Dr Emma Richards

Research Officer

Emma has recently been appointed as a research officer at CADR to work on Work Package 2, ‘Characterising dementia and cognition in ageing’, after completing her PhD in Psychology in 2019. Emma won a scholarship from Brace Alzheimer’s charity to complete a PhD to characterise Vascular Cognitive Impairment (VCI) compared to cognitively healthy ageing with respect to Reaction time (RT), the Intra-individual Variability of RT and Error production, a collaboration between the department of Psychology, Swansea University, the NHS Memory clinic in Llandough Hospital Cardiff, and the department of Cognitive Science, University of Malta. This clinical research project examined processing speed and executive functioning in ageing and VCI, using various tasks of attention and comparing these results to neuroimaging scan results to further characterize VCI using quantitative methodology. Emma was able to communicate her research at the British Society of Gerontology conferences, the International Congress of Vascular Dementia and at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

Alongside Emma’s PhD she became an active member of the consumer panel for data linkage research for the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL). The role being to advise on public engagement, recruitment, bids, reviewing information designed for a lay audience, through approval processes and disseminating research findings. Emma was chosen to represent Wales, as a panel member as part of an international research collaboration to develop a since published consensus paper on public engagement for data intensive research. Emma is also a member of the British Psychological Society and the British Society of Gerontology and is trained in Good Clinical Practice, valid informed consent, managing essential documents in research.

Emma’s educational journey began at Swansea University where whilst working full time in a care home she gained a BSc (Hons) in Psychology. She completed a research project: The effects of varying amounts of misinformation over time on children’s eyewitness testimony, and a dissertation ‘Alzheimer's disease: Assessment, cognitive deficits and treatment’, and studied subject areas of Psychopharmacology, Neuropsychology, Research methods, Cognitive and Developmental Psychology. Emma also gained a MSc in Psychology through the Open University, specialising in the brain and ageing, with interests in non-pharmacological treatments for dementia and alcohol consumption and the risk of dementia. Following this Emma studied for a PGCE (Post Compulsory Education and Training) teaching Psychology and research methods to ‘A level’ and ‘Access to Health’ students from the University of South Wales.

Previous roles include working on research projects such as ‘what individuals living with dementia want in order to facilitate and support their potential to Live Well’, a ‘spatial reasoning in ageing study’, coordinated and worked as a research assistant on the South Wales Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (CFAS II). Emma also worked as an assistant Psychologist conducting research for the NHS within critical care, adult mental health and child and adolescent mental health services. Emma has also taught on the MSc for Ageing studies and worked as a tutor and student demonstrator teaching SPSS, research methods, cognitive and developmental psychology at undergraduate level at Swansea University.


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