SDRC Executive Committee Nominees

There are 10 nominees in total. Please use the link underneath the nominees to cast your vote. You can rank order as many or as few nominees as you wish. Voters/members should vote by numbering the candidates in the order of their preference.

There are three people to be elected:

  • One for Psychology and Humanities
  • One for Social and Population
  • One open, from any category.

The election will be conducted by the Single Transferable Vote.

The first candidate elected will fill the open vacancy.

The second candidate elected will fill the Psychology and Humanities or Social and Population vacancies.  If the second candidate elected is not standing in those categories, the count will continue until someone standing in one of those categories is elected.

The third candidate elected will fill the category not filled by the second elected candidate. If the third candidate elected is not standing in that categories, the count will continue until someone standing in that category is elected.

Clinical, health and applied practice

  1. Tiffany Stewart

Clinical, Health and Applied Practice representative


I am applying to join the executive committee as I feel it would be of interest to me and beneficial to my career development. 

I have worked in clinical research for over ten years, completing an MSc by research in Clinical Brain Sciences at UoE in 2013 and have worked in Dementia research since 2015.  I have also worked as a clinical trials monitor for NHS Tayside in 2014, giving me experience of research governance and sponsorship.

I have worked directly with patients/participants as a study coordinator on a range of commercial and non-commercial trials and have been involved in the set-up and management of highly complex Alzheimer’s disease trials.

I work well in a team setting and independently and like to be involved in debate and discussion in relation to research ideas and development.

Psychology and Humanities


  1. Donald Lyall

Psychology and Humanities representative

I am an early career lecturer who studies genetic contributions to dementia and brain ageing, using cognitive and imaging data. I am deputy lead for SINAPSE Psychology, and my staff page including publications is here:

I am keen to become more involved in the Scottish dementia research community, including helping to organise events (e.g., facilitate public engagement ( and share techniques (e.g. Mendelian randomization).

  1. Maggie Ellis

Psychology and Humanities representative

I am applying to sit on the SDRC Executive Committee for two main reasons. Firstly, I wish to improve my knowledge of dementia research in terms of interdisciplinarity and in so doing, expand my network. Secondly, I believe I can bring a fresh perspective to the Committee in terms of my background in psychology.   

As a lecturer in psychology at the University of St Andrews, my research interests lie in the psychology of dementia where cognitive and social perspectives meet, with a focus on the communication difficulties experienced by people with dementia and those who care for them. I am particularly interested in the interplay between the cognitive and social impact of dementia on personhood and the self of individuals with dementia. I am committed to carrying out high quality research, applying a range of mixed methods to real world problems.

My main research aim is to help close the theory-practice gap in dementia care by translating potentially life-changing research findings for individuals who work on the front line of dementia care using innovative and engaging methods. An example of this approach is represented by my development of a novel non-verbal communication technique called ‘Adaptive Interaction’. The intervention facilitates interaction between individuals with very advanced dementia and their caregivers and as such affords re-entry to the social world to a largely excluded population. This ground-breaking work is internationally recognised both by the research and care communities and is reshaping attitudes towards the communicative potential of individuals with advanced dementia.


  1. Louise Ritchie

Psychology and Humanities representative

I have been involved in dementia research in Scotland for over a decade, first as a psychology PhD student and since 2013 as a Research Fellow and then Lecturer in Dementia (Research) at the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). I am an aspiring and motivated researcher and I believe in the value that interdisciplinary research can bring to improving the lives of people affected by dementia in Scotland and internationally. I have been an active member of the SDRC since 2015. Through my membership, I have presented at the annual conference, been involved in a subgroup to develop and relaunch the SDRC website and I have made connections with academics at other Scottish Universities that have led to exciting research collaborations.  My career to date has benefited from SDRC membership and I feel that I would be able to make a valuable contribution to the Executive Committee and the ongoing development of the SDRC at this point in my career. My research expertise links directly to the Living Well with Dementia theme, with a focus on supporting employment and the use of psycho-social interventions for people with dementia. Additionally, in 2017 I established the Early Career Researcher Forum at UWS, which I currently co-chair. Currently, the Executive Committee do not have an ECR representative and I believe my experiences would allow me to represent the growing number of talented early career researchers working in dementia research in Scotland.

 Social and population

  1. Emma Law

Social and Population representative

In my choice of dementia field I have chosen Social and Population, as I have a nursing qualification complimented by a Masters degree in Public Heath. This is where my interest in population studies was first developed. I completed a doctorate in applied social research focussed on how people in care homes experienced research, and if this linked to citizenship.

Previously I worked as a senior nurse running an assessment ward for people with dementia. I developed a ‘fast-track’ model for day hospital care for people with dementia. I managed teams of people providing a service of Community Psychiatric Nursing in a wide geographical area in Scotland. My current role as the manager of a national network enables me to be involved at various levels in clinical research and I feel I have much to contribute to the work of the SDRC both with my clinical expertise and research experience.


  1. Karen Watchman

Social and Population representative


As a member of SDRC since its inception in 2013, I am an advocate of collaboration across all disciplines in dementia research with an emphasis on making findings accessible. I am Senior Lecturer in Ageing, Dementia and Frailty and co-lead the Enhancing Self-care research group in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport at the University of Stirling. I am a member of Alzheimer Europe ethics working group reporting on scientific issues related to dementia research and have been awarded the Dementia Research Leaders award from the Alzheimer’s Society in recognition of outstanding use of evidence in dementia research.

With a focus on supporting people with dementia and their families to live as well as possible, and a specific interest in post-diagnostic support, advanced dementia and equality issues, I bring experience of seeking diverse views of participants less often included in research, and transferring research evidence directly back into practice to improve services. This includes the development of award-winning resources and training such as ‘Supporting Derek’ and ‘Jenny’s Diary’ which have been adopted into practice and teaching in Scotland and internationally. I have experience of leading a range of dementia research projects via competitively awarded seedcorn funding to build capacity and support preparation for larger funding applications.

I bring experience as current depute chair and secretary of the global Down Syndrome Research Group for the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IASSIDD) and regularly present my interdisciplinary research to a UK-wide and international audience.

  1. Nick Jenkins

Social and Population representative

I am self-nominating to join the SDRC Executive Committee as a social scientist who has been active in dementia care, policy and practice research since 2012.  Over the past six years, I have conducted qualitative and [more recently] mixed-methods social science research into the lived experience and social organisation of dementia.  I have worked closely with experts by experience (for example, as a co-opted member of the Scottish Dementia Working Group) and with a genuine commitment to rights-based and participatory approaches to applied dementia research.  My work exploring the use of Image Theatre to explore lived experiences of living with early onset dementia, for example, was shortlisted for the British Sociological Association’s SAGE prize for Innovation & Excellence (2017).  If appointed to the Committee, my priorities would be two-fold:  I would seek to ensure that the voice and experiences of those affected by dementia are at the centre of the Consortium’s agenda and are reflected at all levels of the Consortium’s operational structures, especially the voices of ‘grass roots’ advocates who may not be represented through formal organisations.  I would also seek to develop the Consortium’s principal role in fostering greater inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary collaboration, thus strengthening the already world-leading contribution that Scotland makes to dementia research. I would focus specifically on strengthening the Consortium’s ability to function as a nexus between researchers working within biomedical, psychosocial, activist, arts-based and other traditions, to share their ways of working and to develop research agendas within a collaborative and ‘safe’ intellectual space.


Science and technology

8. Jean Manson

Science and Technology representative

I am a basic scientist and have worked in the field of neurodenerative diseases for over 30 years. I have during this time been actively engaged in bringing together people from all disciplines to discuss and solve issues relating to these diseases. I have also been actively engaged in delivering talks to a wide range of audiences including a number of public lectures. I have served on a number of committees and advisory bodies including the SDRC and understand the importance of committee work and in particular to ensure my presence at committee meetings and active engagement in all aspects of committee work. The breadth of disciplines in the SDRC ensures that this committee is an important platform and voice for Dementia in Scotland. It has been a privilege to serve on this committee and I hope to be able to continue to bring my expertise and total commitment to the committee in the future.

  1. Leigh Fell

Science and Technology representative

I started my own neuroscience clinical research company due to my significant family history of neurological disorders, including my late grandfather who suffered from Alzheimer’s. My goal is to make a difference and it is for this reason that I now apply for an executive committee position with the SDRC.

As a senior clinical trials manager I worked for over 10 years in the oncology clinical trials space, managing drug trials in both the commercial pharmaceutical and academic sectors. I bring extensive knowledge of the regulatory environment and challenges of drug development but also a great network of multidisciplinary clinical staff and industry experts.

When I chose to start my own clinical research company In decided to focus solely on neuroscience due to the family history I mention above but also because I truly believe that the lessons learned from my time in oncology could be invaluable to the ongoing fight against dementia.

I have seen how industry and academic collaborations can drive forward significant developments in understanding disease and I believe that I can contribute this information to the executive committee in order to develop highly effective strategies for the group going forward.

  1. Kieren Egan

Science and Technology representative

Dementia is a global public health priority and some of the most prominent and exciting research efforts take place here in Scotland.  Our research community is bold, diverse and talented, meaning that SDRC provides genuine scope to work together to build collective knowledge and accelerate real world impacts. 

Through a variety of roles working within Scotland and elsewhere I have built significant experience that I believe would fit the “Science and Technology” role extremely well, across:  experimental science, digital health, public health, epidemiology, prevention, and user co-design. My view is that technology in particular (where I currently work) will continue to bring unparalleled opportunities to facilitate closer research collaboration.

My application for this post is supported by experience in:

–                      Multidisciplinary science including a strong international academic track record and recent successes with major grant funders.

–                      International partnerships with academic institutions, including significant time within the World Health Organization, Geneva where I could see first-hand, the positive impact of pooling expertise and resources.

–                      Engaging with a wide range of key stakeholders including sustained involvement with health and social care professionals, and the third sector.

–                      Regularly meeting with people with dementia and carers.

My motivation is that these unique skillsets, coupled with the perspective of an early career researcher would enrich the Committee of SDRC so that we can continue and expand our efforts to:

(i)                    Engage, share and develop research together;

(ii)                   Promote our high quality work externally and;

(iii)                  Translate our findings into progress and practice.

Vote for the SDRC Executive Committee Members

Please note that only SDRC members as of 1/3/2019 are able to vote