Dr Clarissa Giebel
Place of work / study:
University of Liverpool and NIHR ARC North West Coast
Area of Research:
Dementia, everyday functioning, health inequalities
How is your research funded:
National Institute for Health Research
Tell us about your career path.
I worked as a project assistant at the University of Manchester whilst doing my Masters at the University of Leeds. After my MSc I got promoted to research assistant and worked full-time at Manchester whilst doing my PhD part-time at the same University. During the last year of writing up my PhD, I got a research associate job offered at the University of East Anglia, which I left after a year to move back up North. Now I’ve been working at the University of Liverpool for over three years, during which I have been promoted to Research Fellow. This is my career so far, but more to come 🙂
What does your research focus on?
My research focuses on enabling people living with dementia staying independently and well at home for as long as possible, and tackling health inequalities that might act as barriers to accessing the care people need.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to embark on a career in dementia research?
One thing that’s incredibly important, whether in dementia research or in other areas, is to involve people with lived experiences of the condition/ caring experiences. Carers and people living with dementia can help in developing research and be involved in all aspects of a project. This is really important to ensure that the work we are doing is relevant and needed, and ultimately will hopefully help people living with dementia and carers.
What are the best bits about being an ECR?
You have the time to dedicate fully to conducting research, you don’t have admin tasks to do, and best of all, you’ve done your PhD so you’ve taken the biggest hurdle!
What do you see as the main challenges?
Getting grant funding and getting involved in grant funding. You have to be super proactive and seek out any opportunity there is to apply for funding, no one tells you where to go, you have to seek out opportunities even if they are very small to start with.
What do you write about?
In my blogs, I write about all sorts of aspects of dementia care research – from social care issues in dementia to public involvement and different methods and types of data we can use as researchers. My blog posts link in with my current research.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
Even after 10 years, I still don’t understand some British customs 😉
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
Because I am interested in how something that happens in the brain can affect our lives so much that people struggle doing everyday tasks that we take for granted, such as buying a chocolate bar or making a hot tea.