Launch: UK-Canada Diabetes Research Team Grants

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (INMD), Institute of Infection and Immunity (III) and Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA), the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) are pleased to announce the launch of the UK-Canada Diabetes Research Team Grants.

British and Canadian researchers possess rich and impressive records in diabetes research. Most notably, Canadian scientists Dr. Fredrick Banting and Dr. John Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1923 for the discovery of insulin and its use in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. This is arguably one of the most significant clinical research findings of the 20th century and impacted the lives of people with diabetes almost immediately. Subsequently, much has been learned about the pathogenesis of diabetes and new important treatments have been generated. Yet, the prevalence of diabetes is increasing and curative treatments are largely undefined.

Through the UK-Canada Diabetes Research Team Grants, MRC, ESRC and CIHR aim to:

  • Support world leading collaborative research teams aimed at tackling diabetes.
  • Enhance existing partnerships and develop new partnerships between the UK and Canada in the area of diabetes research.
  • Strengthen the strategic relationship between the UK and Canada.


The objective of this funding opportunity is to accelerate diabetes research into mechanisms and translational solutions to improve the lives of people with diabetes in Canada and the UK through research funding for internationally competitive and innovative UK-Canada Diabetes Research Teams that will enable the pursuit of shared research interests.


The focus of the collaborative projects will be upon ‘mechanisms and translational solutions’. Projects should focus on one or more of the following key diabetes knowledge gaps:

  • Genetic variability 
  • Molecular mechanisms, including immune-mediated beta cell injury
  • Human implementation pilot studies to reverse type 2 diabetes through physical activity and nutrition. We welcome applications that include researchers with expertise in the social sciences, in addition to biomedical researchers. Social scientists can bring an understanding of, for example, individual behaviour, economic evaluation, inequalities, the wider political economy, and wider environmental influences.

This is meant to focus on research applicable to UK and Canadian settings, not on global health.


Each grant will require a UK Principal Investigator (PI) and a Canadian Nominated Principal Applicant (NPA) who will equally share leadership and project management for each project funded. The UK and Canadian applicants will develop a common research plan and jointly prepare the full proposal to be submitted to the MRC. An abbreviated application will be submitted to CIHR by Canadian applicants.

Funds Available

  • CIHR:
    • The total amount available from CIHR for the Canadian component of this funding opportunity is $2,700,000, enough to fund approximately 6 grants.
    • The maximum amount per grant is $150,000 per year for up to 3 years for a total of $450,000 per grant.
  • UK:
    • The MRC and ESRC will make up to £2m available. UK-based applicants may request up to a maximum of £333,333 per proposal to cover the UK component of each research team grant. Projects must be three years in duration and must start on 1 April 2020.


Launch June 18, 2019
Intention to Submit/Registration Deadline August 28, 2019
Application Deadline September 25, 2019
Funding Start Date April 1, 2020

Contact information

For questions about this strategic initiative and research objectives, please contact:

CIHR Contact Centre
Telephone: 613-954-1968
Toll Free: 1-888-603-4178

For further information, MRC and ESRC UK applicants should contact:

Disclaimer: The information contained in this pre-announcement of the UK-Canada Diabetes Research Team Grants funding opportunity is subject to change and does not commit the CIHR, MRC and ESRC to the requirements outlined in this version. The final funding opportunity will be published by the MRC and ESRC on their websites and by CIHR in the Funding Opportunity Database in ResearchNet in June 2019.

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