The Third INDUCT School and the INTERDEM Academy, Witten, Germany

From 28 January- 2 February, the INDUCT ESRs, supervisors and second level partners met in Witten, Germany for the 3rd INDUCT school, organised in collaboration with Professor Martina Roes and colleagues from the DZNE (German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases), and the INTERDEM Academy.

The first two days of the school focused on the mid-term review of the INDUCT project. ESRs presented their work so far to an external evaluator of the EU, also discussing the ways in which their experiences acquired during INDUCT have influenced their future career plans. The official report of the evaluator will be released in the upcoming weeks. The meeting also allowed ESRs to come together to discuss preliminary recommendations in relation to usability, effectiveness and implementation of technology; the full list of which will be published at the end of the three years, giving guidance on human interaction with technology and dementia.

The second half of the week provided a valuable opportunity for members of the INTERDEM Academy to join together once again and learn from a range of experts in the field. Professor Paul Higgs added a new dimension to many of our projects by encouraging us to consider how the types of technologies we are researching will support agency amongst people with dementia. This was followed by a unique session led by Professor Louise Nygard and Helga Rohra from the European Working Group of People with Dementia, which enabled participants to hear the perspectives of both a researcher and a person with dementia on leading and participating in qualitative interviews.

During the remainder of the school, participants heard from a number of professors, including Professor Roes and Professor Frans Verhey, on their career journeys, with some useful tips on how to balance busy schedules. Sessions on implementation frameworks and ethics in dementia research provided more in depth knowledge on these important topics relevant for all of our projects. Furthermore, participants were able to learn about the advances in Artificial Intelligence for supporting people with dementia. Finally, Michael Hagedorn, founder and photographer from the German organisation ‘Konfetti im Kopf’, explained how they are working to promote a more positive image of dementia through art and public actions.

Unfortunately, we said goodbye to Dr Inge Klinkenberg during the week, who is leaving INDUCT and the INTERDEM Academy to take up a clinical position. Inge has played an integral role in both projects, as well as providing lots of support to early stage researchers. We wish her well in her new position!

Kate Shiells (ESR 13)