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Postgraduate study

Postgraduate study in Ageing and Cognitive Health

We offer doctoral research training in ageing and cognitive health, subject to availability of funding, with a focus on one of our core themes:

  1. Maintaining cognitive health in later life
  2. Living well with cognitive impairment and dementia
  3. Supporting family care

Current REACH postgraduate researchers

Through our involvement in CFAS-Wales (see current projects) we are part of the CFAS (Cognitive Function and Ageing Study) Doctoral Training Centre, funded by the Alzheimer’s Society. The DTC is directed by Professor Carol Brayne at the Institute of Public Health in Cambridge. The DTC supported our PhD student Isobel Evans, who has recently completed researching the impact of social isolation and social engagement on cognitive reserve and cognition in later life. 

Catherine Talbot is a PhD student funded by the University of Exeter Medical School and supervised by Dr Siobhan O'Dwyer, Professor Linda Clare, and Dr Janet Heaton. Her PhD broadly covers the themes of dementia, social media and identity.

Jess Rundle is a PhD student funded by a Graham Cole Scholarship and supervised by Dr Anne Corbett, Dr Jo Thompson Coon, Dr Iain Lang and Dr Sarah Morgan-Trimmer. Her PhD explores non-pharmacological treatments for chronic pain in people with dementia living in care homes.

Nicholas Luscombe is a PhD student funded by the Alzheimer’s Society as part of the INTERACT project. His supervisors are Dr Anne Corbett, Dr Sharon Savage and Visiting Professor Ingelin Testad. His PhD is focusing on activities for people with severe dementia in the care home setting and digital methods to personalise them.

Aaron Choi is a PhD student funded by The Bateman Family Trust and supervised by Professor Clive Ballard and Professor Linda Clare. His PhD explores non-pharmacological treatments for psychosis in people with dementia.

Catherine Alexander is a PhD student funded by Alzheimer’s Society as part of the INTERACT project. Supervised by Professor Linda Clare and Dr Sharon Savage, her PhD is looking at measuring awareness in people in dementia and how this could be applied to a clinical setting.

Jason Weetch is a PhD student funded by Alzheimer’s Society and University of Exeter Medical School. He is an experienced nurse with a background in Older Person’s Mental Health and Memory Assessment Services. His PhD covers the theme of adjustment to a dementia diagnosis and particularly the role of the Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project.

Through a collaboration with the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Excellence in Cognitive Health (CRE), based in New South Wales (Australia), we are conducting research on lifestyle and psychological factors associated with dementia. The University of Exeter supports our PhD student Serena Sabatini. In her PhD project Serena is exploring the role of the psychological concept of “awareness of age-related change” and its utility for prevention of dementia.

Find out more

We are happy to discuss possibilities with potential PhD students.


Professor Linda Clare (
Dr Sharon Savage, Lecturer in Ageing and dementia (