.
  • Awards may be held on a part time basis to meet personal commitments (excluding professional commitments).  

Deadline

The deadline for applications is 30 September 2022.

How to apply 

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 to access the application form.  

Please contact SMFGrandChallenge@diabetes.org.uk with any questions.  

Administrative processes 

Peer review 

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. 

Diabetes UK Grants Advisory Panel (GAP) review  

A sub-Panel of GAP will discuss all Fellowship 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.  

Panel Shortlisting and interview 

Applications will be sent to a specialist review Panel, to make recommendations for shortlisting based on the peer review and GAP comments, using the criteria listed below. Due to the nature of this fellowship, international experts will be co-opted as review Panel members. 

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, including a member of the GAP. Anonymised peer reviews will be sent to all applicants ahead of interviews, along with GAP member comments. 

Interviews will take place in December 2022. Shortlisted applicants will be required to give a 10-minute presentation on background and justification for their proposal.  

Assessment criteria 

  • Potential impact on the lives of people with type 1 diabetes 
  • Scientific quality, and novelty, of the proposal and its relevance to people with type 1 diabetes 
  • Leadership experience and track record of the applicant 
  • Quality of the research environment and support. 

Funding decisions 

Feedback letters will be sent to all lead applicants within one month of the 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 the interview. 

FAQ

Eligibility

1. How many years postdoc/pre, post CCT do I need to be to apply? 

There are no eligibility rules based on years of postdoctoral experience. However, applicants must have a track record of holding independent research funding and have made significant contributions to their area of research. 

2. How will I know if I am applying at the right time (is it too early or am I too senior)? 

Applicants should already be a leader in their field, but this fellowship should enable them to become international leaders and to grow their team. 

3. Can I hold the fellowship part time? 

Awards may be held on a part time basis to meet personal commitments (excluding professional commitments). 

4. Can I hold this fellowship if I have a tenured position? 

You cannot hold a salaried position and a fellowship at the same time. If you are awarded a fellowship, you will need to give up your permanent position for the duration of the fellowship or change to a proleptic appointment. 

5. Can I hold this fellowship and still perform clinical and non-clinical duties? 

Clinical fellows may undertake up to two clinical sessions per week and non-clinical fellows may undertake up to six hours per week for non-fellowship activities such as teaching and other projects for the duration of the award (pro rata for part-time fellows). 

6. Can I hold this fellowship overseas? 

No. The fellowship must be held at a UK based institution. However, a period of time overseas is permitted (along with the costs associated with it). 

Remit 

7. My research project is basic science. Can I still apply? 

Applicants wishing to carry out a basic science project may apply but there must be a clear line of sight to impact for people with type 1 diabetes and this must be articulated in the application. 

8. Can I apply to do research focused on the prevention of type 1 diabetes and/or its complications? 

No, this fellowship is specifically focused on research which will lead to new treatments for type 1 diabetes and to help us find a cure. Diabetes UK’s and JDRF’s existing schemes remain open to research focused on prevention of type 1 diabetes and/or its complications. 

Support provided 

9. How much funding can I apply for? 

We would not expect applications to exceed £1.5m over 5 years. However, if your application does exceed this amount, we would be willing to discuss this and in exceptional circumstance may permit an application. 

10. What costs can I include? 

Applications may include requests for: 

  • Salary for the fellow. 
  • Salary for additional staff. 
  • Consumables, materials, animal and project specific equipment costs. 
  • Costs associated with a period overseas. 
  • Costs associated with travel and registration for conferences.   
  • Project relevant training costs.  
  • Patient and public involvement costs.  

11. Is a contribution from the host institute expected? 

A contribution towards the cost of the fellowship by the host institution is not mandatory but would be welcomed and applicants are asked to detail this in the application. This may include in-kind contributions. 

12. Will the fellowship be awarded under Diabetes UK’s standard terms and conditions of award? 

No, there are specific conditions of award for this fellowship which differ in places from our standard conditions. This includes: 

  • Increased reporting requirements. 
  • Edits to clauses relating to intellectual property whereby the Steve Morgan Foundation will be named alongside Diabetes UK. 
  • A requirement for fellows to engage with the Steve Morgan Foundation. 
  • Collaboration between fellows and the wider Grand Challenge programme will be an expectation. 

We advise that you and your host institution examine the terms and conditions carefully prior to application. 

Questions 

13. Who can I speak to if I have any questions about the fellowship and plan to apply? 

Diabetes UK and JDRF are happy to arrange a call with you to answer any questions that you might have. Please email SMFGrandChallenge@diabetes.org.uk to arrange this. 

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