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Diabetes Research Steering Groups

In 2017, we set up our Diabetes Research Steering Groups (formerly the Clinical Studies Groups) to help improve the lives of people with or at risk of diabetes through research. The groups bring together researchers, healthcare professionals and people living with or at risk of diabetes, pinpoint precisely where more research needs to happen so we can make the greatest possible difference to the lives of people with diabetes.

We know that everyone with diabetes is different. And the Diabetes Research Steering Groups (DRSGs) understand the importance of listening to as many voices as possible and bringing unheard voices into diabetes research. 

Want to learn more about the DRSGs? Want to get involved with the initiative? We are always on the lookout for new ideas and insight from with people with or at risk of diabetes, researchers, funders and healthcare professionals. Get in touch at DRSGs@diabetes.org.uk.

The seven DRSGs each work to identify research priorities and uncover ways to address them, so future research will:

  • focus on what matters most to people with or at risk of diabetes
  • move even faster
  • be even more effective
  • attract more investment.

By highlighting areas where breakthroughs will have the greatest impact on people’s lives to scientists and other research funders, the DRSGs direct and increase the amount of diabetes research being done across the UK.

Though groups often work together, each group focuses on a different area of diabetes research:

Recruiting attendees for Health Inequalities in Diabetes Research Workshop

Diabetes UK is bringing people with lived experience of diabetes together with researchers and healthcare professionals in a two-day workshop in Leicester to identify key research recommendations around health inequalities in diabetes. 

We know that your ethnic group, where you live, and your income all affect your chances of getting type 2 diabetes, the care you get for any type of diabetes, and your long-term outcomes,. We want to better understand how research can be used to reduce diabetes-related health inequalities. To do this, we want to think about how the way research is done at the moment contributes to inequality. We also want to talk about how we can change this so that everyone has the same outcomes with their health. 

If you live with or are at risk of diabetes and you're from an ethnic minority group or have lived experience of poverty, you're invited to attend a two-day meeting in Leicester on 20 and 21 June 2022. You will work in small groups, face-to-face, where we will ask you to share your personal experience and listen to other people's views. We will pay for your travel, accommodation if you need it, and food and drink. We will also give a £50 voucher for each day you attend.

If you are interested, please fill out the application form and email your completed form to Jodie Chan at Jodie.Chan@diabetes.org.uk. Read the workshop description (PDF, 273KB) or email us for further information.

Examples of impact

  • Our 2020-2025 research strategy

    We put the insights of the DRSGs at the heart of our new research strategy. It lays out key research priorities that the groups have identified, along with our plans to work with the DRSGs and the wider research community to get research in these urgent areas off the ground. By using the work of the DRSGs as a foundation we can be sure we’re driving forward research that matters most to people living with diabetes. 
  • NIHR complications funding call

    The DRSGs have told us there’s an urgent research gap around preventing or slowing the complications of diabetes in people at very high risk. We teamed up with the National Institute for Health Research – the nation’s largest health research funder – to invest in research to find answers. We’re asking scientists to apply for this funding to help us delve deeper into why some people are at very high risk and develop better ways to prevent or slow complications. We want to make sure no one falls between the cracks.
  • Mental wellbeing workshop and strategic call

    We held a workshop with world renowned researchers, from across our DRSGs and beyond, and people living with diabetes to agree the priority research areas in mental wellbeing and diabetes. They agreed 11 priority areas and agreed on recommendations for the research community. You can read a detailed report of the priorities and research recommendations published in our journal, Diabetic Medicine. And we’re already taking steps to get this research off the ground. In June 2019, we invited scientists to apply for funding on eating disorders research, one of the priority areas.
  • Hormones and diabetes

    Discussions at DRSG meetings highlighted that managing diabetes in times of hormonal change can be tough, and that advice and support just wasn’t there. It became clear that the impact of changing hormones on diabetes management isn’t well understood, with the effects of the menopause on diabetes emerged as an area in particular need of more research. To start getting the answers we need, we launched a highlight notice, encouraging researchers to submit proposals investigating menopause and diabetes in our June 2019 funding round.
  • Remote glucose monitoring highlight notice

    The DRSGs told us that the use of remote glucose monitoring technologies, which can be used to check blood sugar levels from a central dashboard, in hospitals and other inpatient settings is currently limited. To encourage more exploration of this promising area, we launched a highlight notice for research into new glucose monitoring technologies in our funding round closing on 1 December 2020. 

Find out what our Diabetes Research Steering Groups have been up to in their joint 2018-2019 Annual Progress Report (PDF, 282KB).

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