There’s nothing I like more than being asked to be involved in things I enjoy. It happened again last Tuesday when Bradford University asked me to be involved with the interviews for PhD students who are undertaking research on dementia care. I know I’m not a token gesture as they listen to my opinion and appear to value it as well.
The Alzheimer’s Society has funded 8 doctoral research centres around the country and Bradford is one of them. They are centres for excellence in dementia care and the aim is to create the research leaders of the future in dementia research.
The lovely Dr Andrea Capstick leads on their patient involvement and met me in reception before taking me upstairs for a cuppa.The train journey yet again didn’t go smoothly as the train was supposed to be direct from York to Bradford but broke down in Leeds at which point chaos ensued as we were told to ‘go wait on the platform for further instructions’. I noticed that a group of people seemed to know what they were doing and were heading off in another direction so I followed – good job done as they were heading for a different train that also happen to stop at Bradford!
I digress – back to the day…….there were 5 people on each panel including me – they were interviewing for 4 Phd students so each of the leads was present along with the supervisor and me. The amazing Murna Downs and Jan Oyedo were part of the panel and it was so nice to see them. I’ve met Murna a few times but only corresponded with Jan so really nice to meet her in person. The other people were also great – they have such a lovely team at Bradford – no wonder everyone wants to work there……
The panel met to discuss who would ask which questions and I was able to come up with my own questions in relation to the their views on the challenges faced with including people with dementia in their research and how they may adapt. The prospective students had to deliver a presentation followed by our questions. There were 4 candidates during the day and all had some really interesting things to say. I love to hear the young talking especially when they have so much energy and passion.
We were all glad when the end of the day came as interviewing can be so exhausting as you really want to make sure you’re fair to each candidate. They were interviewing again on Friday which another user involvement person so I hope they found the other 2 lucky students who will start their careers.
How I wish I was 40 years younger and about to embark on their journey! …..mmmmm, well some of their journey anyway…………