Funding to grow innovative research at UWS to improve the lives of people living with dementia has been announced.

An organisational Seedcorn Fund, which will help grow a vibrant interdisciplinary community of dementia researchers, was announced by the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice (ASCPP) at University of the West of Scotland at an event on 2 December.

The investment, from RS Macdonald Charitable Trust, will create opportunities for UWS researchers, particularly early career researchers (ECRs) and those new to dementia research from all four academic Schools at the University, to realise their research ambitions.

Professor Milan Radosavljevic, Vice-Principal of Research, Innovation and Engagement at UWS, said: “The new Seedcorn Fund will enable early career researchers from across the institution to make a real and transformational impact on the lives of others through groundbreaking dementia research.

Professor Milan Radosavljevic, Vice-Principal of Research, Innovation and Engagement at UWS said:

“Our academics play a crucial role in creating a vibrant dementia-related education, research and enterprise activity. I look forward to seeing how the Seedcorn Fund will enable further pioneering research in this hugely critical area.”

Coinciding with the launch of the new fund was the publication of the ASCPP’s annual report. This year’s report is a celebration of dementia education and focuses on the Centre’s signature educational approach: Care Empathia. Defined as the ASCPP’s ‘way of working’ and organising principle, it forms the foundation of the Centre’s learning and teaching approach and shapes its resarch studies.

The report highlighted that, over the past 12 months, the ASCPP has, in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, announced that it will again be leading on the delivery of the new Dementia Champions 2021, a Scottish Government-funded workforce development programme for more than 150 aspiring Dementia Champions.

ASCPP also announced the Wendy Baxter Scholarship, which saw the Centre welcome a new scholar, as well as two new doctoral research students supported through UWS studentships. This was made possible thanks to a legacy donation from the Baxter Family, remembering the contribution of the late Dr Wendy Baxter, who was a palliative care consultant, who was diagnosed with dementia herself.

Professor Debbie Tolson, Director of the ASCPP, said:

“We are delighted to announce our new Seedcorn Fund and the launch of the ASCPP annual report. It has been another remarkable year for the Centre, with so many amazing milestones despite the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic.

“I am incredibly proud of everything we have achieved. The generosity and commitment of many, who share their lived experiences, dementia practice know-how and others who work with us behind the scenes are essential to our collective ASCPP successes.”

Read the ASCPP’s annual report here.