The Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) Postdoctoral Advocacy Prize is awarded to a postdoctoral Parkinson’s disease researcher in the U.S. who has excelled in biomedical research advocacy and community outreach.
The purpose of these awards is to encourage and reward researcher advocacy and community outreach. Advocacy and community outreach include both the traditional activity of communications at the federal level with policymakers regarding the importance of federal funding for biomedical research and the more indirect advocacy of outreach at the state and local level to increase public understanding and awareness of Parkinson’s disease and biomedical research. Qualifying activities may include but are not limited to: meeting with, writing, emailing, or calling Members of Congress or state or local policy makers regarding legislative issues that are important to the Parkinson’s community; speaking to a lay audience such as a Parkinson’s support group, other community groups, or a local high school about research, Parkinson’s disease, or the role of basic and translational research in therapy development and the importance of federally funded biomedical research; working with community health organizations such as local hospitals, neurology offices, or senior centers to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease; and submitting Parkinson’s-related Letters to the Editor or articles for the public in local newspapers or newsletters.
Researchers bring a unique perspective and powerful voice to discussions with policymakers about research funding and policy support for people with Parkinson's and their families, and PAN works to encourage all stakeholders in Parkinson’s disease to take an active role in advocating on behalf of the Parkinson’s community.