Research Funding


This resource on Type 1 Diabetes Research was created in partnership with JDRF, an active partner of Beyond Type 1 at the time of publication, through the JDRF – Beyond Type 1 Alliance.

Funding for type 1 diabetes research comes from a combination of private donors, governmental funding and industry investments.

Private donors fund type 1 diabetes (T1D) research by donating money to non-profits like JDRF, which routes private donor funding toward vetted research opportunities. In its last fiscal year alone, $121.5 million was routed toward research, with approximately $2 billion in donor dollars funding T1D research since the organization’s inception in 1970. In 2016, JDRF created the T1D Fund, a separate entity from JDRF that is also funded through donor dollars, but focuses specifically on equity investments in companies developing novel approaches to type 1 diabetes treatments, as well as possible preventions and cures.

Some private donor money is routed through trusts, like the Helmsley Charitable Trust, which was created in 2009 after the passing of Leona Helmsley, who left her and her husband’s sizable trust to charity. One of the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s key focus areas is type 1 diabetes, with $46.4 million donated to type 1 diabetes research projects in fiscal year 2019 alone.

Individual labs and academic institutions are also a cornerstone of type 1 diabetes research, and are often partially funded through individual private donors and various academic funding, just like the work of Banting and Best at the University of Toronto in the 1920s which led to the discovery of insulin.

An additional average of $50 million per year of governmental funding for type 1 diabetes research is provided to the National Institutes of Health through the Special Diabetes Program, a key funding program that began in 1997 after Congress concluded that the lack of progress in diabetes treatments was due to a lack of funding.

Additionally, through industry partnerships with JDRF, for-profit companies in the diabetes space invest approximately $80 million per year in T1D treatments and next generation approaches to care.

Explore Research Funding in Greater Depth

The Special Diabetes Program: What It Is and How You Can Help

U.S. health centers can receive $150 million per year for type 1 diabetes research; you can influence whether or not they receive this vital funding.MORE

Investing in Type 1 Innovation—JDRF’s T1D Fund

A separate entity owned by JDRF, the T1D Fund is a venture philanthropy fund - a cross between a traditional venture capital firm that funds promising solutions, and a philanthropic organization.MORE


If you would like to contribute to T1D research and fund cures, make a gift to JDRF here.

WRITTEN BY BT1 Editorial Team, POSTED 03/24/20, UPDATED 01/03/23

This piece was authored collaboratively by the Beyond Type 1 Editorial Team.