Table 5

Summary of issues and potential approaches for building up UK dementia research capacity

Key issuesOptions for addressing them
  • 1. Tackling bottlenecks in the transition from PhD to postdoctoral positions and from postdoctoral to independent investigator positions

  • Dementia-specific funding for fellowships and lectureships

  • ‘Rising star’ fellowships for researchers with high potential to establishing small research groups

  • Support professional skills-development programmes such as leadership training and project management

  • Enhance scale of PhD studentships for some professions with a notable lack of early-stage opportunities (eg, allied health professions, nursing)

  • 2. Long-term sustainability of existing dementia research centres, networks and partnerships

  • Address succession planning for key individuals

  • Develop a legacy plan together with host universities

  • 3. Attract researchers from diverse fields to collaborative dementia research efforts (ie, to research teams and networks) to support interdisciplinary collaboration

  • Problem-driven grants

  • Grants with specification for partnership between researchers from different disciplines

  • 4. Coordinate of investments across initiatives and funders and improve the cost-efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of dementia research capacity investments

  • At a national level, consider balance of diseases supported; basic, applied, clinical and health services research on dementia; and prevention, treatment and care-focused research within the dementia research funding portfolio

  • Learn from evaluation of current and prior investments into dementia research capacity-building, and from the experiences of other fields and countries