How young people are getting involved in arthritis research

21 March 2024

Our researchers are working tirelessly to find new ways to detect, treat, and one day cure arthritis. But we can do it alone.

You deserve to have a say in the research we fund – and one simple way you can get involved is by becoming a research partner.

This is someone who knows what it’s like to live with arthritis and helps shape our research.

Become a research partner


Giving a young people a voice in research

Arthritis is often mistaken as a condition that only affects older people. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

It’s a condition that can affect anyone at any age, and it impacts thousands of young people across the UK.

No one understands what it’s like to be a young person with arthritis more than you do. So, we want to make sure that your voice is heard and that our research matters to you.

What is a research partner?

A research partner can be:

  • someone who lives with arthritis.
  • a parent of someone living with arthritis.
  • a partner of someone living with arthritis.
  • a carer of someone living with arthritis.

Researcher using microscope

As a research partner, you’ll share real-life experiences, bring fresh perspectives, and help shape our research.

Working closely with our team, you could:

  • Join funding panels and help assess if a researcher or project should receive our funding.
  • Help us agree what research topics are important to fund.
  • Work with researchers to shape their research, making sure it’s relevant to young people living with arthritis.
Become a research partner today


Meet our research partners: Olivia and Abigail

Olivia and Abigail are two of our incredible research partners. Find out how they’re shaping our research and powering breakthroughs.

Olivia’s story

Smiling Olivia wearing glasses

“I have been a research partner for a little over two years now and I love the small part I have at Versus Arthritis.

When I initially joined as a Research Partner, I was only able to participate in one off or short activities.

"However now that my availability has changed, I have been able to take part in funding calls and fellows applications, which I am really enjoying!

"I love being able to have input on the direction of future research and hear more about all the incredible science being developed when attending events like fellows’ day, despite the fact most of it goes over my head!

“As someone who has benefited so much from the work that Versus Arthritis has done and continue to do, I really appreciate being able to give something back.”

Abigail’s story

“It was so rewarding to input my views into this process, and I really felt that my opinion as a young person with lived experience was valued and appreciated.

Abigail, Research Partner

Smiling Abigail wearing sunglasses near green garden and flowers

“My name’s Abi, I’m 22 and I’ve lived with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in my hips for the last nine years.

I became a Research Partner for Versus Arthritis last October and have really enjoyed having the opportunity to contribute to the charity's research initiatives.

So far, I have acted as a Lay Reviewer for a Research Priorities Call, reviewing funding applications and taking part to panel discussions to help decide which research projects should receive funding.

I’m looking forward to continuing to get involved through an upcoming career development fellowship funding panel, as well as joining research and clinical study groups.

I cannot recommend becoming a Research Partner enough - it’s been such an interesting and enjoyable experience so far, and I’ve felt really well-supported by the Research Involvement Team throughout.

It’s been lovely to feel like I’m making a difference to patients with arthritis and related conditions!"

Join us and become a research partner

We want more young people to shape our research. If you want to have your say, join us as a research partner.

Become a research partner today