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TAnDem: Meet our supervisors


TAnDem (The Arts and Dementia) is a joint doctoral training centre between the University of Nottingham and the University of Worcester. Each PhD student will have a supervisory team consisting of three people drawn from the expertise of both universities. The team consists of the Director of Studies (the university of the Director of Studies determines which university the PhD student is registered at), a co-supervisor and a PhD advisor.

Professor Dawn Brooker

Professor Dawn Brooker PhD CPsychol (clin) AFBPsS is the Director of the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester where she leads a research team dedicated to developing evidence-based practical ways to enable those living with dementia to have the best possible quality of life. Dawn is the Worcester lead for TAnDem. She is internationally recognised for the development of person-centred dementia care and has a longstanding interest in the role of creativity in supporting personhood. Dawn is a practicing clinical psychologist and has led many applied research programmes over the past 30 years. Recent research includes developing practice in person-centred approaches for people living with dementia at home, in care homes, hospitals and housing; Care Fit for VIPS and Stand by Me toolkits; understanding the role of care culture and how to impact change; providing alternatives to anti-psychotic medications; timely diagnosis and dementia friendly communities. Dawn is the UK lead on a JPND funded Meeting Centres Support Programme. Her most recent research involves improving care and support for people in advanced stages of dementia. She has long established working relationships with practitioners and scholars worldwide and has recently spearheaded an international movement Global Action on Personhood (GAP) in Dementia Care.

Dr Simon Evans

Dr Simon Evans is Principal Research Fellow and Head of Research with the Association for Dementia Studies. He has over 20 years’ experience of researching quality of life for older people, including those with dementia, across housing, health and social care. His recent projects include two NIHR funded studies of extra care housing, an exploration of services for people with dementia and sight loss, an EU Cost action on ageism, and an evaluation of an Alzheimer’s Society musical reminiscence programme. Simon’s other interests include research ethics and public engagement with research. He has been published on a range of topics including end of life care, older people living in rural areas, retirement communities, and dementia friendly environments.


Dr Claire Garabedian

TAnDem, Association for Dementia Studies, Dementia

Dr Claire Garabedian is an Associate Researcher at the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester. Claire is a professional cellist specialising in historical performance, a Certified Music Practitioner (trained in playing music for people nearing the end of life), and an experienced research assistant. She completed her PhD at the University of Stirling, which focused on the impacts of individualised live and recorded music for care home residents with dementia nearing the end of life, and their carer. Claire’s unique combination of qualifications provides for an understanding of both practice and research aspects regarding the rewards and challenges involved in working within these populations as well as within the creative art practitioner diaspora. Claire has been invited to present and join round-table panels regarding her research work throughout the UK, as well as in Europe and the USA. She is currently conducting evaluations of several projects focusing on the use of creative arts for people who are living with dementia.

Professor Eleanor Bradley

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Human Psychology, MSc Counselling Psychology, PhD in Health Psychology, CPsychol, AFBPsS
Eleanor joined the University of Worcester in August 2013 as Professor of Health Psychology. She maintains close relationships with the NHS and is the Associate Director for Research and Development (South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust). Her research focusses on the application of health psychology theory to understand the experience of severe and enduring mental illness and mental health practice, with a particular interest in communication and medicine-taking. She has published widely across healthcare, with a large body of publications focussing on the application of new roles across mental healthcare practice (e.g non-medical prescribing). Eleanor is an active and experienced PhD supervisor and contributes to a range of doctoral level teaching and support activities, including expert workshops, particularly in the area of contemporary qualitative research methods and methodologies.

Professor Justine Schneider

Professor Justine Schneider, University of Nottingham. A Fellow of the NIHR School for Social Care Research, Justine has extensive experience in applied health research using a wide range of methodologies and approaches. Her current work focuses primarily on dementia and workforce development, and she is exploring innovative approaches to knowledge exchange in dementia care, particularly through the arts. With Meeting Ground Theatre Company and Nottingham Lakeside Arts, she led the development of Inside Out of Mind a research-based play about dementia-carers, which toured England in 2015. Before moving to the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham in 2004, Justine’s posts included Senior Lecturer at the University of Durham, Research Fellow at the Personal Social Services Research Unit, University of Kent, two years of voluntary work in Lima, Peru, and several years of social work research and practice in London and the South East.

Professor Tom Dening

Professor Tom Dening, MA MD FRCPsych, was appointed in October 2012 as Professor of Dementia Research at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham; and Honorary Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. He studied Medicine at Newcastle University and trained in Psychiatry in Cambridge and Oxford. From 1991 to 2012, he was a Consultant Psychiatrist in Old Age Psychiatry in Cambridge. From 2002 to 2011, he was the Medical Director of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. His interests include the epidemiology of mental disorders in older people, treatment of dementia and depression in older people, psychiatric services, dementia and technology, care homes and other clinical topics. He is one of the editors of the Oxford Textbook of Old Age Psychiatry, the leading international work in this field.

Professor Amanda Griffiths

Professor Amanda Griffiths, PhD MSc PGCE CPsychol AFBPsS FAcSS
Amanda is a UK Health and Care Professions Council registered health psychologist and registered occupational psychologist, and a Fellow of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences. She joined the Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham in 2013. She is a member of the Institute of Mental Health’s Centre for Dementia. Amanda’s early research as a developmental psychologist focused on cognitive development and communication skills of young people with learning difficulties and hearing impairment. Following further qualification and a career change, she specialised in work-related mental health and wellbeing and, more recently, in the mental health and wellbeing of older age populations, particularly women. Her current interests include working age dementia; communication between healthcare staff and people with dementia; healthcare workforce development and wellbeing, and implementation science.

Dr Orii McDermott

Dr Orii McDermott, PhD MMT Dip-MT ARCM BA
Orii McDermott is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham and the Doctoral Programme in Music Therapy, Aalborg University, Denmark. She specialises in dementia psychosocial research: particularly in music therapy and music-based interventions, outcome measure development and evaluation. The Music in Dementia Assessment Scales (MiDAS) that she developed as a doctoral study is currently being translated into five different languages and is now used in over ten countries. She is a HCPC registered music therapist and continues to work as a clinician in Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. Orii is a member of INTERDEM (Early detection and timely intervention in dementia).

Dr Victoria Tischler

Dr Victoria Tischler, PhD MSocSc BSW PGCHE CPsychol AFBPsS
Victoria is a chartered psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She is Honorary Associate Professor in the Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham where she worked 2002-2014. She is a member of the Institute of Mental Health’s Centre for Dementia. Victoria is Senior Teaching Fellow at Queen Mary University of London Wolfson Institute for Preventive Medicine, Centre for Psychiatry. She works as a research consultant for the arts charity’s Daily Life Ltd and Paintings in Hospitals. Her research interests are in psychosocial interventions in dementia care with a focus on arts and creativity.