Exciting new opportunity for Early Career Researchers
As many of you will already be aware, the ground-breaking Dementia Enquirers programme is testing out what it means for people with dementia to be in the driving seat of research.
As the programme enters its final year (at least of this Phase), we want to let you know about an exciting new opportunity for Early Career Researchers.
We are offering up to five ECRs a ‘mini-internship’ with some or all of the Pioneers – the people with dementia who have been shaping this programme from the start.
The internship will normally comprise two online sessions with the Pioneers. These can be tailored to the needs and wishes of the individual ECR. S/he may for example choose to seek advice on a project idea – or to invite the Pioneers to critique a draft proposal or engagement plan.
There is no cost to you. The Pioneers will be paid for their time out of the programme budget. The benefits to the ECR include:
- Access to the expertise of (amazing!) people with the lived experience who are experienced in co-produced research
- A chance to discuss and reflect on difficult research-related issues in a safe space
- Recordings of the discussions
- A useful addition to their CV
There is no form to complete. Instead we invite interested ECRs to send a video (maximum 2 minutes), introducing themselves and saying why they want and deserve the bursary. The Pioneers will select the successful applicants from the video alone.
The deadline is 28th February 2022. Please send your video by WeTransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org
We would be grateful if you can forward this ASAP to any ECRs who may be interested.
Launch of 7 Dementia Enquirers project reports
Dementia Enquirers is a 3 and a half year project (to the end of 2022), funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.. It’s aim is to put people with dementia in the driving seat of research – by supporting them to lead and control their own bottom-up enquiries on issues they find important. Thanks to National Lottery players we can continue to support people with dementia.”
Consequently, the projects are varied, based on the questions and interests of different groups. Although the projects started at the end of 2019, groups had to contend with the impact of Covid-19 on their work. There is much creativity, pragmatism and learning contained within these project reports and a large amount of pride:
“We believed we could…and we did!”
The projects are:
- Thred, Liverpool: How can urban and rural transport systems help people diagnosed with dementia live independently for longer?
- Minds and Voices, York: The pros and cons and particular needs of those living alone with dementia and those living with a care partner
- Beth Johnson Foundation, Stoke on Trent: Does class, ethnicity or intellect affect the dementia pathway?
- Riversiders in Shrewsbury (with Minds and Voices, York): an enquiry into the what DEEP and Admiral Nurses know about each other
- Our Voice Matters, Hartlepool: An enquiry into the benefits of groups for people with dementia
- DEEPNess, Isle of Lewis: The necessary components of a dementia-responsive teaching video
- EDUCATE, Stockport: The EDUCATE Echo project
Visit https://dementiaenquirers.org.uk/individual-projects/ to read all the project reports.
These are the first grants awarded under the Dementia Enquirers programme. We are now getting ready to support a new cohort of DEEP groups to lead their own research. From our learning so far, some key messages are emerging:
- People with dementia can lead their own research projects – both drawing on previous life skills and learning new ones to explore the questions that most interest them
- The research questions that people with dementia generate can be different from existing research questions. They are based on lived experience – on topics that will make a real difference in people’s lives
- “Being in the driving seat of research” doesn’t mean that you have to do everything yourself. Team work and support can really help. But controlling the research and leading the way gives people with dementia a huge boost in confidence
- Making the language and processes of research more accessible helps everyone!
- Research between people with dementia makes communication and engagement more possible, because having something in common increases trust
Notes to editors:
Dementia Enquirers is a project at Innovations in Dementia. It is funded from 2018-2022 by The National Lottery Community Fund. To find out more visit https://dementiaenquirers.org.uk/
DEEP is the UK network of dementia voices. It connects approximately 100 groups of people with dementia to inspire, share and learn together. It is supported by Innovations in Dementia. To find out more visit https://www.dementiavoices.org.uk/
Call for new Dementia Enquirers projects – Spring 2021
We are delighted to launch the application process for Dementia Enquirers grants. These give DEEP groups a chance to carry out their own research about a question that they are really interested in.
Our first projects included research about living alone with dementia, Admiral Nurses, using Alexa, driving, transport and more. Together we learnt a lot about people with dementia being in the ‘driving seat of research’. People told us that they grew in confidence and that it was great to learn new skills.
You can apply for between £5000-£8000.
We do want to stress that you can use the grant for quite simple research – for example, you could run a survey, do some interviews or group discussions. The grant can also pay for people’s time – including group members and any supporters. We especially want to encourage groups who haven’t had a Dementia Enquirers grant before.
If you would like more information, and an application form please contact Rachael Litherland by email email@example.com
The deadline for applications is Friday 25th June 2021.
We will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday 19th May if you want to talk anything through.