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Health Sciences

Dr Ruth Bartlett PhD, MA, BA

Associate Professor, Co-director Alzheimer’s Society funded Doctoral Training Centre

Dr Ruth Bartlett's photo

Dr Ruth Bartlett is an Associate Professor within Health Sciences, Co-director of the University’s Doctoral Training Centre in Dementia Care and Principal Investigator of an interdisciplinary, cross-faculty research project funded by the Alzheimer’s Society.

A citizenship lens has a lot to offer the dementia care field

Previous research projects have been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, national charities and local authorities. Ruth’s work focuses on the lived experience of persons with a disability, including dementia, together with Prof O’Conner (University of British Columbia) she has been instrumental in bringing a citizenship lens to the field of dementia studies. Ruth is lead author of Broadening the Dementia Debate: Towards social citizenship and has published and presented papers at key conferences related to disability and ageing for over fifteen years.

Ruth is an innovative methodologist with expertise in creative and participatory methods and working with members of the public and artists to communicate research; she has produced a range of high-quality outputs, including a toolkit, article and workshop for the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science and National Centre for Research Methods on using diary method in social research. Together with Prof Milligan (Lancaster) she has published a book on "Diary Method" and teaches and supervises students to use this method.

Ruth is co-editor of the journal Dementia: the international journal of social research and practice, with Dr Elaine Wiersma (Lakehead University). 

She is an ESRC peer review college member, and mentor for the University of Southampton’s mentoring scheme.

Ruth has a background in mental health nursing and academic qualifications in politics, cultural politics, social research methods and Higher Education teaching practices. She was awarded a PhD in sociology by Oxford Brookes University.

Research interests

  • Lived experience
  • Health activism and civic engagement by people with dementia
  • Community based research
  • Using social theories of citizenship and disability to extend thinking and practice in ageing and dementia studies
  • Enabling people with dementia to live well at home
  • Developing inclusive and participatory methodologies to research the lives of persons with disabilities
  • Engaging the public in research


  • Southampton City Clinical Commissioning
  • VID Specialised University, Norway
  • Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health, Lakehead University, Canada
  • Centre for Research on Personhood in Dementia Care (University of British Columbia)
  • Centre for Dementia Research (Linkoping University, Sweden)
  • Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (The Artic University of Norway)

Research group

Cancer and Life Limiting Conditions

Research theme

Health Needs

Research project

2018-  Junior Fellowship Grant from the UK Alzheimer’s (for Dr. Catherine Murphy): The Development and evaluation of a continence product decision aid for people with dementia and their caregivers, £215,825.

2018-2019 UK Alzheimer’s Society dissemination grant to translate research findings: Walking Assessments: Adapting the practice of telehealth workers, £2438.

2015-2018 Alzheimer’s Society Project Grant ‘Using Global Positioning System (GPS) Technologies for Safer Walking: A participative inquiry project’ £188.003.62.
The purpose of this two-phase qualitative study is to examine the usage and effectiveness of GPS technologies from the standpoint of people with dementia and the police through a process of participative inquiry. The main aim is to provide fresh evidence to inform decision making at all levels from families to organisations and policy makers.

Research project(s)

Campaigning for social change: Understanding the experiences and motives of people with dementia - Dormant

Developing an Aesthetic of Dementia Activism (DADA): Using art to mediate agency

Membership of Advisory Groups

ESRC Peer Review College Member (2010 - )

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Book Chapters


Creative Media and Artefacts

  • Milne, A. (Artist), Bartlett, R. (Producer), & Hick, C. (Producer). (2011). Agnes & Nancy. Digital or Visual Products


  • Supervision of Masters and Doctoral students
  • Director and lead of Alzheimer’s Society funded dementia care doctoral training centre
  • Workshop co-ordinator on diary method for National Centre for National Centre for Research Methods
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Dr Ruth Bartlett
Health Sciences Student Office University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

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