Ten years ago today, on the 28 August 2013, the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium was established at the Surgeon’s Hall, Edinburgh.
The SDRC was created to enable greater co-ordination by pooling the resources, experience and expertise of the wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary dementia research community in Scotland. The aim of this was to build relationships with funding bodies, governmental organisations, and each other, to grow funding and career opportunities for academics in the field. See the video below which was produced when the SDRC first launched.
The SDRC grew steadily, in the first 5 years its members formed meaningful collaborations and connections. It gained 200-300 members and the SDRC Annual Conference quickly became a key date in the calendar, becoming the primary networking and learning opportunity for dementia researchers, showcasing the wonderful work ongoing across disciplines. The SDRC Executive Committee, who oversee the SDRC’s operations and strategy, has been made up of world leading researchers from the beginning and were key in building the organisation and ensuring fulfills its purpose.
Here are just a few of examples of what the SDRC has done in the past 10 years:
- Events for networking and learning opportunities
- Annual mapping of the Scottish dementia research landscape, which allows the Executive Committee to benchmark activity and identify areas for development
- Producing an Annual Report which promotes ongoing dementia research activity and celebrates success
- Highlighting the work of researchers and research participants by publishing blogs on the SDRC website
- Promoting the research and playing a key role in translating research findings into practice. By working closely with policy-makers, care providers, and other stakeholders we help ensure that research findings are incorporated into policy and practice, and that people with dementia and their families are able to benefit from the latest research.
- We have supported early career researchers through schemes such as the mentorship programme and webinar series
- Keeping members up to date with the latest news in dementia and brain health in our mailing list
- Supporting funding schemes, for example: awarding small grants to help early career researchers during COVID; working with Alzheimer Scotland to deliver their Student Research Programme; providing support to the Scottish Neurological Research Fund
Now, as we approach the end of the first decade of the SDRC, we have a lot to celebrate, but we know we still have a lot to do. We now have almost 1100 members and we will continue to listen to them and work together to nurture and grow dementia and brain health research in Scotland.