Race Against Dementia

Fuelling Race Against Dementia’s research breakthroughs since 2018

Racing for a dementia cure

In 2016, Lady Helen Stewart, the wife of racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart, was diagnosed with frontal temporal dementia. Horrified to discover that there is little treatment and currently no cure for the disease, Jackie founded the charity, Race Against Dementia (RAD), to support early-career researchers in the quest for a dementia cure.

Jackie saw the potential of applying Formula One’s results-driven approach to medical research. He believed that integrating an F1 mindset into young researchers through Hintsa’s coaching could create leaders in the field and accelerate progress in dementia research.

  • individual coaching
  • team workshops
  • digital tools

Supporting the researcher, not just the research

Medical research is by nature uncertain, slow and difficult. Scientists are under a great deal of pressure to achieve and prove their worth. A researcher is in effect running a business: they need to attract grant money, manage a team and carry out the scientific research. To be successful they need to be proficient at sales, marketing, finance, and team-building, as well as experts in the core science. Yet, there is very little professional training or support available from the academic community to help them develop the skills they need.

RAD decided that, as well as funding early career researchers into dementia with a five-year fellowship that covers their research costs, salary and expenses, they would also support them with professional training, aligned around the four key F1 traits of resilience, team-building, attention to detail and innovation. The charity believed they had a responsibility to look after each researcher’s personal wellbeing and so asked Hintsa to bring the same holistic and dedicated focus on wellbeing to their researchers as they have to the world’s leading F1 drivers.


Putting performance science into scientific research

We were excited to bring our experience of coaching F1 drivers and use it to help these talented scientists to tackle one of the world’s most devastating diseases. Over the last five years, Hintsa has been partnering with RAD to provide an eight-month personalised coaching programme for each researcher. Working one-to-one with a dedicated Hintsa coach, researchers have tackled their individual challenges, including physical fitness and sleep routines, improving work performance while maintaining wellbeing, reducing stress, and improving mental skills and mindset, from self-esteem and confidence to mental resilience, dealing with imposter syndrome and reducing anxiety.

The participants were introduced to Hintsa’s holistic approach to mental health, physical fitness and performance. They were coached to focus on positive events, to reduce rumination and feelings of overwhelm, as well as on how to detach from work and how to accept and process tough days.

From lab to track – a week-long training at Silverstone

As part of the overall programme, Hintsa also supported RAD in a week-long training event held at Silverstone, based on F1 mindset and principles. Our coaches ran a wellbeing workshop on how to be performance ready, not only for the full cohort of RAD researchers, but also their sponsors and supporters, so that the charity’s entire support team were aware of the challenges and opportunities faced by the scientists.


Achieving impressive results 

With Hintsa’s help, RAD has been able to support their sponsored researchers with a personal coaching programme that has recognised and supported them as individuals, not just as the conduits of potentially life-changing research.

In response to the coaching, researchers have identified a number of significant benefits, including:

  • Performing in key moments: RAD researchers excel in key moments, confidently delivering presentations and pitches for new funding sources. This not only secures vital funding but also facilitates the dissemination of research outcomes, driving scientific progress.
  • Resilience building: Scientific research often faces unforeseen setbacks. Through coaching, RAD researchers have cultivated resilience, enabling them to persevere when results diverge from expectations. In the context of dementia research, recognising that progress is a marathon, not a sprint, is of paramount importance.
  • Mastering stress: High-profile opportunities like the RAD Fellowship can bring substantial stress and overwhelm. Through effective coaching, researchers have acquired the skills to manage these pressures adeptly, ensuring sustainable high performance.
  • Holistic wellbeing: Prioritising the overall wellbeing of RAD researchers is fundamental. Coaching has led to increased happiness and confidence, enabling better prioritisation of tasks. Additionally, it has improved the researchers’ physical fitness, nutrition choices, and sleep patterns.
  • Team wellbeing: Going beyond individual wellbeing, RAD researchers have learned to consider the collective wellbeing of their research team. This invaluable coaching and thought leadership, often lacking in the medical research and academic spheres, has significantly improved team performance and the overall success of their research endeavors.

As Hintsa works in partnership with RAD we are finding new insights into the way that scientists perform and how to adapt the successes of F1 to accelerate and enhance the world of medical research. Looking forward, RAD hopes to build on its work with Hintsa by giving participants the personal strengths and leadership qualities that will enable them to manage teams and run larger research programmes working with multifaceted research teams.

We are proud to be working with some of the world’s leading scientists as they race to better understand and fight successfully against the cruel disease of dementia.

Win with wellbeing

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