About the NIHR Three Schools’ Dementia Research Programme

The NIHR Schools for Primary Care Research (SPCR), Public Health Research (SPHR) and Social Care Research (SSCR) (“three Schools”) have joined together in a unique collaboration between leading academic centres in England to collaborate on two programmes of work funded through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR): one on mental health led by SPCR and the second on dementia led by SSCR.

Mission and activities


Dementia presents many challenges for individuals, families, communities, health and care systems and more broadly. Commitments under the Government’s Challenge on Dementia and the G8 Dementia Summit have highlighted the need to boost dementia research, and NIHR has funded an extensive portfolio of dementia research.

Our ambitions align with those of DHSC and NIHR: the Three Schools will carry out research to address key gaps in the evidence base, working collaboratively across primary care, public health and social care. Collectively, we are well placed to carry out research that is cross-cutting and community-orientated, and able to develop relevant research for whole populations as well as (importantly) specific groups of individuals within them, most importantly within context. We will draw on our experience and established networks to ensure patient, carer, service user, public and community engagement. We will work across traditional disciplinary and sector boundaries.


We will pursue this mission through the following activities:

  • conducting high-quality peer-reviewed research to produce new knowledge including, where appropriate, reviewing and synthesising existing knowledge, to inform the further development of dementia-related practice;
  • investing in ongoing efforts to build and strengthen research capacity and build research awareness and utilisation;
  • involving people living with dementia, carers and practitioners throughout the programme;
  • supporting the generation of impact from the research, and supporting wider knowledge exchange and implementation activities.

Management and governance


The governance of this Programme will follow the processes developed by the School for Social Care Research (SSCR) which will be lead contractor for the Programme. The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) will take responsibility for financial monitoring and reporting, and will lead contracting with partners.


The Director of each School will be responsible for the operatonalisation of this Programme within their School, and collectively across the Three Schools. The SSCR Director – Professor Martin Knapp (LSE) – will have overall responsibility for leading, managing and directing the

Three School’s Dementia Research Group

We will establish the Three School’s Dementia Research Group. In addition to the Directors of each School and relevant administrative leads, this Group will include appointed members from all three Schools, including people with considerable experience of dementia research, as well as people living with dementia and carers. There will also be representation from DHSC and NIHR.

The Group will provide academic leadership for the Programme and be responsible for supporting the Directors of the three Schools in management and reporting. The Group will make decisions on commissioning processes, appointment of reviewers for proposals, commissioning decisions, monitoring of ongoing studies, assessment of final reports, and decisions regarding knowledge exchange and impact. The Group will also take responsibility for monitoring the spread of topics and funding allocations across the Three Schools.

The Group will meet regularly, as required to commission projects and other activities, and to review progress. The SSCR Director will chair meetings. Quorum will be 70% of the membership. Decisions will be made by simple majority voting.

Advisory Board

The three Schools will consult with their respective Advisory Boards for advice on the programme of research; development of research capacity and research literacy; opportunities for maximising impact from the research.

Further details can be found in our Programme of Work (PDF).