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Alzheimer's Society award for University of Bradford researcher


Dementia research fellow

A University of Bradford researcher has been named People’s Champion at the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Research Excellence and People Awards.

Dr Sahdia Parveen, Senior Research Fellow in Dementia Studies, whose research focuses on dementia health inequalities in minority communities, said: “It’s a huge honour to receive this award. I hope it shines a light on the issues faced by minority communities in the treatment of dementia, as this is a section of society where little work has been done before.”

She was nominated by one of the University’s ‘Experts by Experience’, Sandra Barker, with whom Dr Parveen has worked on several projects. 

The People’s Champion Award recognises outstanding members of the dementia research community who have gone above and beyond to engage with people affected by dementia and the general public, to further the aims of dementia research. 

Dr Parveen regularly goes the extra mile in her research by attending community groups in her spare time in the evenings and weekends to ensure the voices of people affected by dementia are active in dementia research and care. 

Dr Richard Oakley from Alzheimer’s Society said: “The panel of judges were extremely enthusiastic about Sahdia’s nomination, finding her work to be incredibly impressive. With a strong track record of championing inclusion of people affected by dementia, and the general public, in research and research activities, Sahdia was a compelling nominee.”

'Honoured and humbled'

The award is given in honour of Kate McGowan, a much-loved former member of the Alzheimer’s Society Research Network. 

Dr Parveen said: “It was a huge surprise to be told I had won the award. I feel very honoured and humbled. I am privileged to work with colleagues at the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies, where we have actively championed meaningful inclusion of people affected by dementia in dementia research and education to have a real-world impact.

“I had the privilege of meeting with Kate a number of years ago and I was struck by her passion and dedication to ensuring that patient and public involvement was at the heart of dementia research. She used her personal experience of dementia and her passion for research to ensure researchers, and fellow Network members were fully supported.”

For two weeks, Dr Parveen had to keep the news secret, only telling her husband, Bilal Rashid, and their cat, Onyx.  

She said: “I couldn’t tell my mum, she would have told all of Bradford and Keighley! I know she will be over the moon for me.”

Dr Parveen was unable to receive her award in person at a ceremony at the Crowne Plaza hotel, Newcastle on Monday, June 26th due to teaching commitments. Instead, she sent her acceptance speech by video.

The award comes with £1,000 prize to be spent on professional development activities.