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Research Translation and Impact Manager: Alzheimer’s Society Centre of Excellence - closing date January 11th 2021

What is the aim of the post?

The main purpose of this post is to identify opportunities to create impact based on research findings from the Alzheimer’s Society Centre of Excellence research programme focused on improving the experience of dementia and enhancing active life (the IDEAL programme) and the associated INCLUDE COVID-19 rapid response project, and to translate research evidence from these studies into practical resources, initiatives and actions that can influence policy and practice and enable people with dementia and family carers to ‘live well’ with the condition.

Are the working arrangements flexible?

The arrangements for this post are negotiable. Most activities can be carried out on a home-working basis, with meetings conducted online, so the post-holder can potentially be based anywhere in the UK. It is likely there will be an occasional need to travel to London, Exeter or other UK venues once the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.

This is a full-time position, but part-time working in the range 0.6 – 0.9 FTE can be considered.

What activities will the post-holder mainly be involved in?

Identifying, planning and co-ordinating

The post-holder will:

  • Work with the research team to identify opportunities to create impact based on research findings from the IDEAL programme and INCLUDE COVID-19 rapid response project, and translate research evidence into practical resources, initiatives and actions that can influence policy and practice, in order to optimise the impact of the research.
  • Outline and implement a comprehensive strategic plan for optimising impact across the research programme.
  • Co-ordinate the IDEAL Workstream focused on using the research evidence to create an action plan for policy and practice development, in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society colleagues. This is expected to include a stakeholder event, expert panel and focus groups, conducted online, and to involve preparing and reviewing accessible summaries of evidence to identify areas of need and the kinds of interventions and initiatives that may be effective in addressing these needs.
  • Develop and co-ordinate a Centre of Excellence event to showcase findings and their implications and impact in the second half of 2022.
  • Manage a significant budget to enable successful delivery of impact-related activity.

Conceptualising, creating and co-producing

The post-holder will:

  • Conceptualise and prepare or write relevant resource materials in a range of formats, such as webpages, leaflets, booklets, infographics, evidence briefings, video demonstrations and webinars, aimed at people with dementia, family carers, health and social care professionals, voluntary sector staff and other relevant audiences.
  • Identify and engage people with specialist expertise (e.g. design, video creation, etc.) who can contribute to producing resources and impact-related outputs, and manage their work in line with project budgets and timescales.
  • Co-produce resources and initiatives wherever possible by involving our Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) representatives - the ALWAYs group, project partner Innovations in Dementia, Alzheimer’s Society colleagues, Project Advisory Group members, and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Develop the Living Well Alongside COVID (LILAC) toolkit, based on research evidence from the INCLUDE and IDEAL programmes, during the first half of 2021. The aim of the toolkit is to support social, mental and physical health and relationships of people with dementia and family carers. It is expected to comprise online and printed resources in a range of formats for people with dementia, family carers, health and social care professionals, voluntary sector staff and other relevant audiences as well as signposting to other related resources. These resources may look beyond COVID to support well-being and provision of high-quality care and support services more generally in the future, linking with the overall aims and agenda of the IDEAL programme.

Communicating, advising and supporting

The post-holder will:

  • Promote, contribute to and support communication with a range of audiences through our websites, social media, newsletters, and other means.
  • Support existing impact initiatives within the IDEAL programme including planned drama-based work and communications toolkit development, and the Unfurlings banners for hope and change project.
  • Work with Alzheimer’s Society colleagues to establish how the research findings on key indicators of ‘living well’ can be developed into a sustainable method of surveying the extent to which people are ‘living well’ with dementia on a large scale.
  • Support Alzheimer’s Society colleagues in co-publishing a policy report on INCLUDE findings and the LILAC toolkit, and in supporting and promoting the LILAC toolkit.
  • Train, coach and advise research team members on how to write for lay audiences, including preparing accessible lay summaries of research papers and other outputs (e.g. blogs and newsletter articles).

Monitoring and evaluating

The post-holder will:

  • Keep and regularly update a record of all impact-related activity within the IDEAL and INCLUDE programmes and report this to the Programme Manager, Project Management Group and Project Advisory Group, and the funders..
  • Monitor and record the use of the LILAC toolkit and other specific outputs to provide evidence of reach and impact.

What existing work can the post-holder build on?

Lay summaries of our research papers can be found in the publications section of our website. To date, IDEAL findings have been used by Alzheimer’s Society to support a range of policy, influencing and service development work and further development of initiatives such as Dementia Friends. Our COVID-related research findings are currently being used by the Department of Health and Social Care, and the information we produced for people with dementia and carers received excellent feedback and have been translated into 10 languages by the Race Equality Foundation. The Unfurlings arts-based work linked to IDEAL and led by Ian Beesley has been seen by over 25,000 people so far. Plans for drama-based work in collaboration with Paul Jepson, freelance producer and former Director of the Northcott Theatre, are in development.

What support will the post-holder have?

The post-holder will be a key member of the co-ordinating team based in the College of Medicine and Health. This is a small, friendly and supportive core team comprising the Chief Investigator Professor Linda Clare, the Programme Manager Dr Claire Pentecost, and Research Fellows Dr Anthony Martyr and Dr Rachel Collins. The team has been working remotely since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and expect these flexible arrangements to continue once the pandemic is over. The post-holder will be part of the wider Centre of Excellence IDEAL team which includes project staff based at the University of Exeter and collaborators and project staff in other Universities. The post-holder will work closely with partner organisation Innovations in Dementia, represented by Co-Director Rachael Litherland, and with members of the ALWAYs PPI group which Rachael co-ordinates. The post-holder will benefit from close links with, and strong support from, Alzheimer’s Society, represented by Senior Research Evidence Officer Malayka Rahman-Amin. The post-holder will have access to the range of expertise and perspectives embodied in our active Programme Advisory Group, and to a wider group of engaged stakeholders who contributed to an action planning event in 2018. The IDEAL team is highly committed to maximising the potential impact from the programme and views this post as a key strategic appointment that will play a central role in achieving this aim.

The Alzheimer’s Society Centre of Excellence is part of the Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health within the College of Medicine and Health, and is linked with the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South-West Peninsula (PenARC), which has dementia care as one of its core themes. This provides access to a wide range of colleagues and infrastructure to support the work, including specialists in patient and public involvement, training of health and social care professionals, and implementation of new initiatives and interventions. Support is also available from colleagues in the University’s Innovation, Impact and Business department who specialise in working with external partners and stakeholders.

When will the interviews take place?

We are scheduling interviews for Friday 22nd January 2021. We endeavour to accommodate requests about specific times that are nor are not convenient. Interviews will be held online via Teams and shortlisted applicants will be sent a link for their interview slot a few days before the interview date. The panel will comprise at least 3 members of the core IDEAL co-ordinating team - Linda Clare, Claire Pentecost, Anthony Martyr and Rachel Collins – together with Malayka Rahman-Amin, Rachael Litherland, and a person living with dementia and a carer both representing the ALWAYs group. There may also be a representative from the University’s Innovation, Impact and Business department. Although this is a large panel, the discussion will take place between the post-holder and just 3 to 4 panel members, with the other panel members mainly observing.

We are keen for the successful applicant to start as soon as possible once the appointment is confirmed.

Further information

If you have additional questions or need further information, please email Professor Linda Clare Due to the holiday period, emails will be answered after 4th January 2021.

How to apply

For details about how to apply for this position please click here.