Bridging the gap for early career researchers
19 December 2022
As key funders in driving dementia research forward, Alzheimer’s Research UK has recently launched a bridge fund, designed to ensure the next generation of pioneering researchers have the means and mentorship necessary to stay in the field. We are excited to help get this initiative going by committing to multi-year funding.
Dementia is one of the leading causes of death in the UK, and yet our understanding of it lags behind that of other major diseases. As the UK’s leading research charity, Alzheimer’s Research UK is dedicated to causes, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure, and changing the landscape of how we think of dementia.
‘Our vision is a world where people are free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.’ – Alzheimer’s Research UK
Early Career Researchers (ECRs) include PhD students, Research Fellows, Senior Research Fellows and Clinical Research Fellows. They are integral to driving dementia research forward, but the field risks losing this next generation of talent. Covid-19 generated job insecurity has created funding gaps, leaving talented ECRs facing tough decisions about whether they can feasibly afford to wait for the next opportunity to open up.
Alzheimer’s Research UK has recognised that a strategy needs to be in place for “bridging the gap” between positions. The newly launched ECR Strategy has 4 goals:
- To increase and sustain the early career workforce and enhance capacity in key areas of need
- To develop a diverse and skilled workforce in dementia research
- To increase collaboration across disciplines
- To strengthen engagements with wider Alzheimer’s Research UK plans
Grants to bridge the gap between employment and projects will be made available to ECRs, as will mentorship to help with career progression. The Symondson Foundation is confident that Alzheimer’s Research UK’s helping-hand for ECRs will be vital for ensuring equitable access to the field of dementia research, and might just lead to the next generation of brilliant breakthroughs.Back to Foundation News