PAIR Up for PD Research
Join PDF's Parkinson's Advocates in Research (PAIR) program to advance research and speed new treatments for Parkinson's.
It is only through research studies that new Parkinson's treatments become available. A shortage of volunteers and other barriers are delaying new treatments.
Whether you are living with Parkinson's, a care partner or a research professional, there is a way for you to work with us to improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson's.
About the Program
Parkinson's Advocates in Research is a signature program of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF). Through in-person trainings and an online course, it provides people touched by Parkinson's with the knowledge and skills needed to "pair up" with scientists and health professionals in advancing research and speeding new treatments.
Get Involved: In-Person Trainings
The cornerstone of the PAIR program is a national network of more than 200 Research Advocates touched by Parkinson's from 42 states who are actively advancing research by:
- Guiding research by serving on Parkinson’s national, regional and local research advisory boards;
- Filling gaps and overcoming obstacles in Parkinson’s research; and
- Educating communities around the country
All PDF Research Advocates have completed a three-day training program, one of PDF's Learning Institutes, during which they are trained by leading experts from the field about the science of Parkinson’s and the development of new treatments. (See our curriculum here). Each person who completes a Learning Institute takes on the role of PDF Research Advocate.
The training is just the beginning of a Research Advocate's work and PDF's support of his or her advocacy. The entire network works closely with PDF staff and each other to identify advocacy opportunities, receive ongoing education (webinars, conference calls), share resources and network.
We recommend these trainings to individuals who can commit at least five hours a month to research advocacy work.
Get Involved: Take the Online Course
You can't make it to one of our trainings, but still want to play your part in advancing research?
Join PDF's new four-part online course, which offers the core components of our in-person trainings from the comfort of home.
When you complete the online course (approximately four hours of coursework), you will receive a certificate via email. You will then have the opportunity to work closely with PDF Research Advocates, PDF staff and local research centers to find ways to advance Parkinson's research in your community.
We recommend this course to anyone touched by PD.
Get Involved: I'm a Research/Health Care Professional
Are you a doctor, research professional or support group leader? We welcome your interest in this program. PDF firmly believes that our educated community - which includes 200 Research Advocates and hundreds of others who have completed our online course - can help you. Whether you are looking for someone to review clinical study protocols, to assist with developing clinical trial recruitment plans or to speak to support groups about getting involved in local research opportunities, we have advocates that can take on the task. Contact us today to "pair up" with a Research Advocate in your community.
Parkinson’s affects nearly one million people in the United States. Although promising research is being conducted, there is neither a cure for Parkinson’s, nor are there medications that can reverse its course. This is due in part to delays in clinical trials testing new medications, which can take several years to complete. PDF believes that to speed this process, people with Parkinson’s must be primary partners in research alongside researchers, government and industry.
By offering their perspectives, Research Advocates can raise issues that are all too often overlooked, and help to identify and solve barriers to Parkinson’s research. Most importantly, the presence of Research Advocates reminds scientists of the urgency to find new treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s as soon as possible.
If you would like to learn more about this program or if you would like to speak with PDF about partnering with a Research Advocate at your institution, clinical study or support group, please call (800) 457-6676 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to learn more about future training dates, please visit our Learning Institute page.