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University of Stirling


Dr Karen Watchman

Senior Lecturer

Health Sciences Stirling E21 Pathfoot, University of Stirling

Dr Karen Watchman

Contact details

About me

My role is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport and I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I have experience of managing projects and leading teams at Higher Education Institutions and third sector organisations (ILM Level 5 Leadership). My academic background is in social science, with my practice background in social care where I spent many years as Chief Executive of Down's Syndrome Scotland.
With a strong focus on knowledge exchange and making complex information more accessible, I developed and deliver a one-day practice development course focusing on post-diagnostic support for people with intellectual disability and dementia. I also provide consultancy within the UK and Ireland to support an ageing population of people with an intellectual disability within social care settings.


National Dementia Care Awards UK: best dementia training initiative - Winner…tia-care-course/

Herald Diversity Awards 2018 - Finalist…iversity-awards/

Herald Design for Diversity - finalist
The Herald and GenAnalytics

Health and Social Care Alliance Self Management Resource of the Year - winner
Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland

Herald Diversity through Education - finalist
The Herald and GenAnalytics

Herald education awards finalist: Jenny's Diary
The Herald's Higher Education Awards - Scotland

Scotlands dementia awards finalist: Jenny's Diary
Alzheimer Scotland

Mental health nursing forum award: Grace Notes (Winner)
Mental Health Nursing Forum Scotland

Guardian education awards finalist (international project)
The Guardian

Dementia research leaders award for use of research evidence with marginalised groups
Alzheimer's Society

Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy
Higher Education Academy


Digital education (e-learning)

Intellectual disability and dementia
University of Edinburgh

Dementia Studies
University of Stirling

Youth work and community education
Jordanhill Teacher Training College

Sociology and social policy
University of Stirling

Event / Presentation

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

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

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

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)

Supporting conversations about dementia with people who have intellectual disabilities / Ageing and a good life for people with a learning disability, British Institute for learning Disabilities, Manchester (invited keynote).
British Institute for Learning Disabilities

Methodological challenges to including people with a learning disability and dementia in research / Ageing and End of Life Care for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Queens University, Belfast (invited keynote)
Queen's University Belfast


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

MSc Applied Dementia Studies, University of Bournemouth

Other Academic Activities

Scientific Committee for World Down Syndrome Congress, 2018

Editorial board member - British Journal of Learning Disabilities
British Institute for Learning Disabilities…torialboard.html

Professional membership

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

British Society of Gerontology Scotland committee member
British Society of Gerontology

Supervision of Research Assistants

Kate Mattheys

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