The RAND Europe report takes a comprehansive review of the UK dementia research landscape and has found that too few researchers are choosing a career in dementia, with five times more people working choosing to work on cancer. Of those that do complete a PhD in dementia, retention in the field is poor with 70 per cent leaving the field within four years.
There is also a critical lack of people from care and clinical professions focusing on dementia research, which is likely to stifle innovation and progress in these sectors. Less than two per cent of the top 200 most prolific UK dementia researchers specialise in social care and social work, even though people with dementia are one of the biggest user of adult social care.
Many of the career challenges facing academic, clinicial and care dementia researchers are outlined in the report, as well as ten recommendations for developing a strong and sustainable dementia research community.