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Eurordis - Rare Disease Europe

About the EURORDIS Open Academy

The EURORDIS Open Academy empowers patient advocates with the knowledge and skills to take part in patient engagement roles side-by-side with all stakeholders and to advocate for rare diseases on a European and national level.

Our offer is composed of various training programmes for EURORDIS members, as well as e-learning courses that are open to anyone and are all available on this site.

Training programmes are delivered in English in a blended format, comprising e-learning modules, pre-training webinars and intensive in-person training days. Training programmes take place at different times and locations throughout the year; sign up to our newsletter to hear about the latest opportunities.


Start learning now

Without knowledge we are nothing. That is why the Open Academy is so important for patient advocates to really make changes in their communities, in the life of patients.

Biljana Mircheska, North Macedonia, Save Liver Association of Patients with Liver Diseases

Our alumni


By 2023, the Open Academy has trained over 722 patient advocates from 51 countries and counts over 3650 e-learning users from 161 countries.

Are you part of our alumni? Then check out the new Alumni private page.

Our faculty


The faculty of the Open Academy has now reached 64 experts in the fields of scientific innovation and translational research, medicines development, research, social media, conflict resolution, communication, leadership and international advocacy.

Training hours


The programme provides close to 70 training hours per year of live sessions (online and face-to-face) while having nearly 83 h of e-learning courses freely available online in addition to the training sessions.

Our trainings are delivered with…


All courses are taught by Open Academy faculty members who are recognised experts in their fields.


Open Academy programmes are taught in English, through a blend of online and face-to-face trainings, during which patients acquire an understanding of key concepts and terminology, take part in master classes, discuss case studies and benefit from peer-to-peer learning. The programmes aim to enhance the capacity of patient advocates so they can engage concretely in research, policies and services.

Additionally, we also organise several exclusive online Meetups and Masterclasses each year for our Alumni to continue building their knowledge and skills.

Open access

The Academy is characterised as open as all online training modules are also made freely available via this website to anyone interested in building their capacities independently.

Vision (future-oriented)

The Open Academy schools and online training use innovative delivery methods. The training content is also updated each year to be up to date with new technologies, initiatives, programmes and trends.


The EURORDIS Open Academy operates independently, ensuring there is no conflict of interest in the programme design, content, faculty or funding mechanisms.

Accessible and inclusive

The Open Academy strives to be affordable and as accessible as possible for all rare disease advocates with the learning methods.

Contribute to the EURORDIS Open Academy programme

Are you from a company or a research centre? EURORDIS is the voice of the 30 million people living with a rare disease in Europe and is working to empower its member patient organisations and volunteers through more and enriched information, education and capacity building thanks to the EURORDIS Open Academy.

  • Why contribute?

    Be part of a novel and innovative EURORDIS programme that is working to empower patient advocates in the various fields where patient engagement and patient empowerment is needed.

    Corporate and institutional contributors play a vital role in the Open Academy.

    Financial support and in-kind services enable EURORDIS to maintain, refresh and develop all of the programme’s online courses and face-to-face schools. Your support helps us to ensure the long-term sustainability of these vital programmes that fill specific needs for the rare disease patient community.

  • How can you contribute?

    Corporate and institutional partners may be recognised in several ways:

    • Recognition in the dissemination of our online courses and schools
    • Logo inclusion in the EURORDIS Annual activity report and Financial report

    In addition, for transparency purposes, the contribution will be listed in the EURORDIS Financial report and in the funding section of

Our partners

Contact the Open Academy team

Sharon Aston, Open Academy & Events Director

Rachel Butcher, Open Academy Manager - Training Coordinator

Marta Campabadal, Open Academy Manager - e-Learning and Outreach Coordinator

Keep up to date with the latest online courses and call for applications from the Open Academy