Dementia directly affects 50 million people around the world, and many more family members and loved ones. When British Formula 1 racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart’s wife Helen was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2014, Sir Jackie created Race Against Dementia (RAD).
‘I have no doubt that finding a cure for dementia is one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced,’ said Sir Jackie. ‘But my vision is that by thinking out of the box and finding new ways to achieve success. We will find a solution to allow millions of people to live without dementia.’
Now RAD has partnered with the Dementia Australia Research Foundation to announced the launch of a new Australian dementia research fellowship.
The ‘Race Against Dementia – Dementia Australia Research Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship’ program will support two early career researchers in the field.
Sir Jackie said he was delighted to be in partnership with the Dementia Australia Research Foundation.
‘Race Against Dementia’s vision is to apply a “Formula 1 attitude” to work faster and smarter in order to achieve a breakthrough in the prevention or treatment of dementia,’ said Sir Jackie.
‘Formula 1 has the fastest problem-solving capability in the world, faster than aerospace, and it is this capacity that we need to build in dementia research.
‘A key priority for Race Against Dementia is to form strong alliances with research centres of excellence globally and by establishing this fellowship we recognise Australia among this group and hope to attract the best and brightest researchers in this field.’
The Chair of the Dementia Australia Research Foundation, Professor Graeme Samuel AC, said, ‘We are absolutely delighted to launch the fellowship powered by Sir Jackie’s vision and commitment to dementia research.
‘With the number of Australians living with dementia expected to increase to almost 1.1 million by 2058, research into dementia is now more urgent than ever.
‘By supporting up-and-coming researchers, we will be able to target the brightest new minds whilst at a critical crossroads for choosing a research path,’ said Professor Samuel.
‘This means that we are not only supporting them to solve another piece of the dementia puzzle now, but hopefully cementing their career-long focus on dementia research.’
Racing around the world
Professor Samuel explained that the Post-doctoral Fellowships in Australia will become the third major Race Against Dementia fellowship program, alongside Alzheimer’s Research UK and The Mayo Clinic, USA.
Two, three-year dementia research fellowships of $405,000 will be awarded, in biomedical, clinical or psycho-social areas of dementia research. Fellowships include a generous salary as well as funding for project expenses.
Fellowship applications are open until 21 August 2020 with, recipients to be announced early in 2021.