European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD) and Lilly EXPLORING AND APPLYING NEW STRATEGIES IN DIABETES (EXPAND) Programme

Deadline Date: 2 November 2023


The European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD) was created by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) to provide funding initiatives in all areas of diabetes research. The aims of the EFSD are to encourage and support research in the field of diabetes, to rapidly diffuse acquired knowledge and to facilitate its application.

Lilly has been a global leader in diabetes care since 1923, when Lilly introduced the world’s first commercial insulin. Today Lilly is building upon this heritage by working to meet the diverse needs of people with diabetes and those who care for them. Through research, collaboration and quality manufacturing Lilly strives to make life better for people affected by diabetes and related conditions. Lilly works to deliver breakthrough outcomes through innovative solutions—from medicines and technologies to support programs and more.

Programme and Research Focus

The EFSD/Lilly EXPAND Programme aims to assess with dedicated research projects, potential strategies that could be implemented in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC) in collaboration with a European centre to favour the improvement of quality of care for all people living with diabetes. We will consider research applications in collaboration with DAC (Development Assistance Committee) countries - the list can be viewed here.

To achieve the goals and objectives of this programme, EFSD and Lilly invite applications by issuing this “Request for Applications” (RFA). The EFSD/Lilly Programme will accept applications within any area of clinical diabetes research with emphasis on:

  • Prevention of diabetes mellitus
  • Diagnosis/management of all forms of diabetes
  • Diagnosis/management/prevention of diabetes-related microvascular complications
  • Diagnosis/management/prevention of diabetes-related macrovascular complications

The overall goals are to achieve:

  • Long-term sustainability of proposed interventions
  • Optimal and long-lasting collaboration with the partner center in a developed country in the fields of health care, education and research
  • Replicability of proposed projects in other hospitals/health care settings, in other regions/ countries
  • Establishing a network of hospitals/health care settings based on the outcome
  • Direct involvement and commitment of local health authorities (co-funding)
  • Confirmation of the local partners and local health authorities from the LMIC and from European partners that they will comply to fulfil the logistical and financial requirements of the project
  • Impact on the existing health care delivery education and research on local/regional/national level

Mechanism of Support and Review

Research will be supported through the award of grants, each of up to 150.000 Euro. The division of the budget should be around 70% to LMIC and 30% to the European country. For the accepted projects the financing will be on refunding basis.

The duration of each award may be one year or longer, depending upon the needs of the project and as justified in the application. EFSD may, on advisement from the Review Committee, recommend an award in a different amount from that requested, but which is considered more appropriate for the proposed studies.

Applicants who have a funding requirement larger than 150.000 Euro are also invited to apply to this programme, particularly if this relates to a clinical research project. In this case, the relevant financial requirements should be indicated and clearly justified in the budget section of the application.

Studies forming part of a larger project or matched co-funding will be considered favourably for funding, but this will need to be well justified in the application (see Review Considerations).

Applications for an EFSD/Lilly Research Programme grant are invited from single non-profit institutions, independently of the format of their scientific and educational capacity, or groups of such institutions from one or more LMIC’s, with one principal investigator from one of those institutions, being responsible for the project. The principal investigator and any co-investigators must be employed by the non-profit institutions.

The European partner is invited from single non-profit institutions, independently of the format of their scientific and educational capacity, from European and associated countries. (For the detailed country list, please see here).

Each application should follow the same overall concept:

(a) Part 1 - Research and education of the investigators from the LMIC in the European partner institution.

(b) Part 2 - Implementation of the relevant methodologies in the institution(s) of the LMIC with peer-to-peer education in research and supervision from the European centre.

The duration of each part is flexible and can vary in accordance with the project content, although it is advisable that Part 1 should be shorter than Part 2 (i.e., Part 1 duration 4 months and Part 2 duration 8 months).

Within the project application, the close relationship between research and education in the context of the proposed topic of the project should be emphasized and it should be adequately documented. Thus, an emphasis should be placed on monitoring and consultancy exerted by the principal investigator, his/her team and institution. The principal investigator of the accepted application may receive a free EASD membership for the duration of the project under a solidarity fund.

A help desk will be available during the entire duration of the call for applications and enquiries should be directed to the EFSD office at

Applications will be subject to scientific review by a specialised and independent ad hoc committee. It is expected that applications will be received, reviewed and approved for funding by February 2024.

Prior to any final decision on funding, and in order to offer applicants the opportunity to benefit from the review process, EFSD reserves the right to request revision to applications in accordance with the recommendations of the Review Committee.

Research Grant Applications

Applications for research grants will be subjected to pre-review (or triage) procedures. In this event, any application rejected at pre-review will not be subject to a complete scientific review and no feedback report will be provided to the applicant.

The deadline for receipt of research grant applications for funding this year is 2 November 2023.

All budgets are to be prepared in Euro. For countries in which the Euro is not the common currency, the exchange rate (between the Euro and the local currency in the country where the work is to be performed) used for calculating the Euro budget must be mentioned under "Budget Justification".

Application forms may be downloaded here:

Application Form

All applications must be prepared on the official forms and completed in strict accordance with the detailed instructions to be found on these forms. Applications which do not comply with the instructions given in the application form will not be considered for review.

Please send your application as one complete PDF email attachment to by 12:00 midday (CET) on the deadline date 2 November 2023.

Review Considerations

Completed applications will be evaluated in accordance with the criteria stated below for scientific/technical merit by an appropriate and independent scientific committee.

Review criteria are as follows:

  • Significance: Does the study address an important problem? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  What will be the effect of the proposed studies on the concepts or methods that drive this field?
  • Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative approaches? Is the close relationship between research and education clearly emphasised in the context of the proposed topic of the project and adequately documented? Has the monitoring and consultancy exerted by the principal investigator, his/her team and institution been adequately incorporated?
  • Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or methods? Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?
  • Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers (if any)?
  • Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed experiments take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional and local health care support? Is there direct involvement and commitment of the local health authorities? Priority will be given to applicants with a track record in international collaborative studies. In addition, we anticipate that the partner organisations will contribute 30% of total budget towards cash or non-cash matched funding.
  • Budget and feasibility: Is the requested budget appropriate for the proposed study? Is the requested duration suitable for completion of the project? We anticipate that 70% of the budget will be used in the partner organisation in LMIC.
  • Contribution towards a larger research project: Is the work described in the application intended as part of a larger project? If so, is there any overlap? Is there a clear explanation how the new work will contribute towards the overall success of that larger project?

Reporting Requirements and Approval of Funding

All funded applications will receive the funding instalment upon confirmation of the approval of the Review Committee and based on the reimbursement of the verified costs at 3 months intervals. All reports will be subject to assessment prior to the release of any further funds.

Investigators must provide EFSD with copies of papers accepted for publication, and must acknowledge the support of the Programme in all written material by use of the phrase: "This work was supported by EFSD/Lilly EXPAND programme".

Competitive Renewal

Applications for a grant renewal will be accepted on a competitive basis, with the same review process as described in this Announcement. Such applications will thus be considered in the same fashion as all other new applications received for review and without any special priority.


Announcement: July 2023

Application Deadline: 2 November 2023

Anticipated Award: February 2024


Enquiries should be directed to