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New Dementia Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Bradford


Alzheimer's Society has announced the launch of a new dementia-focussed Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Bradford.

The Centre will further enhance the University’s international reputation for person-centred care and services research by funding seven PhD students to develop new ways to support people with dementia and their families and improve the quality of dementia care at times of transition.

There are significantly fewer scientists working in dementia research than other conditions, with six times more people working in cancer than dementia. Alzheimer’s Society aims to attract new people to dementia research from a range of different academic and clinical backgrounds, bringing fresh ideas and talent to help expand the boundaries of dementia science.

The doctoral studies at Bradford will all focus on improving care at points of transition for people affected by dementia. One of the doctoral studies at Bradford will be establishing best practice when people with dementia move from being cared for in hospital to care homes. Difficulty at this point of transition has been cited as a factor in the recent A&E crisis. Another project will research effective ways of supporting South Asian families in managing behavioural difficulties in a relative with dementia. Numbers of people with dementia of South Asian ethnicity are growing and most live at home with their families, yet those families are less likely to access available services to assist them in caring.

The Doctoral Training Centre will include four doctorates funded by a £450,000 grant from Alzheimer’s Society, two funded by the University of Bradford and one by the Bradford Institute for Health Research.

The University of Bradford Centre is one of eight new specialist doctoral training centres around the country that are being co-ordinated and funded by Alzheimer’s Society. With matched funding from institutions, this represents nearly £5 million in new investment to support 55 PhDs and clinical fellows – the single biggest funding commitment to support early-career dementia researchers in the UK.

Murna Downs, Professor in Dementia Studies, and Jan Oyebode, Professor of Dementia Care, who are the co-directors of the new Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Bradford said: We are delighted to have this significant investment in the future of person-centred care and services research at Bradford. It is timely to put the focus on transitions, as living with change is an inevitable feature of living with dementia. The doctoral researchers in our Centre will provide new knowledge to help people to effectively plan for and manage transitions in dementia care. “

Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Society said: “There’s a huge amount of progress being made by the dementia research community but unless we attract and train the best young talent we will limit how quickly we can make ground breaking discoveries. For too long dementia research has been underfunded and as a result we have significantly fewer scientists than other conditions.

“If we’re going to defeat dementia we need to give the best brains the right opportunities and build a research workforce that is fit for the future. That’s why we’re proud to be announcing the largest investment of its kind, which will see £5 million committed to create the next generation of dementia researchers. People with dementia deserve nothing less than an all-out fight back against the condition and our Doctoral Training Centres will help us enlist the right people to lead it.”

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