Dr Julie Watson (PhD, MRes, MSc, BSc (Hons), RGN)

Lecturer Nursing Studies

Contact details



School of Health in Social Science
Room 2M7 Doorway 6 Teviot

Post code


  • I work one day a week at the University of Edinburgh, usually a Wednesday


I have a multidisciplinary background having worked as a staff nurse at St Columba’s Hospice in Edinburgh for 11 years before moving into research.

I am motivated by the need to dispel the fear prevalent in our society of ageing, dementia and care homes and to give value to the place of care in all of our lives as integral to being human and living in a supportive community. I have worked for several years on various projects developing palliative and end of life care in care homes. My PhD, funded by an ESRC Studentship, examined relationship-centred care between care home staff and people with advanced dementia living in care homes and the possibilities of holding each other in relationship. I am keen to engage the next generation of student nurses in thinking about older people, dementia care and care home nursing and have worked on developing the Nursing Studies curriculum in relation to care home nursing.  I recently completed research developing and testing an online programme to support people to live well after a diagnosis of dementia (funded by the Alzheimer's Society) and also evaluating the feasibility of rolling out online supportive conversations and reflection about death and dying with care home staff across Lothian (Edinburgh and Lothian Health Foundation). 

I am interested in the role of faith communities in supporting wholistic healthcare, particularly given the pressures in the NHS and other statutory services post-pandemic. Out-with the university I have funding to scope the feasibility of establishing Parish Nursing with churches in Edinburgh serving those experiencing multiple deprivation and homelessness (April 2022- November 2022). 


PhD, MRes (Sociology), MSc (Health Promotion), BSc(Hons)(Physiology), RGN, FHEA

Undergraduate teaching

Teaching BN Nursing Studies 'What is Nursing'

Theses supervision

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Areas of interest for supervision:

  • Care homes, advanced dementia, palliative care

Currently full


Research summary

I am interested in research with older people and with people living and working in care homes, particularly on how best to support people with dementia to live and die well in care homes, how to support holistic relationship-centred care with people with advanced dementia, and how to support the care home workforce, particularly around palliative and end of life care. I am also interested in researching the experience of living with dementia from the perspective of people with dementia. I am motivated by the need to dispel the fear prevalent in our society of ageing, dementia and care homes and to give value to the place of care in all of our lives as integral to being human and living in a supportive community.

Current research interests

Edinburgh and Lothian Health Foundation (Feb 2021- Jan 2022) Roll out of Online Supportive Conversations and Reflections on death and dying in care homes in Lothian. Alzheimer's Society - Beyond the Margins: Developing an Online Personal Development Programme with, by and for people living with dementia who are not accessing existing services and support Feb 2019-Jan 2022

Past research interests

CSO COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund - Evaluating Online Supportive Conversations and Reflections (OSCaRs) with care home staff (partnership with Edinburgh Napier University) - June 2020-November 2020 ESRC Impact Accelerator Grant - As above match funded - June 2020-November 2020 ARUK ePSOM – What outcomes matter to people with memory problems in developing new treatments - September 2017-March 2018 ESRC Impact Accelerator - Role of the Arts in Research on Dementia (February 2017-September 2017) Inciting Dialogue and Disruption in Dementia Project - Funded by ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (March 2015 to July 2017) Bridges Initiative and Midlothian Gold Standards Framework Project - Developing palliative care in care homes

Knowledge exchange


Film Beyond Words

Film - The Good News Behind the Bad headlines


Affiliated research centres

View all 14 publications on Research Explorer

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