Dr Karen Watchman

Health Sciences Pathfoot J11 University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA United Kingdom

About me

Follow on Twitter @karenwatchman

Course Director MSc Global Issues in Gerontology and Ageing http://bit.ly/ageingstir

I am a Senior Lecturer in Ageing, Frailty and Dementia. My qualifications are:

  • BA joint honours degree in sociology and social policy (University of Stirling),
  • MSc in Dementia Studies (University of Stirling),
  • PhD investigating the experience of individuals with Down syndrome and dementia (University of Edinburgh)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Education (University of Edinburgh)

My practice background is in social care and I spent many years as Chief Executive of Down's Syndrome Scotland. Recent research has focused on ageing in people with a learning disability, advanced dementia care and football reminiscence with care home residents who have dementia. Development of resources such as Jenny's Diary and Supporting Derek ensure dissemination of research findings into practice.

I facilitate workforce development on learning disability and dementia and provide consultancy to support an ageing population of people with a learning disability within social care settings.

Recent research grants/awards (see Research tab above for current work)

Alzheimer's Society Implementation Grant, £186,171 (PI)

Life Changes Trust/Angus care and Repair. Housing and Dementia. £50,094 (PI).

RS MacDonald Charitable Trust. Seedcorn Grant – learning disability and dementia. £15,000 (PI).

Alzheimer’s Society Dissemination Grant. Jenny’s Diary: supporting conversations about dementia with people who have an intellectual disability (£19,240, PI).

Dementia Palliare - Interprofessional experiential learning solutions: equipping the qualified dementia workforce to champion evidence informed improvement to advanced dementia care and family caring €290,899, Erasmus+ (team member).

Alzheimer Scotland/University of Edinburgh Pilot Study Grant. Evaluation of football reminiscence project for men with dementia, £5,095 (PI).

Dumfries and Galloway Putting You First Change Fund. Enhanced sensory day care evaluation and research project, £19,250 (team member).


  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Herald education awards finalist: Jenny's Diary
  • Mental health nursing forum award: Grace Notes
  • Scotlands dementia awards finalist: Jenny's Diary
  • Guardian education awards finalist: Dementia Palliare
  • Dementia research leaders award for use of research evidence with marginalised groups


  • Towards an Aging Society - Inclusive Living for People with Intellectual Disabilities (invited guest lectures)
    Type of eventSeminar
    LocationHong Kong

Professional membership

  • International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IASSIDD) – Down syndrome research group secretary and treasurer elect.
  • British Society of Gerontology Scotland committee member
© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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