A new editorial published in Ageing & Mental Health this week, by Dr Deborah Oliveira et al. highlights the career challenges faced by early- and mid-career researchers in dementia, and asks that support be provided as a global priority.
Improving research capacity is key to better understand dementia globally, and it depends on the investment made on the career development of the early- and mid-career researchers (EMCR) of today. High levels of uncertainty with regards to employment and the strong competition for funding and resources have forced many EMCR to leave this research field. In order to provide equitable and good quality care for the diverse population of people living with dementia in every country, there needs to be more investment in research capacity building. This is particularly vital in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) where nearly 70% of people with dementia live. EMCR in such settings have experienced severe cuts on funding and academic posts over the past decades.
The Editorial aims to bring the attention of research and academic institutions, governments, funding agencies, and senior experts in the field of dementia, to the urgent need for, and importance of, investing time and resources on career development of EMCR in dementia.
There are several definitions and requirements used to classify EMCR. The editorial focuses on those individuals who have up to 10 years of research upon completing their PhD, with allowance for those who had career breaks (e.g. maternity leave). Accepting that there are numerous career challenges faced by EMCR across all sectors. However the authors think it is particularly important to highlight these issues within the dementia research community given the urgency of bridging the gaps in care and prevention practices related to dementia globally.
Déborah Oliveira ,Kay DeckersCommittee Member, Early- and Middle-Career Researcher Group, International Research Network on Dementia Prevention (IRNDP) ; Maastricht University, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Alzheimer Centre Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands, Lidan Zheng, Helen Macpherson,Wan Syafira Ishak & Barbora Silarova