Throughout August, the SDRC are celebrating our next generation of researchers by publishing a series of blogs to PhD Students/ Early Career Researchers.  For the first week, we are featuring those that were in the SDRC Impact Report 2019.

Read about Bryan Mitchell, from the University of the West of Scotland, below  

I am a qualified Complementary Therapist and completed my PhD full time (2014-2018) at the University of the West of Scotland. My funding was initially from an independent care home provider, a change in ownership necessitated a period of self-funding. As for many young researchers self-funding was problematic, and particularly disheartening when alternative funding was not within reach.  A fortuitous offer of funding however came unexpectedly from Alzheimer Scotland. 

A viva and a few corrections later as a new post doctorate researcher I was pleased to reach the final stage of a competitive research fellowship funding application with Alzheimer Society. SDRC networks have since been supporting me to make funding applications to build on my doctoral action research study.

During my doctoral research I collaboratively developed and tested a personalised complementary therapy intervention with nursing home residents with advanced dementia. To date funding success has proved elusive, despite the encouraging evidence from my research of a reduction in neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with stress and distress and positive feedback from individuals, staff and family included in the study.

I remain in contact with nursing homes that have opted to embrace the findings from my PhD, actively incorporating complementary therapy within nursing home practice.  Encouragingly there is now recognition from different groups and calls for research into the use of complementary therapies in dementia care. SDRC share my frustrations about the challenges of practice-based research and will continue to support efforts to secure funding. 

Since completing my PhD I have worked as a research assistant at University of the West of Scotland, making my mark by getting the “Class in the Bag” a research based education resource ready for market.  I have also taught at the City of Glasgow College on the Complementary Therapy programme and as an Associate Lecturer within the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at UWS. 

More recently, I have secured a permanent post at the University of the West of Scotland as a lecturer where I contribute to and deliver the BA (Hons) Integrated Health and Social Care and MSc leading People Centred Integrated Care programmes.

The SDRC will be posting blogs featuring bios from ECRs throughout August. Follow us on Twitter so you know can keep up to date with the series.

If you are an Early Career Researcher or student that would like to write a guest blog for the SDRC, get in touch at