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Technology Enabled Dementia Education and Support (TEDES) for Health Care Professionals in Rural Scotland

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  • Full or part time
    Dr L Macaden
    Dr K Smyth
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project Description (MAX 700 WORDS)

There are over 46.8 million people with dementia worldwide, which is projected to increase to 131.5 million in 20501 with 90,000 people living with dementia (PWD) in Scotland2. Despite this rising need for health and social care, there are concerns internationally around deficiencies in knowledge, skills and attitudes among health professionals caring for people with dementia3, 4, 5,6,7,8. Rural and remote settings pose additional healthcare and service delivery challenges with staff training and education identified as key priorities9. However, this can often be a challenge for rural practitioners to access due to constraints with time, geographical, financial and organisational barriers10, 11. The Scottish Government’s commitment to Technology Enabled Care (TEC) and Alzheimer Scotland’s first ever Technology Charter for PWD in 201512 are timely, with this studentship aiming to scope and investigate the feasibility of developing a Technology Enabled Dementia Education Framework for health care professionals in acute and primary care settings within rural Scotland.

The PhD project (TEDES) will focus on the contribution of dementia education and training for health care professionals in meeting the health and social care needs of people living with dementia in rural settings, with particular reference to technology-enabled education with the following objectives:

1. To conduct a systematic review of evidence around educational theory and models for health care professionals in rural areas and on the pedagogy of current dementia education and to appraise any gaps between these.
2. To describe dementia education needs with rural health care professionals in acute and primary care settings, with a range of stakeholders (service users, front-line practitioners and service managers) in rural Scotland. Sites of study will be selected to include diversity according to the criteria of: travel time distance from acute care facilities; access to technology enabled learning platforms; availability of colleagues (e.g. lone practitioners).
3. To develop a Technology Enabled Dementia Education Framework and Support for rural health care professionals in acute and primary care settings.

The project will have an advisory group that will consist of people living with dementia, dementia health care professionals, the Alzheimer Scotland - NHS Highland Dementia Nurse Consultant and a representative from Alzheimer Scotland. This approach is to strengthen the interdisciplinary and co-production agenda, which are both critical to developing any education and training. Opportunities will also be explored to engage with the Scottish Government through the team’s links with Alzheimer Scotland and the Highland Dementia Working Group.

The student will be well supported with a high quality supervision team that consists of Dr. Macaden and Professor Smyth (UHI) and Professor Clarke (University of Edinburgh) who bring a significant record of accomplishment in dementia research, dementia education and pedagogy.


The student will be presented with opportunities to explore the relevance of the findings of the research to other rural and remote areas globally, exploiting our work with the International Collaborative Research Network of risk in ageing populations (led by Clarke). Additionally, the student will also be facilitated to apply for Travel Fellowships as part of this PhD to visit international centres of dementia excellence with the international links that the team have to explore opportunities for further collaboration and disseminate findings to an international audience.

The expertise and dementia / pedagogy networks of the supervision team and the collaborative approach with key stakeholders built within the project, the Scottish Government’s priorities around Technology enabled Dementia Care and the proposed technology enabled dementia education framework would all create avenues for future academic and research collaborations locally, nationally and beyond.
This studentship also offers an exciting opportunity to join the network of PhD students within the Department of Nursing and the wider research network at UHI, with the PhD student group in the Edinburgh Centre for Research on the Experience of Dementia at the University of Edinburgh, and across Scotland through the Scottish Dementia Research Collaborative.

Application Process


The project is expected to start on 01 May 2018 (Negotiable)

Applicants must possess a minimum of an Honours degree at 2:1 and/or a Master’s Degree (or International equivalent) in a relevant subject.

To apply please complete the standard application form, attaching supporting documentation and send to: [Email Address Removed]

Deadline: Thursday 1 March 2018 at 5PM (UK time)

Funding Notes

This studentship is funded by the European Social Fund and Scottish Funding Council as part of Developing Scotland’s Workforce in the Scotland 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Fund Programme.

The studentship covers fees at the Home/EU rate only, plus a stipend at the RCUK level, for a total of 42 months (including writing-up).
Funding is available for students worldwide, however non UK/EU students will be liable for the difference between home/EU and international fees.

Students must be domiciled in the Highlands and Islands transition region during the course of their study to be eligible for funding.


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