NIHR announce new funding to support dementia research

The National Institute for Health and Research (NIHR) have announced they will be introducing £11.8m of funding for early career researchers.

With this new funding, NIHR aim to providing a pathway for promising young researchers to pursue a career in dementia research and build up their skills and expertise.

Working in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society, the funding provided by NIHR will bolster capacity and strengthen capability in dementia health and care research across the NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARC).

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR, said: “We want to improve the lives of people with dementia, and those caring for them, through innovative research that tackles a range of challenges around this disease.

“This new funding taps into the up-and-coming talent in the NIHR ecosystem, supporting fledgling dementia researchers from a range of disciplines to become the chief investigators of the future and building a solid foundation for the next decades of dementia research.”

Around £7.5m of the funding will be going to the 15 NIHR ARC to support up to three career development awards for early career researchers in dementia, done in view of empowering the workforce and emboldening the research pioneers of tomorrow.

Dr Richard Oakley, Associate Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said: "Dementia can be devastating for many, and we estimate that one million people in the UK will have the condition by 2025.

“Research provides hope by helping us better understand the causes of dementia as well as developing effective treatments and improved diagnostic techniques, so people with the condition can access the support they need to live well.

“Early career researchers represent the lifeblood of dementia research, bringing fresh ideas and perspectives. We’re investing in the careers of the future leaders in dementia research in partnership with the NIHR on this training programme so we can unlock the dementia breakthroughs of the future.”

The residual £4.3m of investment is being injected into supporting researchers via the NIHR Schools for Primary Care Research, Public Health Research, and Social Care Research.

These three schools will combine their efforts to commission and conduct “high quality cross-cutting and community-oriented” dementia research, with the aim of addressing key gaps in the evidence base.

More information about the funding is available here.

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