Dr Karen Watchman

Senior Lecturer

Health Sciences Stirling Pathfoot, University of Stirling

Dr Karen Watchman

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About me

Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I have over 25 years of experience working at a senior level in both research and social care. My academic background is in social science, with a practice background in intellectual disability where I spent many years as Chief Executive of Down's Syndrome Scotland.

I have extensive experience of co-producing, writing, and disseminating research findings for different audiences by developing dementia-related content for publication in a range of formats. Knowledge translation and production of accessible information, such as Jenny's Diary see this link and Supporting Derek see this link ensures dissemination of research findings into practice both nationally and internationally, with Jenny's Diary translated into six languages.

During 2021, I spent the year as part-time Senior Publications Manager for Alzheimer's Disease International where I worked alongside McGill University, Canada to manage and edit the World Alzheimer Report 2021, Journey through the Diagnosis of Dementia see this link. I authored the report From Plan to Impact IV see this link monitoring progress towards targets of the WHO Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia.


The Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Awards (finalist), Diversity through Education
The Herald's Higher Education Awards - Scotland


Scottish Learning Disability Awards Community Champion (highly commended), Life through a Lens Research Team


National Dementia Care Awards UK: best dementia training initiative (winner) - Post diagnostic support for people with a learning disability and dementia


Health and Social Care Alliance Self Management Resource of the Year (winner) - Jenny's Diary
Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland


Guardian University Awards, International Projects (finalist), Dementia Palliare


Mental health nursing forum award (winner) - Grace Notes
Mental Health Nursing Forum Scotland


Alzheimer's Society UK Dementia research leaders award for use of research evidence with marginalised groups (winner)
Alzheimer's Society


Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy
Higher Education Academy

Event / Presentation

NHS Education for Scotland invited masterclass, learning disability and dementia

Equality and Diversity Issues in Care Home Research, British Society of Gerontology, invited seminar (online)

National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia, USA - invited delivery of online seminar series

Living Well with Dementia (conference organiser) - free conference for, and led by, people with a learning disability

Ardgowan Hospice, Hope for Home Dementia Conference (invited keynote)

Football-focused reminiscence in dementia care: Impact on quality of life. 10th International Dementia Conference, Ireland (invited keynote)
Sonas apc

Dementia and intellectual disability - Valuing the perspectives of people with intellectual disability. 28th Alzheimer Europe Conference, Barcelona (invited keynote)
Alzheimer Europe


Jointly facing the challenges of dementia in adults with intellectual disability / Successful Ageing for People with Intellectual disabilities, University of Tainan & Children Are Us Foundation, Taiwan (invited keynote)
Children Are Us Foundation

Intellectual Disability and Dementia: Critical Issues for Families and Carers / Towards an Ageing Society: Inclusive Living for people with Intellectual Disabilities, Caritas, Hong Kong (invited keynote)


BSc in Intellectual Disability Nursing, Waterford Institute of Technology

MSc Nursing: Dementia Care, University of Limerick
University of Limerick, Ireland

MSc Applied Dementia Studies, University of Bournemouth

Other Academic Activities

Committee member (invited) of Alzheimer Europe working group on ethics in dementia research

International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IASSIDD) – Down syndrome research group secretary

Scottish government cross party working group on dementia

Executive committee member (elected) of Scottish Dementia Research Consortium

Consultant for World Alzheimer Report 2022, Alzheimer's Disease International

World Health Organisation, Global Dementia Observatory Knowledge Exchange Platform Reviewer

Supervision of Research Assistants

Paula Jacobs

Heather Strachan

Kate Mattheys