Call Our HELPLINE: 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636)

Become a Research Advocate

Despite promising research, there is neither a cure for Parkinson's disease (PD) nor medications that can reverse its course. But there can be.

We can make research more efficient and effective by ensuring that people with Parkinson's and care partners are primary partners in research alongside scientists, industry and government. As a signature program of the Parkinson's Foundation, Parkinson's Advocates in Research (PAIR) is making this partnership a reality. We are bringing together the people who live with Parkinson's and the people developing new treatments.

How PAIR Works

  • Through in-person trainings and an online course, the PAIR program gives people impacted by Parkinson's the knowledge and skills needed to pair up with scientists and health professionals.
  • Through collaborating with research institutions, the PAIR program facilitates partnerships between Research Advocates and professionals at the front lines of research.

Get Involved: In-Person Trainings

The cornerstone of the PAIR program is a national network of Research Advocates. Since 2008, the program has trained more than 280 people with PD and caregivers as Research Advocates, preparing them to work on the frontlines with the professionals seeking better PD treatments. Research Advocates change research by:

  • Prioritizing research
  • Improving studies
  • Influencing stakeholders

All Parkinson’s Foundation Research Advocates complete a three-day training program at one of the foundation’s Learning Institutes. Leading experts from the field teach them about the science of Parkinson’s and new treatment development (see our curriculum here). Each person who completes a Learning Institute becomes a Parkinson’s Foundation Research Advocate.
Training is just the beginning of a Research Advocate's work and Parkinson’s Foundation support of his or her advocacy. The entire network works closely with foundation staff and each other to identify advocacy opportunities, take part in ongoing education, share resources and network.

We recommend these trainings to individuals who can commit at least two to three hours a month to research advocacy work.

Happening in 2018

Are you interested in playing your part to change research, but have decided that an in-person training is not an option right now? There's still a way to get involved. Take the PAIR online course that offers the core components of our in-person trainings from the comfort of home. You then have the opportunity to work closely with Parkinson’s Foundation Research Advocates, foundation staff and local research centers to find ways to advance Parkinson's research in your community. We recommend this course to anyone impacted by PD. The online course is coming soon in 2018!

Questions?

To learn more about this program or speak with the Parkinson’s Foundation about partnering with a Research Advocate at your institution, clinical study or support group, please contact our Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) or helpline@parkinson.org.

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