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Advancing Parkinson's Therapies

The Parkinson’s Foundation Advancing Parkinson’s Treatments grants fund innovative programs to facilitate the movement of treatments from “bench to bedside." Our Conference Awards and Parkinson’s Advocates in Research (PAIR) Leadership Awards aim to remove barriers that might prevent better Parkinson’s disease (PD) treatments from reaching people with Parkinson’s at a faster pace. Apply now.

Conference Awards Program Overview

Conference Awards support the gathering of experts in the field working to address unsolved clinical or basic science problems relevant to Parkinson’s disease. 

All applications should demonstrate the potential to advance the field of Parkinson’s research. We require publicly available meeting results. Applicants may use this award to:

  • Identify or define emerging research questions
  • Plan or organize a clinical trial A research study in humans that aims to test a new intervention – this could be a drug, surgery or therapy like exercise or diet guidelines – to make sure it is effective and safe.
  • Standardize research methods

Potential topics are wide-ranging, but examples include showing the importance of synaptic pathology in Parkinson's gene therapy, selecting standard measures of cognitive function for Parkinson's clinical trials or establishing an impulse control disorder rating scale.

The Parkinson’s Foundation commits to including the perspective and experience of people living with PD in the research process. We highly encourage applicants to incorporate a community engagement component into award applications.

We periodically make $45,000 available with a maximum of $15,000 per award. Most awards will be $10,000. We encourage multiple funding partners, including contributions from the applicant institution itself. We may also consider competitive, follow-up applications in the future.


Conference Awards are open to both national and international independent investigators with postdoctoral training or a medical degree (or the equivalent).


  • We encourage planned or proposed funding partners but require they be named in advance.
  • If one or more of the proposed funding partners is a for-profit entity, e.g., a pharmaceutical company, the source must make its support in the form of an unrestricted educational award.
  • Conference results must be publicly available.
  • Conferences may not be for social or networking purposes.
  • The Parkinson’s Foundation expects that each meeting or conference will engage members of the Parkinson’s community.

Parkinson’s Advocates in Research (PAIR) Leadership Awards Program Overview

The Parkinson’s Foundation PAIR Leadership Awards foster patient engagement in Parkinson’s research. These grants support scientists working to formally engage Parkinson’s Foundation Research Advocates and other patient advocates (people with Parkinson's and care partners) in their research. We base this award on our philosophy that when we bring together two kinds of experts – scientists who study PD and individuals who live with it – we are likely to find answers more quickly. The award is an extension of the Parkinson’s Foundation Parkinson’s Advocates in Research (PAIR) program. The application deadline is Thursday, June 1.

Successful applicants will have a plan to formally engage one or more of the Parkinson’s Foundation’s trained Research Advocates or other patient advocates (people with PD and care partners) in their project, in a way that goes beyond recruitment or trial participation. Engagement should be project-specific and applicants should demonstrate a pre-existing commitment to engaging people with PD as partners to improve research.

Some possible patient advocate activity examples include:

  • Identifying research priorities of the Parkinson’s community
  • Developing specific study design and protocols
  • Serving as co-investigators on specific clinical studies

Parkinson’s Foundation Research Advocates are people living with PD and care partners who have completed training to understand the science of Parkinson’s and the drug development process. They are collaborating with over 120 institutions across the U.S., including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Parkinson Study Group and industry partners. The Parkinson’s Foundation may be able to connect you with a Research Advocate in your community.

Funds Available

Up to $10,000 in funding is available for outstanding project ideas.

Eligibility & Restrictions

A successful PAIR Leadership Award recipient is a Parkinson’s researcher in the U.S. who has:

  • Established pre-existing relationship(s) with Parkinson’s Foundation Research Advocate(s) or other patient advocates within her/his community
  • Already identified a specific project that will engage Parkinson’s Foundation Research Advocate(s) or other patient advocates and in which all parties (advocates and professionals) believe there is potential to accelerate PD research
  • Received the support of at least one Parkinson’s Foundation Research Advocate(s) or another patient advocate who is collaborating on the project
  • Demonstrated a commitment to patient engagement to improve research

Learn more about grant deadlines.

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