Our Research Vision

Through our bold and ambitious approach to research, Alzheimer's Society will transform the lives of everyone affected by dementia.

To achieve our vision over the coming years, our research will focus on:

  • Funding discoveries in dementia diagnosis, treatment and prevention
  • Accelerating progress to better care for people affected by dementia
  • Partnering with people affected by dementia
  • Developing the dementia researcher community
  • Connecting research and society

Alongside and within these initiatives, we are supporting a high-quality research funding programme. Through these, we have invested over £70 million to date. Find out about our current research projects

Our Research Delivery Plan

Read our full Research Delivery Plan for 2018 - 2022

Download it now

Funding infographic

We will fund discoveries in dementia diagnosis, treatment and prevention. To do this, we will support initiatives to increase our capacity to deliver more research, and maximise the impact of research findings.

We welcome and support high-quality, human-oriented research programmes into all types of dementia through our biomedical research funding stream. 

Alongside this, we support other activities that drive discoveries to diagnose, treat and prevent dementia including: 

UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI)

We are collaborating in dementia research on a scale never seen before in the UK. We have committed £50 million over eight years to the UK Dementia Research Institute, which will transform the way dementia is diagnosed and treated, to bring us closer to the day we have a cure.

Brains for Dementia Research

We will ensure the dementia research community has access now, and in the future, to the unique and rich data from the Brains for Dementia Research bank in the UK and worldwide. 

Brain infographic

Our Drug Discovery programme 

We will bring the new treatments for dementia, to the people who need them, faster. Our Drug Discovery programme aims to develop new treatments in a fraction of this time and at a fraction of this cost.

The programme focuses on repurposing drugs already used to treat other conditions that could be beneficial for people with dementia.

Our research is unique, as we are accelerating progress towards better care for people affected by dementia. We will fund clinical and care research with a clear route to making an impact.

Alzheimer’s Society is the only UK charity to fund research into care for people affected by dementia, as well as cause, cure and prevention.  

Our Care, Implementation and Public Health research funding stream supports the aims laid out in our Research Roadmap for Prevention, Diagnosis, Intervention and Care. 

Alongside this funding stream, we support other activities to accelerate progress to better care:

Our Centres of Excellence in care research 

The Centres of Excellence are our ground-breaking initiative to improve areas of dementia care that are in urgent need of more research. 

Each centre, led by an expert in dementia care research, focuses on a specific theme that has been identified as top priority to people living with dementia and their carers. 

Accelerating infographics

Research Translation programme

We bring together expertise to increase and accelerate the impact of dementia care research. Our Research Translation programme will bridge the gap between research and practice and policy. 

As the UK’s leading authority on dementia, we draw on our expertise across Alzheimer’s Society to make sure research reaches the people who need it 

Innovation funding  

For some challenges faced by people with dementia, we can fast-track the process and make quick progress towards change for people affected by dementia.  Our Innovation programme allows us to rapidly understand, develop and evaluate solutions to break down barriers to living well with dementia. 

We have the expertise and techniques to guide the innovation process and bring ideas to life. 

Partnering infographic

We work in partnership with people affected by dementia at all stages of the research process to make sure our research meets the priorities of people affected by dementia.

About our Research Network volunteers 

Alzheimer's Society has been pioneers of involving people affected by dementia in research since the Research Network was launched in 1999. Since then, our model and approach have been replicated both in the UK and across the world by medical research charities.

Our Research Network has now grown to become an active and engaged group of over 300 volunteers, all of whom either have a diagnosis of dementia, are carers, or former carers. These dedicated volunteers are involved in every aspect of our funded research, from research design to raising awareness of research findings and sharing the importance of dementia research. 

We will continue to involve our Research Network in our funding decisions and strategic priorities. 

Hear how our volunteers have worked with Dr Kurt De Vos at the University of Sheffield:

The impact of our Research Network

Read the full report on our public involvement work within the dementia research community.

Download report

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We support dementia researchers throughout their careers to bring new perspectives into dementia research and keep them there.

The number of researchers, clinicians and allied health professionals working in dementia research is increasing, but dementia still lags behind other health conditions. This inevitably slows the progress we urgently need in dementia research.

New researchers, including those from research and clinical backgrounds outside of dementia, bring fresh ideas that help expand the boundaries of dementia science and accelerate discovery and learning.

Our Dementia Research Leaders programme

We have an outstanding record of investing in researchers committed to dementia research. Since launching in 2014, we have funded over 200 early career researchers through the Dementia Research Leaders programme.

Our research funding programme increases the number of researchers carrying out all types of dementia research through:

  • Funding opportunities and support to individuals with biomedical, clinical, social science and allied health professional backgrounds
  • Funding throughout a research career, from undergraduate summer bursaries through to senior fellowships
  • Education and training opportunities to develop core skills, including our researcher mentoring scheme
  • Support with maternity, paternity adoption and sick leave
  • Access to guidance and opportunities through our wider research networks.

We will increase the number of committed and driven people working hard to deliver the ground-breaking research that will beat dementia.

Providing support to researchers

Learn how we are supporting researchers throughout their careers.

Discover more

Connecting infographic

We support collaboration to take on the biggest challenges in dementia research. 

Through our wide-reaching research activities, we support collaboration and bring together researchers, people affected by dementia, policy makers, service providers and funders. This is vital to sharing knowledge, developing ideas and working together to address significant challenges in dementia research. 

Research partnerships 

Our Research Partnerships programme connects researchers to our network of expertise in dementia. We support researchers not funded by us to tap into knowledge across Alzheimer’s Society, get support from our Research Network, or share exciting new research with our supporters.

Developing the national and international research landscape

We are committed to achieving a world without dementia. But we know we can’t do this alone. We partner with other major funders of dementia research in the UK to encourage ambitious ideas and new initiatives that will drive benefits for people affected by dementia. 

We support research in the UK but the reach of our work is far wider. Our international collaborations ensure our investments go further. We support exchange of knowledge across borders, influence the dementia landscape worldwide and ensure UK researchers benefit from international initiatives and funding.

Join Dementia Research 

Join Dementia Research (JDR) is a UK-based platform that acts as a matching service between research studies and thousands of potential volunteers.

Join Dementia Research is run by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and supported by Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Scotland and Alzheimer’s Research UK. Researchers can use the service to identify potential participants, screen and contact volunteers as well as run feasibility tests for future studies.

We will champion dementia research to make sure people affected by dementia and the wider public are aware of opportunities and empowered to take part.

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