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INTERDEM Academy Fellowships – Update

By Kim Morgan, on 13 November 2014

The INTERDEM Academy enables fellowships for young researchers allowing them to spend 3-6 months abroad. The Promoting Independence in Dementia (PRIDE) programme, led by Professor Martin Orrell from the Division of Psychiatry at UCL, is a partner in the INTERDEM scheme.

We are delighted to announce that the very first of these fellowships has been granted to mr. Antonio García. A PhD student hailing from the University of Salamanca in Spain, he will stay with Prof. Orrell’s team at UCL for 4 months. Below you will find a short report of his experiences so far, giving an excellent example of what we seek to achieve through INTERDEM Academy: building capacity for young researchers in the field, and strengthening the PRIDE / INTERDEM network through joint projects.

“In these 72 days, I have experienced and learned far more things than those I had planned in my motivation letter for the INTERDEM Academy fellowship. I am based in the Division of Psychiatry of UCL, were I have been working with the PRIDE team to lead a literature review on Computer Based Cognitive Interventions for people with dementia that will be submitted by the end of my stay. The review will be useful for the design of PRIDE Work Package 3, and is linked to my thesis in cognitive rehabilitation.

I have also been trained in Cognitive Stimulation Therapy and Individual Stimulation Therapy, treatments developed by Professor Orrell’s team in UCL, and I have had the opportunity to share our Computer Based Cognitive Intervention Program (GRADIOR) developed at the University of Salamanca.

I have visited memory clinics in London and attended different courses and conferences that have helped me widen my scope of view in the field of dementia. Alzheimer Europe’s Conference in Glasgow was particularly enriching, as it made it possible for me to meet many INTERDEM members and participate in the Academy master class. It was also a great opportunity for networking, as a matter of fact; I am now planning a visit to another INTERDEM team while in the UK, hopefully finding new opportunities for learning and cooperation.”

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