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TAnDem: Nottingham - Worcester Doctoral Training Centre

About the Doctoral Training Centre

In early 2015 the Alzheimer’s Society funded eight Doctoral Training Centres in various aspects of dementia to help to increase research knowledge and capacity in this vital area. A partnership between the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester and the Centre for Dementia, University of Nottingham is one of the successful Centres. TAnDem is the name of the Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) that has been funded to focus on studying The Arts and Dementia.

Why Arts and Dementia?

Without greater knowledge and evidence about the arts and dementia, people living with dementia and their families cannot make informed choices. It is difficult for service providers and artists to help people with dementia and their carers to live well with dementia, as commissioners cannot justify expenditure on arts-as-interventions. The TAnDem PhD studentships are designed to remedy this gap in scientific knowledge and understanding. All of the proposed studentships will have a common focus on advancing knowledge about the impact of engagement with creative activities on people with all stages of dementia and on their family and professional carers. Please see below for details of topics and supervisors. One unique aspect of TAnDem is that it offers the complementary resources of two universities to all the PhD candidates.

About the PhD projects

The four PhDs starting this year are:

  • Evaluating Arts Interventions in Residential Homes (Imagine)
  • An International Taxonomy of Arts Interventions for People Living with Dementia
  • Evaluating the Impact of Arts-based Interventions and Activities in Dementia: methodological challenges and solutions
  • Tailoring Arts Interventions to Individual Needs in Dementia: delivery of arts activities and individual difference (what works for whom)T

The Arts and Dementia (TAnDem) Doctoral Training Centre recently advertised two funded PhD studentships commencing in September 2016. One will be based at the University of Worcester and one at the University of Nottingham. The PhD studentships are full time and will commence in September 2016.


TAnDem will be organising a number of events in the future. Please bookmark this page so that you can easily revisit and check for new events.

Arts and Dementia: Research into practice - 21 September 2016 NCTL Learning and Conference Centre, Nottingham 

Through a mixture of keynote speakers, workshops and panel debates we will explore
how research and arts practice can work together for mutual benefit. Themes include:

  • What methodologies are appropriate for researching the arts and dementia?
  • What can be learned from the experience of being a researcher and being
  • What priorities drive funding of research into arts and dementia? 

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Paul Camic, Canterbury Christ Church University Philip Cave, Arts Council England
  • Professor Norma Daykin, University of Winchester Gary Glazner, Alzheimer’s Poetry Project
  • James Pickett, Alzheimer’s Society
  • Clive Parkinson, Manchester School of Art
  • Dr Victoria Tischler, University of Nottingham 

For booking and more information go to: 

TAnDem is one of eight Doctoral Training Centres funded by the Alzheimer’s Society. Its mission is to develop and strengthen the evidence base for the arts and dementia. 

The Academic Environment

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a global reputation that has yielded major social science breakthroughs in areas such as international human rights law; geospatial technology; ethical business practices; globalisation and economic policy; and citizenship and transnational migration. Ranked 8th on research power among UK universities in REF2014, it currently hosts 19 doctoral training centres with more than 400 places in total. These range from subject-specific DTCs with a handful of PhD candidates to larger centres accredited by the research councils, including the new Midlands3Cities Arts and Humanities Research Council partnership which involves six universities and offers a total of 82 places.

The Centre for Dementia Research is based at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), University of Nottingham, which is a partnership between Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and the University of Nottingham. Led by Professor Martin Orrell, the IMH is the UK’s prime location for inter-disciplinary research in the mental health field (psychiatry, psychology, sociology, business, law, nursing, economics and statistics). The Centre for Dementia Research is the Institute’s newest research unit, headed by Professor Tom Dening. The Centre brings together dementia-related research and service development activities that involve about 30 Nottingham academics, and include several arts-related projects. 

The University of Worcester has a growing commitment to research. It was one of the most improved Universities for research in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014). It has invested significantly in developing its research environment and infrastructure over the last 5 years and this has facilitated a five-fold increase in its research income over that period, a continued growth in its research student numbers and the development of a number of areas of research excellence of which Dementia Studies is perhaps the most prominent example. 

The Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) was established as a Research Centre at the University of Worcester in 2009 under the leadership of Professor Dawn Brooker. It has established an international reputation as a centre of innovation and excellence in dementia research and education and policy advice. From its inception, ADS has focused on working proactively at the interface between the experience of those living with dementia, those developing care practice and those undertaking research to ensure that there is real knowledge transfer and translation between these different world-views. ADS brings multi-professional expertise in clinical, social and health psychology, nursing, social work, gerontology, occupational therapy, policy analysis, medicine, primary care and psychiatry numbering about 30 staff to this task.