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University of Stirling


Dr Karen Watchman

Senior Lecturer

Health Sciences Pathfoot E21 University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA United Kingdom

Dr Karen Watchman

About me

Course Director, MSc Global Issues in Gerontology and Ageing

As an experienced postgraduate online teacher and Course Director, I have a particular interest in transnational teaching and am a Senior Fellow of theHigher Education Academy.

My practice background is in social care where I spent many years as Chief Executive of Down's Syndrome Scotland. Recent research has focused on ageing in people with an intellectual 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 have developed and deliver a one-day practice development course on intellectual disability and dementia, and provide consultancy to support an ageing population of people with an intellectual disability within social care settings.

In 2017, I was awarded Self Management Resource of the Year for Jenny's Diary by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland.


  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Herald Diversity through Education - finalist
  • Herald Design for Diversity - finalist
  • Health and Social Care Alliance Self Management Resource of the Year - winner
  • Mental health nursing forum award: Grace Notes
  • Scotlands dementia awards finalist: Jenny's Diary
  • Herald education awards finalist: Jenny's Diary
  • Guardian education awards finalist
  • Dementia research leaders award for use of research evidence with marginalised groups


  • Digital education (e-learning)
    Type of educationCertificate
  • Intellectual disability and dementia
    Type of educationDoctorate
  • Dementia Studies
    Type of educationMaster's degree (Postgraduate)
  • Youth work and community education
    Type of educationCertificate
  • Sociology and social policy
    Type of educationBachelor's degree


  • 28th Alzheimer Europe Conference (invited keynote)
    Type of eventConference
  • 10th International Dementia Conference, Ireland (invited workshop)
    Type of eventConference
  • Successful Ageing for People with Intellectual disabilities (invited keynote)
    Type of eventConference
  • Towards an Ageing Society: Inclusive Living for people with Intellectual Disabilities (invited keynote)
    Type of eventConference
    LocationHong Kong
  • Ageing and a good life for people with a learning disability (invited keynote).
    Type of eventConference
  • Ageing and End of Life Care for People with Intellectual Disabilities (invited keynote)
    Type of eventConference
    LocationQueen's University, Belfast


  • Principles Underpinning Dementia Care & Therapeutic Interventions in Dementia Care (MSc Nursing - Dementia Care) (NS6071 NS6062)
    Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick

Other academic activities

  • Scientific Committee for World Down Syndrome Congress, 2018
    MeritPeer review panel

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

Supervision of Research Assistants

  • Kate Mattheys
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