We fund research into understanding the diseases that cause dementia, improving diagnosis, finding out more about how to reduce risk, and developing treatments.

To do this we fund:

  • People – supporting researchers from the very start of their career through to when they’re leading a team of their own.
  • Projects – making sure we back the best research, from early findings to our ambitious drug discovery initiatives, which has the best chance in getting closer to life-changing breakthroughs.
  • Equipment - ensuring our researchers have the latest, state-of-the-art equipment, helping us understand the diseases in more detail and accelerate the development of new drugs.


All of our funded scientists are encouraged to collaborate and share their ideas through our Research Network. This brings together researchers from 48 different universities and institutions across 12 centres of scientific excellence in the UK. Through this we’re supporting researchers at a grass-roots level as well as helping them forge collaborations to think more ambitiously than ever before.

We also encourage our researchers to engage with you through a variety of events. These are often organised locally by our Network Centres and our Public Engagement team. Want to hear about our research? Listen to our Lab Notes series here.

None of this is possible without your support. Every donation we receive helps fund new ground-breaking research. See the journey your money makes below.

how we do it infographic

Your fundraising activities then come to us at Alzheimer’s Research UK as donations. We then approach scientists with innovative new ideas to apply for funding. Our review board meets to pick the most promising projects, and then your donation makes it to the lab to help make breakthroughs possible.

How we choose our projects

We fund the highest quality research projects with the best chance of success. This is ensured through our peer-review process following guidelines set by the Association of Medical Research Charities. All of the applications we receive are reviewed by our Grants Review Board of over 15 UK-based research experts as well as expert reviewers from across the world.

Our position on animal research

We endeavour to find answers to the big questions in dementia using non-animal methods, but sometimes our scientists need to understand how things work in a living system.

Most of the research we fund uses cells, human tissue, computer models or volunteers. About a third of our projects will involve animals, typically worms, fruit flies, fish or rodents, and this is only done when there is no other possible method.

Find out more about the guidelines we adhere to on animal research in our booklet and policy page.

How stem cells are used in research

Stem cells are specialised cells in our bodies which can develop into any other type of cell – a blood cell, bone cell or even a brain cell. This unique ability makes them incredibly useful for  dementia research.

We support research using stem cells to understand Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Our stem cell research projects focus on using stem cells from adult skin cells that will be donated by volunteers. We only use stem cells that have come from embryos when necessary and this is a tightly regulated process.

All UK research involving embryonic stem cells is strictly regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.