Millions of children and adults struggle with type 1 diabetes. Despite this, funding for research has decreased. Our mission is to connect donors with scientists enabling them to perform peer-reviewed research that will prevent and cure type 1 diabetes, minimize its complications and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease and their loved ones.
Consider Autumn, a woman in her mid-20s who was diagnosed at the age of nine. Every day she is carefully balancing her blood sugar. She wears an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. Both are more convenient than shots, but she still has to check her blood sugar 3-4 times per day to make sure she’s in control. She’s been hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition where the body produces excess blood acid, which can quickly become fatal if not treated. Diabetes doesn't just affect her - her family, friends, and coworkers have to be aware of potential problems and how to treat them.
Diabetes Research Connection helps raise funding for research projects in order to improve the quality of life for children and adults with type 1 diabetes like Autumn. Since 2014, we’ve funded seven research projects and raised more than $400,000 to eradicate the disease.
Unfortunately, though, scientific research is expensive.
Just consumable supplies, such as petri dishes, pipettes, and reactants can cost more than $20,000. This number only increases with the number of people in the lab and the cost of more specialized supplies. For example, the cost of insulin is around $500, and that’s for a little less than a thimble-full of the solution. Even the water used in research is expensive, as it must be processed to a very high purity level before it can be used. On top of this, labs must have the equipment and instruments needed to conduct the research, and these often come with costly maintenance and service contracts.
In addition to these high costs, it’s hard for research labs to find funding to cover them. For example, in the 2015 fiscal year, National Institutes of Health agencies were only able to fund 18.3% of grant applications they reviewed. Receiving grant money is a drawn out process, with it often taking a year or more from submitting an application to beginning to receive funding. Of the funding available for type 1 diabetes research projects, 97% goes to established scientists.
For this reason, although scientific breakthroughs often emerge due to the inventiveness of early-career scientists, many exciting ideas for diabetes research simply can’t get off the ground - until now.
Diabetes Research Connection grants up to $50,000 to support each research project. Scientists throughout the United States submit their projects through our website, and these projects are reviewed by more than 80 of the leading diabetes experts for innovation, value and feasibility. For accepted projects, the time from application to funding can be as short as 12 weeks.
Throughout history, many scientific breakthroughs have emerged from early-career scientists; consider Frederick Banting and Charles Best, who discovered insulin before the age of 33. Your support of type 1 diabetes research by early-career scientists may very well be the key to unlocking the diabetes puzzle that plagues millions in America and beyond.
Risk & Challenges
Consider the following statistics:
- 1.25 million Americans are currently living with type 1 diabetes.
- 5 million people in the U.S. are expected to have type 1 diabetes by 2050.
- 40,000 people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year in the U.S.
- The yearly cost to manage type 1 diabetes in the U.S. alone totals $14.9 billion.
- There were 246,000 deaths from diabetes in the U.S. in 2012.
- 45 percent of those with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed before the age of 10.
- The 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. is diabetes.
Research funded by DRC is critical. We give early-career scientists the opportunity to perform innovative, peer-reviewed diabetes research for which funding is limited. Donations to this project will be added to our General Fund, which is used to cover operating costs and supply funding for approved scientific research projects.
Every project posted has passed two peer reviews by diabetes experts. To assure that the project is adequately funded, the researcher must submit a detailed, accurate budget as part of the project proposal. Our grantees are required to submit a detailed progress report after six months, and a final summary of results upon completion of the project. We forward these reports to all project sponsors. Researchers also provide periodic updates to donors via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. We may also occasionally schedule webinars to bring donor attention to exceptional progress of sponsored research.
What is Diabetes Research Connection?
The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is a 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization. Our crowdfunding platform connects supporters with early-career scientists who need funding for innovative, type 1 diabetes (T1D) research projects. Projects selected on our website have been peer-reviewed by an esteemed group of over 80 prominent T1D experts. Researchers keep their donors informed and involved throughout their investigations by posting updates on their project page. We provide donors with tangible evidence that your support has an impact, that your money is used efficiently, and that it delivers measurable results.
How does Diabetes Research Connection differ from other organizations that fund diabetes research?
We give early-career scientists the opportunity to perform innovative, discovery-stage diabetes research for which seed money is scarce. We enable post-docs and young faculty to develop data to demonstrate proof of principle and then apply to larger organizations like JDRF, ADA and NIH, whose grants exceed $100,000. We empower donors to influence the direction of diabetes research by inviting them to select the research they wish to support from an array of meritorious, peer-reviewed proposals. A project that you sponsor could be the very one that precipitates a major breakthrough for prevention, a cure or better care for those with T1D. In addition, our application process is considerably shorter than most – a project can be approved in as little as 12 weeks.
If Diabetes Research Connection accepts donations through their website, why is the organization using the Gladitood platform?
Gladitood is an outlet for the donor community seeking to support a wide range of projects impacting worthwhile causes globally. We hope this platform will help spread the word about our mission. Gladitood enables supporters to create and share a custom fundraising page with your network of family and friends. The more visibility brought to DRC, the more likely we are to meet our goal and fund innovative T1D research.
View All Questions