We have a number of resources and guidelines that can help with experimental design.
Dementia Researcher: a network for early career researchers
Delivered by NIHR and supported by Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Researcher is a website that allows you to pick up advice and chat with peers while bringing together all the latest jobs, events and funding opportunities. Become a member and get access to a range of great benefits including:
- Find – all the latest jobs and funding opportunities in dementia research
- Search – for workshops, training and events for you
- Tools & Support – everything from producing a grant proposal to ways of engaging patients and the public in your research
- Careers – advice and tips from established researchers and interactive tools to help steer you in the right direction
- Community – stay in touch with other early career researchers on our forums and messenger service
Visit the Dementia Researcher website for more information.
Observe our Grant Review Board
The Alzheimer’s Research UK Grant Review Board meets twice a year to discuss applications and make recommendations for which projects should be funded. We offer early career researchers (Postdocs and Fellows) the chance to observe these meetings to gain insight into the review process. The next Grant Review Board is in January and applications to observe will open in October.
International Alzheimer’s Disease Research Portfolio
You can use the International Alzheimer’s Disease Research Portfolio (IADRP) online database to visualize and track changes in the Alzheimer’s disease research landscape, identify gaps in critical research areas, explore opportunities for collaboration and avoid duplication in funding. The database is supported by the US National Institute of Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association with the participation of several international funders including Alzheimer’s Research UK. You can also take a look at Alzheimer’s Research UK’s own research portfolio.
Grant writing for Success
We hosted a ‘Grant Writing for Success’ seminar with the British Neuroscience Association, to share insights into funding opportunities from Alzheimer’s Research UK and top tips from Prof David Dexter, who sits on a number of grant review boards. You can watch the videos online here:
Dr Rosa Sancho, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK: Funding opportunities from Alzheimer’s Research UK
Prof David Dexter, Professor of Neuropharmacology, Imperial College London: How to write a good grant
Brains for Dementia Research
Brains for Dementia Research (BDR) is a joint initiative between Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society, in association with the Medical Research Council, which aims to provide high quality human brain tissue to the dementia research community. Not only does BDR provide ‘gold standard’ histopathological samples (including age-matched controls), but each prospective donor takes part in regular, standardised cognitive assessments. As such, donated brain tissue comes which a rich medical history – a unique feature of BDR over other sources of brain tissue.
The scheme is open to researchers in the UK and internationally. BDR can grant ‘generic ethical approval’ to UK based researchers. This will, in most cases, enable studies to proceed without researchers being required to obtain their own ethical approval, although there may be local institution regulations in place. Please visit the Brains for Dementia Research website for more information.
Alzheimer’s Research UK encourages researchers to consider the use of BDR tissue, where appropriate, in their grant applications.
The National Institute of Health Research and the Clinical Research Network
Alzheimer’s Research UK is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) non-commercial Partner. This means the studies that we fund may be eligible to access NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) support.
In partnership with your local R&D office, we encourage you to involve your local CRN team in discussions as early as possible when planning your study to fully benefit from the support the NIHR CRN offers as outlined in their Study Support Service. To find out more about how you can apply for this additional support to help deliver your study, please visit www.supportmystudy.nihr.ac.uk
If your study involves NHS sites in England you will need to apply for Health Research Authority Approval. For guidance on submitting an application please visit: www.hra.nhs.uk
Dementias Writing Group support for clinical grant applications
Portfolio Development Groups (PDGs) aim to provide advice and support for researcher groups working together to submit grant applications to fund clinical studies.
The Dementias PDG is composed of experts and lay members within the Dementia field that promote the development of innovative ideas into funded research. This includes supporting Writing Groups to formulate and write grant applications.
Expressions of interest from researchers interested in applying to Writing Groups support are now being accepted. Support offered includes practical advice over expertise, applicants, patient involvement and study design, as well as logistic support for writing group meetings and post-award advice.
If you have an outstanding idea with the potential to advance clinical knowledge of dementia in the UK and are interested in receiving support from the Dementias PDG, please complete the following form:
We aim to assess whether the Dementias PDG can support your proposal within 1 month of submission. Please contact us if you have not heard within this timeframe. If you have any queries, please contact admin.NDDR@nihr.ac.uk.
Join Dementia Research
Are you looking for ways to boost your study recruitment? Do you want to see if a future study would be possible? ‘Join dementia research’ is a fantastic service developed by the NIHR in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society, which allows the public to register their interest in getting involved in research studies. The aim of Join Dementia Research is to improve the timeliness of study recruitment for researchers, and provide a service to thousands of potential volunteers who want to be involved in research. Please visit the website to find out how to register your study.
For those planning research studies in care homes, please take a look at the NIHR toolkit for Enabling Research in Care Homes.
Dementias Platform UK
Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) is a multi-million pound public-private partnership, developed and led by the Medical Research Council. DPUK is creating an optimal environment for dementias research by aligning information from over 25 longitudinal cohort studies and enriching certain datasets. Researchers will have easier access to data to support their research, which will be retrieved via a single point. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research – the ARRIVE guidelines
The ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines have been developed by the NC3Rs and are intended to improve standards of reporting and ensure that the data from animal experiments can be fully evaluated and utilised. When planning animal studies, please take a look at guidelines from the NC3Rs for experimental design. Researchers using animals are expected to give appropriate consideration to the 3Rs (Replacement, Refinement and Reduction), make use of the ARRIVE guidelines when designing their experiments, and ensure that they report animal-based studies in accordance with the ARRIVE guidelines as far as possible, taking into account the specific editorial policies of the journal concerned.
To get more tips about implenting the 3Rs into your grant applications you can watch a video from our ‘Grant writing for success workshop’.