Resources and support for researchers

As the UK's largest Parkinson's charity, there are many ways we can support researchers.

As well as inviting you to apply for our Parkinson's UK grants, we can help you to recruit participants and involve people affected by Parkinson's in your studies. We can also signpost you to other useful organisations.

Recruit participants to your study

As the UK's largest Parkinson's charity, we can help you recruit participants by sharing your research with our supporters. Find out more and request support for your clinical study.

Support with Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)

There are many ways we can support you to involve people affected by Parkinson's in a meaningful and timely way - whether you're applying for funding or conducting your research.

Find out more about Patient and Public Involvement.

Parkinson's UK funded cohorts - data and bio-samples

Long-term, observational cohort studies are supported through our specialist cohort study grants and reviewed by our Cohort Studies Council.

Applications for new cohort studies may be submitted at any time. To request an application form, please contact us at [email protected].

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 disease, 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. 

Tissue from the Parkinson's UK Brain Bank

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.

Support for your impact statement

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.

Letters of support

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).

Research conference

The Parkinson's UK Research Conference is held every 2 years and brings Parkinson's researchers together to present and discuss their work, share ideas and develop collaborations.

Discover the sessions and speakers for the 2018 research conference.

Professional resources and events

The UK 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 UK Parkinson's Excellence Network or sign up for the Excellence Network newsletter.

Support from the National Institute for Health Research

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 change to the policy (from 1 January 2018) means 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. This change is a way in which the NIHR is addressing the evolving health and care landscape and the changing needs of people and patients.

Read the full policy - Eligibility Criteria for NIHR Clinical Research Network Support.

In partnership with your local R&D office, we encourage you to involve your local CRN 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.

To find out more about how you can apply for this additional support to help deliver your study, please visit

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 

Slice title
Media name
Our policy for supporting research (PDF, 438KB)
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.

Research grant funding

Our most popular type of support is our wide range of research grants. These are available to both clinical and lab-based Parkinson's researchers and support every stage of their careers.

Read essential information for applicants and grantholders, and discover the types of grants available.