research network volunteers

Celebrating 20 years of the Research Network

This year we have been celebrating the 20th anniversary of our Research Network. Here are some highlights from this year's celebrations, which have brought together so many of our volunteers.

When the Research Network was first set up in 1999, involving the public in research was a revolutionary concept.

Now it is widely recognised by funders, researchers and clinicians that people affected by dementia maximise the impact and quality of research.

Thanks to our amazing Research Network volunteers, Alzheimer’s Society has led this change and continues to refine and develop how best to encourage partnerships between researchers and people with a direct and invaluable knowledge of dementia. 

Looking back on the last year 

We’ve taken every opportunity to celebrate the Research Network throughout 2019.

The first ‘Dementia Research Uncovered’ event took place in Derby. 75 people came along to hear from local researchers and Network members presenting their current dementia research and exploring the impact of the Network.

We celebrated at the Alzheimer’s Society Annual Conference in May with a special themed dinner and inspiring speeches delivered by researchers, staff and Research Network members about the importance and achievements of the Network. 

In June the ‘Volunteer Celebration Event’ in Northern Ireland was a wonderful opportunity to share the success of the network – and we gained a few new members at this event, too!

Newcastle DTC event

Anna-Louise Smith, our Research Engagement Manager, attended two events for the students at our Doctoral Training Centres (DTC) in September.

The first was the Bradford DTC graduation day. Two PhD students received their doctorates and Wendy Mitchell was awarded an honorary doctorate. 

The second was the Newcastle DTC event where the students presented the findings of their work to date and shared their plans for the future. It was great to see the enthusiasm and confidence of the students when discussing their work. 

The researchers all spoke positively about the support they received throughout the programme and the impact that the Research Network monitors had on their development.

To round off the year, we held an event in London where the Research Network was originally formed. The event was hosted by founding Research Network member, Shirley Nurock.

Professor Martin Rossor, National Director for Dementia Research at the National Institute for Health Research was the keynote speaker for the day. 

He reflected on how far research had come since the Alzheimer’s Society was first formed in 1979 and the pivotal role the Network played in getting us there. We also heard from some early career researchers. 

Professor Martin Rosser

Looking forward 

The celebrations we held throughout the year were so successful that we’re continuing the party into 2020.

We’re holding a Dementia Research Uncovered event in Bristol on 23 January 2020 (10.30am – 15.30am) at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Bristol.

There will be a range of fantastic researchers and people with lived experience of dementia sharing their stories. 

Join us at our 'Dementia Research Uncovered event'

Register today for our free event in Bristol on 23 January 2020.

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