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For diabetes researchers


A female scientist wearing a white lab coat and green gloves working in a diabetes lab

Diabetes UK funds diabetes and diabetes-related research through a range of funding schemes.

Through our wide-ranging research programme we work to improve the lives of people living with diabetes by investing in research projects to explore key questions, and investing in people to nurture diabetes researchers for the future.

As well as supporting project grants and early career small grants, we offer funding for research-training opportunities in the form of PhD studentships and research fellowships to support clinicians, scientists and other medical-related health professionals at different stages in their careers. You can find all our available funding schemes on the ‘apply for grant’ page. If you have any further questions please contact the Research Funding Team at

Our research strategy and recommendations 

Diabetes UK's research strategy 2020-2025

For 85 years, we've led the way in funding pioneering research that changes lives. Looking ahead to 2025 we want to do even more. 

Our research strategy sets out our bold new plans for 2020-2025. We co-created it with people living with diabetes, scientists and healthcare professionals, by working with the Diabetes Research Steering Groups (DRSGs), to make sure it focuses on what matters most to them. It lays out research priorities identified by the DRSGs which urgently need addressing to fill knowledge gaps and transform care. 

The research priorities are for Diabetes UK but importantly they are also for the wider diabetes research community to take forward. We're calling for researchers, partners and funders to make these priorities their own. Use them to drive your work and together we can deliver research that will make people's lives healthier, easier, better and longer. 

Read our research strategy

UK strategy for clinical and applied diabetes research

Diabetes UK and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) have developed a joint strategy to inform the direction of clinical and applied diabetes research in the UK. It is designed to help the UK diabetes research community collaborate in areas with the most need and greatest promise, to foster research that improves care and speeds up progress towards new treatments. 

The strategy is a product of discussions across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales involving groups of experts, people with diabetes, researchers and clinicians, and represents the results of a comprehensive analysis of diabetes research funding across the UK during 2014-2019. 

Professor Simon Heller of the University of Sheffield was Chair of the strategy steering group. He said:

"This strategy has been a true national collaboration involving groups of experts, patients, researchers and clinicians. While I hope the recommendations will be welcomed, a research strategy is only successful if it is implemented effectively. It represents the start of a process. It is now the responsibility of those who contributed, along with the wider diabetes community, to ensure that the strategy is implemented if it is to fulfil its aim of ensuring that research continues to bring benefit to people with and at risk of diabetes."

Read the UK strategy for clinical and applied diabetes research

The Quality in Organ Donation (QUOD) Initiative

The Quality in Organ Donation (QUOD) initiative, funded by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), is a multicentre national bioresource and a scientific platform that enables research into long-term health conditions such as diabetes. 

QUOD obtains tissue biopsies (kidney, liver, heart, spleen and ureter) and longitudinal blood and urine samples from around 90% of all deceased organ donors in the UK. Clinical samples are linked to a comprehensive dataset of demographic and clinical data.  A recent expansion of the QUOD programme has enabled access to whole organs, including pancreas, kidney, heart and lung, that are deemed non-transplantable and are made available for the purpose of research. Integration of whole organ data provided by detailed pathology atlases and analytical techniques such as histology, genomics and proteomics will provide new insights into long-term health conditions. QUOD is also able to supply bespoke samples from these organs to researchers.  

To enable QUOD’s infrastructure, a fee per sample is requested to recoup costs and reduce the financial burden on NHSBT as its funder. Collaboration between Diabetes UK and QUOD offers the opportunity to researchers to access QUOD samples at the lowest (Tier-1) fee if applying with the support of Diabetes UK.

For more information on QUOD’s resources, sample collection process, and application details, including rates for Diabetes UK supported researchers, visit the QUOD website or email

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