Immune Insights for Type 1 Diabetes Therapy

Roots causes of type 1 diabetes illustration

The Type 1 Diabetes Grand Challenge Partnership invites applications for immune-focused grant funding under the Root Causes of Type 1 Diabetes research area.

Purpose of the funding call

This call seeks to foster the development and productivity of the best and the brightest established independent researchers who will bridge the gap between the bench and bedside. Its purpose is to avert the immune attack on pancreatic islet cells that underlies type 1 diabetes.

A particular focus of this call is on immunotherapy for the type 1 diabetes field in relation to both the new onset and cell therapy settings. For example, how to move screening and immunotherapy from clinical trials into widespread clinical adoption, and how to integrate immune knowledge into the developing field of beta cell replacement therapy for type 1 diabetes.

Proposals eligible for consideration will describe studies that accelerate type 1 diabetes research and will help change lives for people affected by type 1 diabetes.

Award amount and duration

This programme will award grants of up to £2 million over a period of up to two years.

The Type 1 Diabetes Grand Challenge intends to award up to two grants as a result of this call for proposals.

Supporting innovative collaborations

Collaborative proposals are preferred particularly where the collaborative approach brings together two or more scientists with unique yet complementary skills to address gaps in the field that require technological, subject-matter, or analytical expertise more expansive than might be available in individual laboratories. For example, where one of the labs has expertise in diabetes research and the other is from adjacent fields such as biotechnology, bioengineering, autoimmunity, drug discovery among others. Collaborations with partners outside the UK will be considered if such collaborations add unique skills or resources.

Importance of involving people living with type 1

Meaningful involvement of people who live with type 1 diabetes can improve the quality and relevance of basic and clinical research by providing a different perspective on research. Inclusive research is also essential for generating more generalisable results and ultimately better healthcare.

Please ensure that the views and needs of people living with type 1 diabetes are taken into account in the development of your application. Please also consider equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in your proposal including any limitations and how you would propose to address these.

There are helpful resources on JDRF’s participation, engagement and involvement page. Please note that the Grand Challenge Root Causes of Type 1 Diabetes assessment panel includes people living with type 1 diabetes.

Eligibility criteria

The focus for these awards is on early- to mid-career stage researchers, boosting rising stars and emerging leaders and helping them to establish novel collaborations and cement collaborative expertise.

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

The principal investigator must be affiliated with UK academic or medical institutions and have a contract of employment which extends beyond the termination date of the award.

Applicants must have:

  • An established track record and future research plans that demonstrate the ability to deliver and plan novel and innovative research, which has impact and international recognition in your field through a range of outputs.
  • Evidence of successful national/international collaborations e.g. collective research outputs and/or leveraged funding.
  • Evidence of leveraged independent research funding through e.g. intermediate fellowships, project funding, industrial support.
  • Evidence of relevant skills needed to facilitate the translation of their research. A vision for the potential clinical impact of their research and the pathway to achieve it, including clear plans to encourage translation within their research group and/or with collaborators.
  • A long-term scientific direction for their own independent research group.
  • Evidence of leadership skills e.g. through managing and providing career development support for their own research group, identifying talented postdocs and support acceleration of their independency, leading a clinical unit or clinical screening programme.
  • A track record of communicating and sharing their own research outcomes effectively with the wider community through e.g. scientific conferences, media engagement (both social and mainstream), patient involvement (where appropriate).

Timeline and deadlines for your research proposal

Launch Date: 28 February 2023
Invitation to Full proposals: 4 May 2023
Invitation to Rebuttal: 1 August 2023
ANTICIPATED AWARD DATE (subject to changes): 29 September 2023
Earliest Start Date: 30 October 2023

Funding application process

This call for proposals involves a two-step assessment process.

Applicants should submit a Letter of Intent (LOI), online via RMS360, to provide a brief overview of their research plan. The LOI template is provided in RMS360.

All LOI will be assessed by the Grand Challenge Root Causes of Type 1 Diabetes panel.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a Full Application (Proposal) with detailed research plans. The full application must be completed using the template provided in RMS360.

Proposals will be subjected to external reviewing and will be followed by a rebuttal invitation.

All Proposals will then be assessed by the Grand Challenge Root Causes of Type 1 Diabetes panel.

Guidelines and Terms & Conditions

Detailed guidelines and the Terms & Conditions applying to this scheme are also available through RMS360 under the Additional Attachments tab.

Enquiries about this funding call

If you have any questions about this funding call, please email