How do we decide which studies to fund?
Twice a year, the Alzheimer’s Research UK Grant Review Board meets to assess potential new grants. We get many grant applications each year from researchers looking for funding for their studies. The Grant Review Board exists to make sure we’re funding the most promising, practical and cost-effective studies, that will bring us closer to beating dementia. After much deliberation, the board decides which studies we fund, and which we don’t.
We always make sure we have ‘lay’ people present who have had personal experience of dementia. Alzheimer’s Research UK Champion Fred Walker has attended the last three Grant Review Board meetings as a lay person.
Fred lost his wife, Joan, to Alzheimer’s disease in 2010. She was diagnosed at just 67 and passed away after a five-year battle with the condition. Fred cared for Joan at home right until the end.
It’s important to have people like Fred at Grant Review Board meetings to assess the practical aspects of the studies being looked at. Fred uses his experience to identify things that could be difficult for people with dementia, such as lengthy testing, and can give suggestions of things that may help, like having loved ones or carers present.
After the last meeting, Fred wrote the below letter about his experience. We wanted to share it with you so you can see what goes on behind the scenes.
About the author
Fred’s wife, Joan, had a four year struggle with Alzheimer’s and died in 2010, aged 70. Since then he has been a tireless campaigner, raising awareness of the need for more investment into research for this devastating disease. Fred has involved his local community in fundraising events and has raised thousands of pounds for our world-class dementia research. A retired engineer, he has also written a book entitled ‘Alzheimer’s: An Engineer’s View’, with all proceeds being donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK.