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How To Apply

How do I apply for an ADA Foundation grant or award?

The ADA Foundation provides more than $850,000 in grants, awards, and scholarships through its various programs each year, to benefit organizations that strive to improve the public's oral health.

The ADA Foundation does not consider unsolicited grant requests. Instead, the ADA Foundation utilizes a Request for Proposal (RFP) process through which it periodically invites U.S.-based nonprofit organizations to submit an application for grant and award funds in a particular program category.

Below is a list of ADA Foundation grant opportunities, each with a brief description. Click on the section header to learn more about these opportunities.

Charitable Assistance

Relief Grant Program*
The ADAF Relief Grant program can provide financial assistance to dentists and their dependents who, because of accidental injury, a medical condition, disability or advanced age, are unable to meet basic living expenses.

Emergency Disaster Assistance Grant Program*
The ADAF Emergency Disaster Assistance Grant Program can provide a small measure of immediate financial assistance to eligible dentists (as defined in these guidelines) who are victims of a disaster.

Emergency Disaster Grants for 501(c)(3) Organizations Providing Dental Care Following a Disaster
This program can support the provision of needed emergency dental care in communities affected by a disaster.

Access to Care

E. “Bud” Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award
The ADAF Tarrson Awards highlight significant dental student outreach to vulnerable communities within the U.S. 

Dr. Thomas J. Zwemer Award
The ADAF Zwemer Award highlights significant dental student outreach to vulnerable communities outside of the U.S.

Semi-annual Grants: Access to Care
Through its Semi-annual Grants Program, the ADA Foundation will accept grant proposals from nonprofit organizations whose work is not covered by other existing ADAF grant programs.

Give Kids A Smile® Related Grants
The ADAF provides a portion of the funding for the ADA’s premier outreach program, Give Kids A Smile, including its GKAS NASCAR Initiative, the GKAS Community Leadership Development Institute, and more. When funding is available, it also provides grants to GKAS programs across the U.S. that meet the grant criteria in a given year.


Dr. Ray Bowen Student Research Fellowship
The Dr. Ray Bowen Fellowship is offered in odd-numbered years in collaboration with the Academy of Operative Dentistry. (The application process takes place in even-numbered years.) Open to dental students at all levels who wish to undertake novel research relevant to contemporary operative dentistry.

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair – Special Awards
The ADAF is a Special Awards Organization at the Intel ISEF, providing up to $3,500 in special awards to students presenting at the event, whose outstanding projects are related to dentistry and oral health.

Colgate Dental Students’ Conference on Research
The ADAF's Colgate Dental Students' Conference on Research brings dental students from over 50 dental schools in the U.S. and Canada to the Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center in Gaithersburg, MD each spring, to raise awareness of the wide-ranging careers available in oral health research.


Dr. David Whiston Leadership Program*
The ADA Foundation annually provides two $5,000 awards - the Dr. David Whiston Leadership Award and the Henry Schein Cares Dr. David Whiston Leadership Award - to deserving individuals who have demonstrated leadership skills in efforts aimed at improving the oral health of the public.

Predoctoral Dental Student Scholarship Program* and Underrepresented Minority Dental Student Scholarship Program*
The ADA Foundation annually provides up to 54 merit-based scholarships with a total value of $135,000 to second-year dental students and underrepresented minority dental students (African American, Hispanic, Native American) across the U.S.

Allied Dental Student Scholarship Program*
The ADA Foundation annually provides scholarships valued at up to $1,000 each for allied dental students including dental hygiene (15 scholarships), dental assisting (10 scholarships) and dental laboratory technology (five scholarships).

Samuel D. Harris Fund for Children’s Dental Health
The ADAF's Harris Grant program provides grants of up to $5,000 each to nonprofit organizations and agencies that sponsor education programs for parents and caregivers to reduce the incidence of early childhood caries.

Questions? Please contact the ADA Foundation at 312.440.2547.

* Recipients of ADA Foundation Predoctoral Dental Student Scholarships, Allied Dental Student Scholarships, the ADAF Relief Program, and the ADAF Emergency Disaster Assistance Program are individuals rather than nonprofit organizations.