The Dementia Research Advisory Team (PPI)

The Dementia Research Advisory Team

Pictured L-R: Mary McIntyre, Ray Cregan, Cíara O' Reilly, Máire-Anne Doyle, Padraic Egan, Kathy Ryan, Laura O' Philbin, Helena Quaid, Michael Foley, Kevin Quaid, Una Caulfield, Helen Rochford Brennan

The Dementia Research Advisory Team is a group of people living with dementia and carers/supporters who are involved in dementia research as co-researchers. These Experts by Experience influence, advise, and work with researchers across Ireland.

In addition to being involved in various research projects across Ireland, team members come together 3-4 times per year for capacity building workshops. Members also contribute to The ASI’s research funding decisions and review process for tenders.

Meet the Members

What is Person Public Involvement (PPI) in dementia?

Person Public Involvement (also known as Patient Public Involvement) occurs when people living with dementia and carers/supporters work in partnership with researchers in setting priorities, planning and managing research studies, as well as in disseminating findings and putting results into practice. It is not about collecting data but rather offering advice, insights, and contributing to research projects in the same way other collaborators would.

Some examples of PPI might include:

– developing the research question
– co-designing participant information leaflets
– reviewing survey questions and / or responses
– speaking at conferences on the work to date

Involvement is generally from the very beginning of the research, with members of the Dementia Research Advisory Team having authentic input into all stages of the research project.

One of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s strategic aims is to develop and grow essential research infrastructure in Ireland. As part of our Research Strategy 2022-2024, The ASI is committed to further developing PPI in research, ensuring research is relevant, engaging, competitive and achieves maximum impact for people affected by dementia.

Join the Dementia Research Advisory Team

If you are a person living with dementia or a family carer/supporter who would like to learn more about joining the Dementia Research Advisory Team, please get in touch with Cíara O’Reilly by emailing [email protected] or phoning 085 870 9671.

We welcome members from diverse groups including

  • The LGBTQI+ community;
  • The Traveller community;
  • Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups.

No experience necessary!

Information for potential members: CLICK HERE

Why have PPI in research?

PPI improves research. People with dementia and carers can offer unique insights and viewpoints that improve research projects.

  • We have unique perspectives and research ideas that might not already be written or talked about. We live this every day so we see and experience things that researchers and academics don’t see or might not know about. We can bring these insights to the table and help researchers to do new and exciting work
  • We can help set research priorities and put the research question into context. Research funders want to know about how research will translate to real life. Who can provide this information better than us? We are ‘real-life’. Research funders in Ireland include the opinions of the public when deciding what applications to fund. These people want to see how the research will help those that it’s about.
  • Designing and planning research studies. We can provide insights and advice that will make the experience of taking part better for participants, which will help keep participants in the studies. These could be anything from times or venue, or about how to approach people about certain difficult topics they might find upsetting.
  • Improving the way the results are shared by coming up with ways to best tell the public about the research in easy-to-understand terms. The public want to know what happens in research but it needs to be communicated in a way that is easy to understand and accessible.


A Real Research Partnership: PPI in Practice: This video demonstrates PPI in action. Mr Kevin Quaid (from The Dementia Research Advisory Team) and Dr Andrew Wormald (University of Limerick) have been working together on a research project about dementia and loneliness. We hear about their experience in a conversation hosted by Mr Michael Foley (PPI Ignite Trinity College Dublin).

PPI in funding applications: Advice & Pitfalls: Dr Anne Cody (Head of Pre-Award) from The Health Research Board chats to Dr Laura O’Philbin from The Alzheimer Society of Ireland about PPI in funding applications.

Q&A Snippet: Michael Foley from PPI Ignite Trinity College Dublin gives us advice on how to create a genuine PPI Partnership and avoid transactional relationships.

Engage with the Dementia Research Advisory Team

If you are researcher and would like to involve members of the Dementia Research Advisory Team in your work, please read our Guidelines for Engagement and complete THIS FORM. 

We have a list of useful resources below.

Dementia Research Advisory Team academic work

Published Works:

The members of the Dementia Research Advisory Team have been recognised for their contributions to research in a number of publications. Please click through the below to read some of their work:

Freedom and loneliness: dementia caregiver experiences of the nursing home transition

“Follow the Musical Road”: Selecting Appropriate Music Experiences for People with Dementia Living in the Community

Academic Posters

They have also been invited to share a number of academic posters over the years:

Alzheimer Disease International 2022

Irish Gerontological Society 2019

Conference Presentations

In 2022, members of the Dementia Research Advisory Team were delighted to be asked to host a panel discussion entitled “Meet the Experts by Experience” at the ADI conference. CLICK HERE to watch the recording.

Members also spoke on their experiences as PPI Contributors at the 14th Engaging Dementia Conference. The video recording is available HERE.

PPI Resources

  • The Dementia Journal has published a special issue on PPI: Patient and Public Involvement in Dementia Research: Moving from Proving to Improving . The issue can be accessed here. You may need to use an institutional log in to access this work Click here

  • Article: Minding the gap: identifying values to enable public and patient involvement at the pre-commencement stages of research projects. Click here
  • Our reflections of Patient and Public Involvement in research as members of the European Working Group of People with Dementia Click here
  • Alzheimer Europe’s position on involving people with dementia in research through PPI (patient and public involvement) Click here
  • Dementia Research Blog – Doing PPI on my PhD Project. Click here
  • Qualitative research and patient and public involvement in health and social care research: What are the key differences? – Bec Hanley, Kristina Staley, Derek Stewart, Rosemary Barber, August 2019 Click here
  • Resources and briefing notes for researchers from Involve UK (The UK’s leading public participation charity) Click here
  • Involvement Cost Calculator (this is a UK tool) Click here


We are grateful to the PPI Ignite Network for their continued support with developing our PPI activities.



Groups supported by The ASI Advocacy & Research Teams

Check out our document clarifying the work and positions of the groups supported by The ASI Research & Advocacy Teams

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