Answers to Your Questions Regarding Funding Diabetes Research and the Approval Process

Welcome to our frequently asked questions for applicants page. On this page, you will find helpful information about what we do, how to begin the application process, and what researchers can expect during the review process. Click any of the plus signs below to see our frequently asked questions for applicants.

The Diabetes Research Connection gives early-career scientists the opportunity to perform innovative, new diabetes research focused on Care, Cures, Complications or Prevention.
We invite graduate students, post-docs, instructors and untenured junior faculty whose work is focused on type 1 diabetes to apply.
Private donors select projects they want to support from an array of meritorious, peer-reviewed proposals. Scientists keep their donors informed and involved throughout their diabetes investigations by sending updates via emails and posting updates on their project page on the website and in popular social media forums.
Grants are up to $50,000 for one year.

For the time being, a small group of generous donors is absorbing Diabetes Research Connection’s overhead costs related to research projects. Scientists will receive 100% of what they raise!
Due to the small size of these grants, we limit the amount your institution takes for overhead (IDC) to 10%.

Grant amount requested: $50,000
Institutional overhead (IDC): $ 5,000
Spendable budget: $45,000

Budgets should include expenditures on salary, consumables, equipment, IDC (maximum 10%), etc.

The Diabetes Research Connection does not support travel, meeting registration fees, professional memberships or publication costs.
Some of the funds may be used for salary; if you provide evidence that your salary is fully covered by other sources, all of your funding can be used for research expenses.

Please justify equipment purchases that will exceed 10% of your budget.

All members of our Scientific Review Committee sign confidentiality agreements. However, as with projects submitted to other granting organizations such as NIH, JDRF and ADA, once you post descriptive materials on the Internet, your work is in the public domain, viewable by your colleagues and competitors. The Diabetes Research Connection does not accept any responsibility for confidential information released to the public via postings on its website, or for information submitted by scientists seeking research support.
You may want to discuss applying to Diabetes Research Connection with your Office of Technology Transfer or other advisors.
Researchers own the rights to research discoveries, subject to their agreements with their host institutions. We ask you to list Diabetes Research Connection and the names of your larger donors as sponsors in any public presentations or publications related to the project. Should a discovery ultimately derive a monetary benefit, we ask you to consider repaying the grant so it can provide support for additional innovative, early-stage research.
The application process has three phases:
Three Phases to Submit
PHASE 1 – Letter of Intent
The Diabetes Research Connection accepts Letters of Intent year-round, however applicants may have only one proposal in our grant pipeline at one time.

The Letter of Intent is brief and to the point. It should cover:

• The scope of your project and its relevance to type 1 diabetes
• An outline of your experimental plan and a feasibility assessment
• Why your project is novel
• Your qualifications to perform the study
• Why you believe the proposal merits funding

The Letter of Intent is restricted to one typed page, single-spaced in 11 point Arial font.

We will let you know the results of your Letter of Intent review within two weeks. If your Letter of Intent is not approved, we encourage you to submit a new one, explaining how the modified research proposal differs from the original. If it is approved, you will be invited to proceed to Phase 2 – Grant Application.

PHASE 2 – Grant Application
The Diabetes Research Connection only accepts Grant Applications from scientists whose Letters of Intent have been approved by our Scientific Review Committee. You have four weeks to submit your Grant Application. If you are awaiting IRB approval and need more time, let us know as soon as possible.
Your Grant Application should consist of the following:
• Hypothesis – what do you propose to do?
• Background and rationale for the project
• Experimental plan
The Grant Application is restricted to three (3) letter-size pages, single-spaced in 11 point Arial font. You should put your budget, citations, and CV in separate attachments where indicated.
We will let you know the results of your Grant Application review within four weeks. If your Grant Application is not approved, you may receive a short critique to help guide a resubmission and/or future applications. If it is approved, you will be invited to proceed to Phase 3 – Website Presentation.

PHASE 3 – Website Presentation
Your Website Presentation is the key to making the connection with donors and is crucial to your success. You will use video, slides, imagery and text to convince lay donors that your project is exciting, interesting, and worthy of their financial support.
We provide a basic tutorial and a book on how to write for laypeople to help you create your website presentation. Members of our layperson committee and focus groups will critique your website presentation. Layperson Committee members are always available to provide direction, feedback and assistance to you to help you achieve your funding goals.

Your one-page Letter of Intent will be reviewed by a Scientific Review Committee (link to roster), a group of 70+ top diabetes experts. They will assess your basic concept for NOVELTY, SCIENTIFIC MERIT and FEASIBILITY.

If your Letter of Intent is approved, you will be asked to submit a three-page Grant Application. We may occasionally pass along constructive input received during the Letter of Intent review that you may find useful in perfecting your Grant Application.

A three-person Specialist Advisory Panel, comprised of selected members of the larger Scientific Review Committee who are experts in your specific area of inquiry, will review the Grant Application based on the NOVELTY, SCIENTIFIC MERIT and FEASIBILITY of the science proposed, as well as your ability to perform the study.

If more than half of the reviews of your Grant Application are positive, you are invited to raise the funds you need for your project. You will then create a Website Presentation to market your project to interested donors.

Members of Diabetes Research Connection’s Layperson Committee and focus groups review website presentations before they are posted to the website. These non-scientists are representative of the donor demographic and are committed to your fundraising success. Their review will provide constructive suggestions to help you come up with a presentation that is easy to understand and exciting to donors.

You have up to three months to reach your diabetes funding goal. Within two weeks after you reach your goal, we will distribute one-half of the funds you attracted to your institution. We will send the balance when your project is approximately 50% complete, or six months after initial funding, whichever occurs first.

Researchers whose projects fail to attract any donors at all after one month should consult with us for help in re-marketing and refining their Website Presentation. If a project attracts no funding at all by the end of two months, it may be removed from the website to make room for new proposals.

If you raise some portion of the money you need, but still fall short of your goal and your three months is almost up, then we will work with you to try to modify the study so you are able to complete it. If we have discretionary funds available, we may elect to allocate up to 20% of your grant goal in order to reach the minimum amount required to conduct the experiment.

If a project is still only partially funded after exhausting all sources, we may reallocate the funding raised to other projects. We may also use such funds to help operate and maintain the website.

You are strongly encouraged to send us updates so we can post them on our site and on Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media at least once a month so your sponsor(s) can follow your progress.

To keep your donors apprised of your progress, we will also ask you to submit a PROGRESS REPORT no more than 6 months after the research project is funded, and a FINAL REPORT no more than 3 months after the research project is completed.

We will provide a template reporting form and we will send a copy of your final report to your donors.

We encourage you to publish encouraging results in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

We hold every hope that your project will result in proof of a concept that you can leverage to apply for additional grants from larger funding institutions.

Regardless of outcome, every research project advances the body of knowledge, which is why Diabetes Research Connection posts ALL final reports on its website.

Projects can go from submission to posting on our website in as little as 12 weeks. While we cannot guarantee this timeframe, we strive to adhere to this schedule:

Scientific Review Committee responds to Letter of Intent Within one week after submission
(If the Letter of Intent is approved) – Applicant submits a three-page Grant Application Within four weeks after Letter of Intent is approved
Applicant receives response to Grant Application Within two weeks of submission
(If the Grant Application was approved) – researcher submits Website Presentation Within four weeks after Grant Application is approved
Start the Application Process Now

If you have any questions about applying to Diabetes Research Connection,
contact Christina Kalberg at or at (844) 484-3372.