The Type 1 Diabetes Grand Challenge has opened two new funding calls. We’re calling for ambitious and innovative proposals that will accelerate research into the root causes of type 1 or treatments to replace insulin-making beta cells, and move us closer to a cure.
Over the next five years, we’re investing £50 million into three research areas identified as having the greatest potential to lead to life-changing new treatments and ultimately a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Today sees the opening of two new funding calls in the Grand Challenge’s beta cell therapies and root causes of type 1 research streams. We’ll be offering up to £3 million per award to the most promising research programmes led by teams of exceptional scientists and innovators.
Diabetes UK and JDRF have worked with the Grand Challenge Scientific Advisory Panels – comprising some of the world’s most eminent type 1 diabetes scientists – to shape the two new funding calls.
Beta Cell Therapies call
We want to back burgeoning beta cell therapy ideas and ensure these treatments make a difference to people with type 1 diabetes sooner. Research proposals should focus on translational beta cell replacement or regeneration research to fast-track these treatments into the clinic. We’ll support programmes costing up to £3 million over a period of 3-5 years.
If you’re a researcher and want to learn more about the Beta Cell Therapies call, sign up to our webinar on March 15th.
Root Causes of Type 1 call
We want to strike at the root of the problem in type 1 diabetes – the immune system attack. Research proposals should focus on new treatments to avert the immune attack on the pancreas in people with or at risk of type 1 diabetes. We’ll support programmes costing up to £2 million over a period of up to two years.
We’re encouraging the best and brightest diabetes researchers to apply, and for experts from other fields and people affected by type 1 diabetes to get involved, to bring new thinking and innovation into the Type 1 Diabetes Grand Challenge.
Researchers will be able to shape their ideas and submit a brief overview of their research plan during April 2023. We’ll then invite the very best applicants to submit a full, visionary research proposal. Diabetes UK and JDRF will work with research experts and people affected by type 1 diabetes to put the applications through a rigorous review process to ensure we fund only the highest quality and transformational research. We expect to announce which projects will be funded in the Autumn.
Professor Matthias Hebrok, Vice Chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel on beta cell therapies, said:
“Beta cell therapies have the potential to be life-changing for people with type 1 diabetes – helping them to produce their own insulin again – and prospects for the future are very exciting.
“The Grand Challenge is supporting scientists to innovate techniques that radically improve how beta cells are grown in the lab and help them to survive and thrive after transplantation into patients.
“With this funding call, researchers in the UK have the chance to focus on bringing this cutting-edge research into the clinic at pace.”
Professor Chantal Mathieu, Vice Chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel on root causes of type 1 diabetes, said:
“I am super excited that we will have now the opportunity to address the root causes of type 1 diabetes. Only by better understanding the condition, in particular how the immune system and the beta cell dance their lethal dance, will we ever be able to prevent and cure this condition.”
What’s next for the Type 1 Diabetes Grand Challenge?
Over the next five years we will continue to invest the £50 million into research that will propel us towards new treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes. This year we’ll be opening a second beta cell therapy funding call focussed on enabling high-risk research ideas and helping the UK’s beta cell research community to grow and thrive.
The Scientific Advisory Panel on novel insulins is organising a symposium to discuss new developments and concepts, bringing together scientists already in the field and inspiring further innovators to apply their skills in developing better insulins for people with type 1 diabetes.
Details about these opportunities will be available later this year.