EULAR Research Consultation Service

The EULAR Research Consultation Service matches investigators with experienced research experts in a range of areas to help them develop, improve, and execute high-quality research focused on rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). The table below lists the service areas and examples.

Supported research domains include:

  • Basic/Translational Research (using patient/human materials, e.g., cells, serum, tissue, or dedicated animal models of RMDs to address bedside-to-bench research questions)
  • Clinical Research
  • Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Health Services Research
  • Implementation Science

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Consultation areas


  • Development of research question, study aims.
  • Analysis of facilitators and barriers to intervention implementation; design, evaluation, comparison of implementation strategies.
  • Evaluation of health services redesign; improvement and evaluation of the quality of health care services.


  • Selection of study design, study population and controls, statistical methods, power analysis/sampling strategy.
  • Traditional randomized controlled trials, pragmatic trials/effectiveness studies, adaptive trials.
  • Alternative study designs such as:
    • Observational studies (e.g., case control, registries), comparative effectiveness research
    • Qualitative and quantitative methods for the evaluation of health care processes
    • Quasi-experimental studies (e.g., interrupted time series, pre-post designs, stepped wedge study designs, hybrid study designs)
    • Mixed method studies
    • Community-engaged research
    • Methodological studies
    • Literature reviews and meta-analysis
    • Theoretical frameworks
    • Conceptual models


  • Identify research priorities
  • Define research questions
  • Advice on all aspects of the study design, selection of patient-relevant outcomes, selection, design, and validation of research instruments (e.g. surveys, Delphi method)
  • Use of community-engaged and participatory research design methods and frameworks (e.g. principles of co-creation)
  • Involving patient research partners (PRP)
  • Development of a patient advisory panel
  • Research participant recruitment
  • Dissemination strategies, lay summaries


  • Design of data collection and management plan, database design.
  • Patient-generated health data issues such as data ownership and storage.
  • Usage of data from medical records, registries and/or administrative data; qualitative data collection and management.



  • Advice on written sections of a protocol.


  • Role of point-of-care recruitment in rheumatology, cross-continent recognition.
  • Information sheets, consent guidelines and forms.


  • Advice on conducting data analysis, multiple imputation, statistical issues, modelling.
  • Generalisability issues regarding qualitative vs. quantitative research; different methods of qualitative and mixed methods data analysis.
  • Qualitative analyses methods, e.g. qualitative content analysis, narrative analysis, discourse analysis, thematic analysis, grounded theory (GT), interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA).


  • Use of reporting guidelines for specific study types (e.g., STROBE, CONSORT, PRISMA, SRQR, SQUIRE).
  • Responding to reviewers including understanding why a paper was rejected and how to improve it.
  • Reporting of research data, data visualisation, and writing tips for successful academic articles.
  • Presentation of study results at conferences and other events, design of posters, presentation slides.
  • Dissemination of findings to the public, policy makers, and implementers.


  • Currently limited to EU grant applications that focus on RMD research.
  • Advice from successful EU grant awardees, including general feedback on the proposal/concept; specific aims; study design and approach; finding collaborators to contribute to the proposal; EU grant budget development.

Who appoints consultants to incoming requests?  See our expert panel members  


The service will be available to investigators who are currently residing and working in EULAR-affiliated countries. Support will be limited to 2 annual projects per investigator per calendar year.

  • The service is free for the first two years after launch. Early adopters are expected to provide feedback to improve the service offerings.
  • After the pilot phase , a graded fee system will be introduced, including free initial consultation services, that will be continued for modest fee recovery, lined pro-rata to the amount of consultation service utilised.

Participation of Patient Research Partners

It is highly desirable that patient research partners will be involved in any projects that EULAR will support.

Diversity and Inclusiveness Statement

EULAR welcomes applications from a diverse pool of highly talented scientists with diverse backgrounds in EULAR-affiliated countries. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that may be underrepresented in RMD research are encouraged to apply.

This EULAR Research Consultation Service is part of a series of efforts to broaden research access and build capacity across every facet of the European scientific research enterprise—from basic laboratory research to clinical and translational research to policy formation. The EULAR Research Centre seeks to build the intellectual depth, research subject expertise, creativity and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints that can furnish these ambitions.


The Consultants will hold in strict confidence all information, which he/she knows or should know that it is confidential. In particular, the Consultant will hold all information relating to the requestor’s research project in strict confidence, except instructed otherwise by the researcher in writing (e-mail is sufficient). This undertaking shall continue to be in force for a duration of 3 years after the termination of the Research Consultation Service agreement.

Research Ethics

EULAR expects a high standard in the conduct of research it supports. For researchers this includes scientific integrity and adherence to the principles of good research practice. Patients subjected to investigation shall be included with due adherence to the declaration of Helsinki.

Acknowledgment of the EULAR Research Consultation Service

All publications and projects supported by the utilisation of the EULAR Research Consultation Service are required to credit EULAR.

  • Citation language: “This work was supported by the Research Consultation Service [add other services or databases as applicable] offered through the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of EULAR."
  • If the project was supported by one or more EULAR consultants and you would like to acknowledge them by name in the manuscript, please request their permission. Citation language: "We thank [Name of consultant] who supported the study in [his/her] role as a consultant for the Research Consultation Service offered through the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of EULAR."

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