Launch of targeted research call into pain

30 April 2019

We have launched our new research initiative that aims to understand what is unique about pain in people with Crohn's and Colitis, with the hope of preventing and managing this symptom and improving quality of life for people with the conditions.

Pain is a debilitating symptom experienced by many people with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, even when they’re in remission.

We have identified pain as a high priority focus that is under-researched and with the launch of this research award looking specifically into pain, we are dedicating £220,000 of our research funding in 2019.

We are seeking research applications focusing on four main themes associated with pain: mechanisms of pain in patients with Crohn's, Colitis, and other forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD); the epidemiology, classification and assessment of pain in patients with IBD; improving treatment for patients with IBD who have pain; and the experience of patients with IBD who have pain.

Applications can range from those seeking to further understanding of the pathogenesis of pain in patients with Crohn's and Colitis and where it comes from, to those who are researching novel approaches to pain management, encompassing pharmacological, non-pharmacological and alternative health strategies. 

Erin Walker, a 37-year-old living with Ulcerative Colitis in London experiences chronic neuropathic pain in her abdomen, with no pathological cause.


The pain I experience day-in-day-out means that my whole life is affected. Sometimes all I can do is sleep to try and make the day go quicker. I wish that doctors could find something ‘wrong’ with me so it can be fixed, but it’s unbelievably frustrating that the pain seems to have no cause or trigger.

Erin, 37
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis

As well as the targeted researched call, we are launching the Pain Collaborative Research Network, the first network of its kind bringing together experts from all over the world. The network aims to stimulate research into the field of pain in Crohn's and Colitis, and create opportunities for collaborative projects across scientific disciplines.  


We know that pain is one of the worst symptoms for people with Crohn’s or Colitis, whether this an acute or chronic pain and even if patients are in clinical remission. By launching a targeted research call into pain, Crohn’s & Colitis UK are showing their dedication to understanding this symptom, with the aim of improving the quality of life people with Crohn’s or Colitis. I’m delighted to be chairing the Steering Group and the prospect of the best minds in the world collaborating on IBD pain projects is extremely exciting.

Christine Norton,
Chair of the Pain Collaborative Research Steering Group

The targeted Pain Collaborative Research is now open.

Apply for funding now