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Upcoming Research Competition

Diabetes Canada 2021 Research Competition

2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the life-changing Canadian discovery of insulin. We are thrilled that, as we observe this anniversary, we are also able to launch our 2021 research competition.

This year, Diabetes Canada will be awarding 15 End Diabetes:100 Awards. Each of the 15 awards commits a $100,000 operating grant annually for three years to support brilliant scientists and provide them with the freedom, autonomy, and resources to set them on the road to breakthrough discoveries.

The objective of the End Diabetes:100 Awards are:

  • To support researchers in the discovery of the biomedical, clinical, health services, and/or population health factors that lead to the onset and progression of all types of diabetes and related complications.
  • To develop solutions aimed at the prevention, management, and finding a cure(s) for people living with diabetes.

Competition Guidelines and Application Criteria

Please review the 2021 Research Competition Guide for full details on the award being offered, including eligibility criteria, policies, and timelines for the 2021 competition. French 2021 Research Competition Guide available here.

There is a two-stage application and review process:

  1. Applicants are invited to submit a letter of intent (LOI).
  2. After panel review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application. Diabetes Canada intends to advance the top ranking LOIs to the application stage to ensure a funding success rate of 50%.

At this stage, we invite all interested applicants to complete and submit by email an LOI using Diabetes Canada’s letter of intent submission template. French letter of intent submission template available here. Please note:

  • All LOIs are due by June 20, 2021, 7:59 p.m. ET. Additional time allowances will not be granted for any reason.
  • All LOIs must use this submission template and provide the requested information.
  • All LOIs must be submitted by email to research@diabetes.ca as a single PDF file (preferred) or Microsoft Word attachment.
  • In addition to your LOI, please submit your CV (CIHR Project BioSketch CV) and 2 pages of appendices.

Selected applicants will be contacted in mid-August 2021 and invited to submit a full application. Full applications will be due in late September 2021. All full applications must be submitted online through ResearchNet. Instructions for submitting a full application will be shared with the successful LOI applicants.

Funding decisions will be made in late November 2021 and Notice of Decision letters will be sent at that time. Funding is projected to be disbursed starting in December 2021.

Our Research Strategy

You spoke; we listened. The Diabetes Canada research strategy was built with your feedback. To shape our 2021 research funding competition, Diabetes Canada gathered direct input from key stakeholders. This year’s competition, as well as the future of our research strategy, was formed with feedback from 360 participants across Canada. The full report of input and key findings can be read here.

Diabetes Canada is committed to working together with talented researchers towards our common goal of creating a world free of the effects of diabetes.

FAQs

1. What does Diabetes Canada’s research competition fund?

Since 1975, Diabetes Canada has funded thousands of successful Canadian scientists, scholars, and clinicians in their quest for new and innovative developments in the prevention, treatment, and management of diabetes.

Although their research is diverse in scope, the key goals of every diabetes study and researcher remain the same—to improve the quality of life of people living with diabetes and to find a cure. Details on the specific types of research that Diabetes Canada funds can be found here.

2. What impact does Diabetes Canada’s research competition have on the research community and people living with diabetes?

Diabetes Canada supports a robust research program. Since 1975, we've supported outstanding diabetes research in Canada and administered more than $140 million in research grants, awards, and partnerships to scientists and clinicians across the country.

Our currently funded researchers are studying numerous aspects of diabetes and its prevention and care. From type 2 diabetes and obesity, to new coaching techniques for women with gestational diabetes, to the artificial pancreas and more innovative technologies for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, to the study of insulin-producing beta cells, our funded researchers are working to improve the quality of life of people living with diabetes and to find a cure.

Details on some of our currently funded research projects across Canada can be found here.

3. Why hasn’t there been a Diabetes Canada research competition for the past two years?

In 2019, a decision was made with the Diabetes Canada National Research Council (NRC)  to combine the 2019 and 2020 research competitions to better serve the diabetes research community. Combining the 2019 and 2020 competitions would have allowed for a greater source of funds to support a larger number of researchers, and a more efficient use of expert volunteer resources. However, in 2020, the competition was cancelled due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. What are the timelines for the 2021 research competition?

  • Letters of Intent (LOI) submission opens: May 17, 2021
  • LOI submission deadline: June 20, 2021 (7:59 p.m. ET)
  • Notification of LOI results & full application open on ResearchNet: Mid-August 2021
  • Full application submission deadline: Late September 2021
  • Notification of funding decisions: Mid-November 2021
  • Funding start date: December 2021

5. Why is there a letter of intent (LOI) stage in the application process?

The LOI is an opportunity to introduce your proposed project and let Diabetes Canada know you are interested in the funding opportunity. Developing an LOI is a smaller time commitment for a research team than completing a full application, so this two-stage process allows all interested candidates to apply without having to complete a labour-intensive application at the start. Diabetes Canada expert reviewers will evaluate the LOIs and invite the top ranking applicants to advance to the full application stage. This will allow those applicants to have a funding success rate of 50%. A multidisciplinary review panel consisting of scientific and clinical experts, along with persons affected by diabetes (including family/caregivers), will be assembled to review the LOIs.

6. How are persons affected by diabetes included in the research competition?

Diabetes Canada is forming a multidisciplinary review panel to review the LOIs. This review panel will consist of scientific and clinical experts, along with persons affected by diabetes (including family/caregivers), to provide the perspective of people living with diabetes. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a reviewer, please contact research@diabetes.ca.

7. Why is Diabetes Canada offering Operating Grants this year? Is there any support available for trainees?

To shape our 2021 research funding competition, Diabetes Canada gathered direct input from key stakeholders and expert input from the NRC and leaders from within the diabetes community. These stakeholders and leaders agreed that 15 Operating Grants of $100,000 per year/3 years is the most impactful way for Diabetes Canada to allocate our available 2021 research funds. The full report of input and key findings can be read here

We encourage applicants to include salary support for their trainees as part of their research proposal budget. A full list of eligible and ineligible expenses for award funds can be found in the 2021 Research Competition Guide.

8. This year’s award of $100,000 per year/3 years seems low. Why is the 2021 award amount smaller than previous years? 

Like many other research funding organizations, Diabetes Canada has insufficient resources to fund all of the excellent research proposals that we receive. Now, more than ever, Diabetes Canada must focus mission activities to ensure maximum impact.

To shape our 2021 research funding competition, Diabetes Canada gathered direct input from key stakeholders and expert input from the NRC and leaders from within the diabetes community. These stakeholders and leaders agreed that 15 Operating Grants of $100,000 per year/3 years is the most impactful way for Diabetes Canada to allocate our available 2021 research funds.

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