Simon R. Stones

Simon R. Stones


Simon is a postgraduate researcher based in the School of Healthcare at the University of Leeds. He is a passionate patient advocate, consultant and ambassador for young people living with musculoskeletal diseases, inspired by his own journey with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and Crohn’s disease since childhood.

His research focuses on helping young people with juvenile idiopathic arthritis to better manage their conditions, in partnership with their families, health professionals, and teachers. For his PhD, Simon is conducting a realist evaluation using qualitative research methods. He is conducting interviews with a range of relevant stakeholders to create a new framework to inform the way in which support for young people with arthritis and their families is designed and delivered in the future.

Simon's academic background is in Life Sciences, where he graduated from The University of Manchester with a first class BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences with Industrial/Professional Experience. Simon spent twelve months in an international healthcare consultancy, providing insight-led, evidence-driven analysis, strategy and communications, for clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and related sectors. Simon worked across a number of disease areas, including neurology, oncology, respiratory, and rheumatology. 

Beyond his work at the University of Leeds, Simon holds a number of national and international responsibilities as a patient leader. He is involved with the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), where he serves as a member of the Emerging EULAR Network (EMEUNET) working group of young rheumatologists and researchers, and the EULAR Young People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe (PARE) working group. He is also a board member of the European Network for Children with Arthritis (ENCA), the European Network of Fibromyalgia Associations (ENFA), Fibromyalgia Action UK and RAiISE.

Research interests

Simon has a strong interest in the self-management of long-term health conditions, particularly among young people living with musculoskeletal diseases. In his PhD, he is using realist evaluation as a theory-driven approach to the development of complex interventions. He also has expertise related to patient and public involvement and engagement with research. Through his role as a board member of Fibromyalgia Action UK and the European Network of Fibromyalgia Associations (ENFA), Simon has supported and undertaken a variety of research activities related to fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Simon has also worked on the role of digital technology in supporting self-management, transitional care between paediatric and adult healthcare services, engaging young people in clinical trials, and developing core outcome sets.

Professional membership

  • Market Research Society (MMRS)
  • The Royal Society of Biology (AMRSB)
  • The Royal Commonwealth Society
  • Academy of Communication in Healthcare
  • The British Society of Rheumatology
  • American College of Rheumatology


  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences with Industrial/Professional Experience, The University of Manchester

Research groups and institutes

  • Maternal, child and family health