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Meet the IDEAL programme team

Project team

Programme Co-Investigators

The IDEAL programme comprises two projects with the following Co-Investigators:

'Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life: living well with dementia: the IDEAL study' funded by ESRC and NIHR

Investigators: L. Clare, I.R. Jones, C. Victor, J.V. Hindle, R.W. Jones, M. Knapp, M. Kopelman, R. Litherland, A. Martyr, F.E. Matthews, R.G. Morris, S.M. Nelis, J. Pickett, C. Quinn, J. Rusted, J. Thom (2014-2019)

'Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life: A longitudinal perspective on living well with dementia: the IDEAL-2 study' funded as an Alzheimer's Society Centre of Excellence

Investigators: L. Clare, I.R. Jones, R.G. Morris, F.E. Matthews, J. Rusted, J. Hughes, C. Victor, M. Knapp, I.R. Jones, R. Litherland, J.V. Hindle, C. Quinn, A. Martyr, S.M. Nelis, C. Ballard, A. Hillman (2018-2023)

There are several other projects directly linked to IDEAL. Please follow the links below for more information about each of these projects:

The IDEAL programme research team is led by the Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH) group based at the University of Exeter.

Alzheimer's Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity. They provide information and support, improve care, fund research, and create lasting change for people affected by dementia. They support carers of people with dementia to influence this project and help to disseminate findings. Kat Deerfield, Senior Research Evidence Officer, works closely with the IDEAL programme team.


Professor Christina Victor from the Brunel Institute of Environment, Health and Societies contributes to both quantitative and qualitative analyses and leads on engagement of people from Black and Asian communities.


Professor Ian Rees Jones from the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) focuses on qualitative research and the integration of quantitative and qualitative findings and was lead supervisor for a linked PhD studentship in which Hannah Scott focused on the impact of dementia on the identity and selfhood of women. 

Innovations in Dementia CIC works nationally with people with dementia, partner organisations and professionals with the aim of developing and testing projects that will enhance the lives of people with dementia. Rachael Litherland from Innovations in Dementia supports people with dementia to influence the project and help disseminate findings.

Professor Robin Morris, who is a neuropsychologist at the King's College Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neurosciencecontributes to the quantitative and qualitative work of the IDEAL programme. Professor Michael Kopelman contributed to quantitative analysis prior to his retirement.

Professor Martin Knapp and Dr. Catherine Henderson at the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC-LSE) at the London School of Economics and Political Science will be involved in the health economics aspects of the project. 

The LSE research team leads the IDEAL Data linkage extension study (see our Privacy Policy to see how we will use this data). This study will answer important questions about the economic impacts of dementia that cannot be answered using the questionnaire data alone.

RICE (Research Institute for the Care of Older People) is a charity covering a wide variety of areas intended to advance the knowledge and treatment of the more serious conditions affecting older people, with a particular focus on Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Professor Roy Jones contributes to the quantitative and qualitative work of the IDEAL programme. Professor Julian Hughes contributed to IDEAL-2 prior to his retirement.


Dr Alexandra Hillman is co-leading on qualitative research and the integration of quantitative and qualitative findings.

Dr Catherine Quinn at the Bradford Centre of Applied Dementia Research provides expertise in caregiving research and is involved in both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the study. 

The Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH) at the University of Exeter is the lead centre for the IDEAL programme. Professor Linda Clare is the chief investigator of IDEAL.

The IDEAL research team in Exeter includes Dr Anthony Martyr, Dr Claire Pentecost, Dr Catherine Charlwood, Dr Sally Stapley, Anna Hunt, and Emma Walter. Dr Sharon Nelis, programme manager for IDEAL from 2014 to 2018, has left the University but retains links with the programme. Professor Clive Ballard is a collaborator in IDEAL-2.

Professor Jenny Rusted is a Professor of Experimental Psychology from the School of Psychology at University of Sussex. She contributes to components of the quantitative work of the programme. She co-supervised a linked PhD studentship in association with Dr Henglien Lisa Chen from the School of Education and Social Workthis was held by Rachel Clarke and focused on the experiences of working caregivers of people with dementia.

Professor Jeanette Thom from the Sydney School of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney contributes to the quantitative work of the programme, focusing in particular on the role of physical activity in living well with dementia.

NWORTH (North Wales Organisation for Randomised Trials in Health), the Bangor Trials Unit, is a multi-disciplinary and multi-functional team with experience and expertise in healthcare research and clinical studies from initial idea generation through to final publication and dissemination. NWORTH supported data collection, data management and data archiving for the first phase of IDEAL, under the leadership of Dr Zoe Hoare. Dr John Hindle contributed to IDEAL prior to his retirement.

Professor Fiona Matthews is a Professor of Epidemiology in the Population Health Sciences Institute at Newcastle UniversityFiona leads on quantitative data analyses. Dr Laura Gamble is the project statistician.