Resources and support for researchers

As the UK's largest Parkinson's charity, there are many ways we can support your research. And you don't need a Parkinson's UK grant to qualify.

Currently there are 3 Parkinson's UK funded cohorts:

  • Tracking Parkinson's, or the PRoBaND study, is a UK-based multi-centre prospective longitudinal study, informed by epidemiological and biomarker data. The study aims to define and explain these variations by analysing the clinical expression of Parkinson's in relation to genotypic variation. The cohort consists of 2,270 Parkinson’s participants and 344 siblings. Data/bio-samples: Patient level data along with blood samples are available.
  • The OPDC Discovery cohort is a prospective, longitudinal study that has recruited 1087 patients with early idiopathic Parkinson's, 300 healthy controls and 111 participants at risk of PD. The study also includes 151 participants with REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder.
    Data/bio-samples: Patient level and CSF biomarker data, along with MRI brain imaging data are available. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples are also available. 
  • The ICICLE-PD study aims to accurately characterise 2 independent cohorts of incident parkinsonism (314 subjects) in Newcastle-Gateshead and Cambridgeshire. A key objective is to identify patients who develop Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) and the factors that predict its evolution.
    Data/bio-samples: Patient level and CSF biomarker data, along with brain imaging (MRI, FDG-PET) data are available. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples are also available. 

For more information about these cohorts, or to compare and find additional cohorts, please visit the JPND website. 

The Parkinson's UK Brain Bank provides tissue to researchers in the UK and around the world who are working towards a cure for Parkinson's.

Find out more about the Parkinson's UK Brain Bank and make a request.

We know that research participants would be more likely to take part in future studies if they received updates from the researchers. 

So we've developed a toolkit to make it easy for the research community to communicate with their study participants.

Alongside our groundbreaking research to develop better treatments and a cure, we also support research to improve quality of life.

To define research priority areas we worked with the James Lind Alliance and researchers at UK universities to carry out a Priority Setting Partnership. The findings were published in the British Medical Journal and can be used to support impact statements when applying for research funding.

Discover the list of priority areas for improving everyday life in Parkinson's.

The Parkinson's Excellence Network provides Parkinson's specific resources and learning opportunities for those working or interested in health and social care.

Find out more about the Excellence Network or sign up to the Excellence Network e-newsletter to get the latest news, training, resources and events for professionals.

We're happy to encourage and support research into Parkinson's in all areas by providing a letter of support for your application for funding.

Find out more about letters of support or complete the application form (Word, 84KB).

Parkinson's UK is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) non-commercial Partner. This means the studies that we fund may be eligible to access NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) support.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) has extended support into health and social care research taking place in non-NHS settings.

The CRN can support research conducted outside of NHS settings, such as studies running in care homes or in hospices, which will answer important questions for those patient populations.

The CRN will also be able to better support research into public health, for example in schools and other community settings. Find out how the NIHR can help you.

In partnership with your local R&D office, we encourage you to involve your local team in discussions as early as possible when planning your study to fully benefit from the support the NIHR CRN offers as outlined in their Study Support Service.

If your study involves NHS sites in England you will need to apply for Health Research Authority Approval. For guidance on submitting an application please visit 

If you're holding an event for people affected by Parkinson's you can request a member of the Parkinson's UK research team to speak.

Our communications team can talk about the latest research news, the benefits of taking part in research trials and how people with Parkinson's are shaping the future of research. We can also share ways for people to get connected to research through our Research Support Network or get involved through our various volunteer roles. 

Further information about our support

Please note that researchers seeking participants are not permitted to approach local groups or post on the discussion forum without prior approval from the Parkinson's UK research team.