ESRC – Dementia Network Plus

Closing Date: 12/10/2023

Funding available to develop a Network Plus on dementia.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and Alzheimer’s Society will invest up to £5.25 million in up to three Network Plus grants in dementia.

The funding will extend the existing UK dementia research community, through capacity building activity and bringing in researchers new to the dementia field. Grants will have a strongly collaborative ethos, embedding working with people living with dementia and carers across all activities. They will work across stakeholders in national and local government as well as charities.

Each network should focus on one of the areas listed, although proposals which cut across the different areas are also eligible. Networks should have a broad focus on the topic rather than picking out specific sub theme questions to focus on in depth. ESRC aim to fund one network in each area (dependent upon the quality and topic coverage of proposals received):


Applications on this theme might include:

  • Raising awareness and deepening understanding of dementia as experienced across different groups, ages, places and populations
  • Tackling the impact of inequalities in dementia diagnosis and dementia care
  • Widening participation in dementia research across under-researched groups.

Dementia prevention and early diagnosis

Applications on this theme might include:

  • Prevention strategies identifying influences and inequalities throughout the life course that shape cognitive function in older age
  • Research to support risk reduction through behaviour change and interventions, understanding the impact of awareness and modification of lifelong lifestyle behaviours
  • Exploring opportunities and barriers around prevention, early presentation and diagnosis of a condition that can carry stigma and fear
  • Improved understanding of the impact of different types of care and support available after an early diagnosis.

Dementia, economy, and the workforce

Areas of focus under this theme include:

  • Improving awareness, support and identifying wellbeing interventions for both people living with dementia and carers in the workplace
  • Exploring employer and employee dynamics for people living with dementia, developing future models of more inclusive labour markets and management practices and support for future workplace relevant interventions
  • Macro level understanding of future costs of dementia care, modelling affordability of treatment as it impacts across four nations
  • Sharing learning globally about dealing with economic impacts of dementia, particularly focusing on work related impacts

Cross cutting requirements

In addition, all proposals must:

  • Involve People living with Dementia (PLWD) and/or carers as an embedded part of the programme of activity. This should include activity focused on the best strategies for further engagement across lived experience groups, particularly under-researched populations
  • Have a strong capacity building element, including activity to assess and determine what the UK needs in terms of research, research infrastructure and skills to develop capability in the chosen sub theme area
  • Actively engage a wide range of research organisations. We particularly welcome proposals that involve groups from across the UK, and researchers new to dementia research, where relevant to the aims of the proposal
  • Have considered the impact of inequalities and threaded this theme throughout their project
  • Engage and network with other UKRI activities, stakeholders in academia, industry and government in the UK and internationally, connecting across a diverse range of disciplines and backgrounds
  • Provide thought leadership and a clear vision in the chosen sub theme
  • Develop and run open opportunities for small projects or activities in the chosen sub theme area. ESRC particularly encourage using these funds to build capacity, for example through encouraging early career researchers to lead projects
  • Go beyond mapping of issues, generating tangible actions through practical interventions or meaningful policy and practice innovations
  • Nurture and develop talent of researchers at all career stages, and support and enable learning
  • Manage and coordinate the flexible funding so it is distributed fairly and efficiently.

By the end of the funding period, the Network Plus should have enabled a step-change in the connectivity and coordination of researchers and stakeholders in this field.

Funding body Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Maximum value £1,750,000
Reference ID S25280
Category Economic and Social Research
Fund or call Fund