RDI Conference Programme

The RDI Conference Programme provides companies, RDI members and national rare disease alliances with the opportunity to support rare disease conferences across the world.

The Programme aims:

  • To promote international recognition of local/national/regional conferences
  • To support conferences organised by national/regional groups who could benefit from international exposure to advance their national/regional priorities
  • To support conferences in low & middle income countries to create awareness and advocate for rare disease policies
  • To foster non-commercial conferences that have an international dimension
  • To strengthen meaningful patient participation in commercial conferences

We offer 3 levels of support, shown below in growing order of commitment.

Contact Hlawulani Mkhabela, RDI Outreach and Engagement Manager to apply for support.

Level 1 – Conference endorsed by RDI

  • Conference organisers may use the RDI logo
  • RDI website will include the conference on its event page.
  • RDI will promote the event amongst its members and through social media.
  • The link to the conference page and report will be archived in RDI’s website for future reference.
  • RDI’s support implies no other contribution or funding.

Level 2 – Conference in partnership with RDI

  • RDI offers support as described in level 1
  • RDI is involved in shaping the content of the conference (RDI representation in programme committees)
  • RDI will provide 1 to 3 members of RDI or faculty experts to speak at the conference
  • The travel and accommodation of RDI speaker(s) are covered by host and/or RDI.
  • As part of the partnership, RDI will request that the conference organiser grants a registration fee waiver or fee reduction for patient organisations.

Level 3 – Conference co-organised with RDI

  • RDI offers support as described in level 1 and level 2
  • RDI co-organises the conference and can be part of the organising committee
  • RDI may also be involved in the event organisation and logistics.
  • RDI is strongly involved in the content and structure of the programme which should include an RDI presentation, session or a satellite meeting organised and hosted by RDI.
  • RDI typically provides 3 to 5 speakers with the financial support to cover all or most of their expenses to take part in the conference.
  • RDI also provides fellowships for patient advocates to attend the conference. The fellowships are customized to the specific needs of the conference, for example, international or regional fellowships.

Eligible events

Eligibility is not restricted to RDI members. However, conferences initiated by patient organisation members of RDI and by members of the RDI Faculty of Experts will be given priority.

Conference aims and objectives must be coherent with RDI’s mission and be relevant to rare disease patients and patient organisations.

Application and Decision process

Applications are informal but must be submitted in writing to Hlawulani Mkhabela, RDI Outreach and Engagement Manager.

The application should clearly state: the title of the event, its nature and objective, the target audience, the planned sources of funding, the planned partners, as well as the date and venue (as soon as it is confirmed).

The RDI Council approves each conference request and decides the level of support to grant. The Council reserves the right not to grant its support.


For more information on how companies can support the RDI Conferences Programme, contact Jill Bonjean, Corporate Relations Advisor.