2021 Call for Advocates

The Alliance for Aging Research’s Talk NERDY to Me Network empowers older adults and their family caregivers to collaborate with physicians and researchers on patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) related to (1) Alzheimer’s disease, (2) heart valve disease, (3) atrial fibrillation, (4) chronic pain and/or disability, and (5) macular degeneration in adults age 65 years and older. To achieve this goal, we offer a two-week online workshop and mentoring program.

Talk NERDY to Me is seeking patients and family caregivers and researchers and clinicians to participate in the 2021 research-advocacy training program designed to empower senior patients and their family caregivers to engage in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). Beginning in early December, participants will meet three times a week, for two weeks from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Eastern Time, to learn from researchers in the field and each other.

Participants successfully completing the workshop will receive a stipend of $1,500 and a Certificate of Completion for participating in the training.

Course Sessions Schedule

Session One: Monday, December 6, 2021

Session Two: Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Session Three: Friday, December 10, 2021

Session Four: Monday, December 13, 2021

Session Five: Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Session Six: Friday, December 17, 2021

Patients and Family Caregivers

Why should I participate?

As alum, our participants will receive our continued assistance in finding public and private advisory roles in research, policy, and health education-focused opportunities centered on improving outcomes in research and patient care.

How would I use this training?                              

Research advocacy training empowers patients and caregivers. This training will help prepare advocates to serve as merit reviewers for organizations like the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute or the National Institutes of Health; sit on research-related committees such as Institutional Review Boards; and partner with researchers in designing, implementing, or disseminating research. We also hope that participants bring the training back to their own communities.

For more information about this opportunity, the Talk NERDY to Me network, and answers to frequently asked questions for patients and family caregivers: click here.

Researchers and Clinicians

Why should I participate?

As a participant you will receive direct access to the Talk NERDY to Me Advisory Council, a network of patients, researchers, payers, and industry representatives that aid in sculpting the program and encourage the application of the teachings post-completion.

How would I use this training?                              

There are many ways researchers and clinicians can engage patients and family caregivers in their research. This training will highlight best practices when engaging with patients and family caregivers and how to apply their perspectives throughout the PCOR projects to maximize the value of their participation. We also hope researchers and clinician participants bring the training back to their own communities to continue education and create more opportunities.

For more information about this opportunity, the Talk NERDY to Me network, and answers to frequently asked questions for researchers and clinicians: click here.


Anyone who is engaged in advocacy in one of the priority health conditions, excited to learn about medical research, and willing to make the full commitment to the two-week program is encouraged to apply by emailing Ashley Leonard at [email protected].


Still curious? Hear from past advocates about why they found the Talk NERDY to Me training so valuable, or check out these spotlight features on former Talk NERDY to Me trainees: