e-mail Print Share

Education

The ADA Foundation works to improve the public's oral health through a variety of grants, scholarships, and awards that support oral health education programs. Please see the below program descriptions and guidelines for complete information, and check this website for updates.

Education is one of the four pillars of the ADA Foundation. The other pillars are Charitable AssistanceAccess to Care, and Research.

Dr. David Whiston Leadership Program

Purpose: The ADA Foundation Dr. David Whiston Leadership Program 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. The award funds are designed to cover the costs associated with attending a leadership development program offered by the American Management Association.

Nomination Period: The nomination period will open in Spring, 2016. Nominations must be received by the last Friday in May. All nominators and nominees will receive notice of the outcome of the selection process on or about September 7, 2015.

Eligibility Requirements: The minimum qualifications for those nominated to be considered include:

  • Nominee must have earned or be in the process of earning a D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree from a dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation;
  • Nominee must be either a dental student, graduate student, or resident enrolled in an accredited dental school education program, or an early-career dentist under the age of 40 or in his/her first five years of professional work following residency;
  • Nominee must have held a position within dentistry in which he/she has demonstrated leadership skills, such as, but not limited to:
    • The ability to create a vision;
    • Effective communications skills sufficient to motivate others to achieve that vision;
    • The ability to establish a strong team concept;
    • A focus on utilizing those traits for the greater good; and
    • Participation in activities which advance the oral health of the public and/or the underserved.

Dollar Amount and Number of Awards: Two awards of $5,000 annually, one of which is provided through a generous donation from Henry Schein Cares.

Dental Student Scholarship Program and Underrepresented Minority Dental Student Scholarship Program

Purpose: The ADA Foundation Predoctoral Dental Student Scholarships help predoctoral dental students defray a part of their professional education expenses. The goal of this program is to facilitate the education of academically gifted dental students. 

Application Period: First business day after Labor Day (application period opens) through the second Friday in November (application deadline). For the Predoctoral Dental Student Scholarship Program, the ADAF accepts one application per school, submitted by the school on behalf of the student. For the Underrepresented Minority Dental Student Scholarship Program, the ADA Foundation accepts up to five applicatons per school, submitted by the school on behalf of each student. The ADAF does not accept applications submitted directly from students.

Eligibility Requirements: In order to be eligible for consideration for these scholarships, an applicant must:

  • Be in the second year of study at the time of application, and currently attending or enrolled at a dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association;
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student, defined as maintaining a minimum course load of 12 credit hours;
  • Demonstrate a minimum financial need of $2,500;
  • Have a minimum accumulative grade point average of 3.25 based on a 4.0 scale; and
  • Provide two completed reference forms, one from each of two dental school representatives (e.g., professor or academic advisor) in support of the application, submitted as part of the application form.
  • In the case of the Underrepresented Minority Dental Student Scholarships, must be a member of one of the following minority groups underrepresented in dental school enrollment: African American, Hispanic, or Native American.
  • In the case of the Dr. Robert B. Dewhirst scholarships, must attend the University of California at Los Angeles School of Dentistry or the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California (USC).

Dollar Amount and Number of Scholarships: Each year, the ADA Foundation makes the following scholarships available:

  • Dental Student Scholarships: Approx. 25 awards, up to $2,500 each award (up to $62,500 total funding)
  • Underrepresented Minority Dental Student Scholarships: Approx. 25 awards, up to $2,500 each award (up to $62,500 total funding)
  • Robert J. Sullivan Scholarships: Up to two awards, up to $2,500 each award (up to $5,000 total funding)
  • Dr. Robert B. Dewhirst Scholarships: Up to two awards, up to $2.500 each award (up to $5,000 total funding), one to an applicant from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Dentistry and one to an applicant from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California (USC).
  • Total: Approx. 54 scholarships with up to $135,000 total funding.

Semi-annual Grant Program: Education

Purpose: Through the Semi-annual Grants Program, the ADAF periodically invites U.S.-based organizations exempt from taxation under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code whose charitable activities within or without the United States further the ADA Foundation's exempt purposes of Education or Access to Care, as further described in the Applications and Guidelines.

Application period: in October of each year, the ADA Foundation will start accepting grant proposals which fall under the pillar of Education; the application deadline is the last Friday in January of the following year. (In April of each year, the ADA Foundation will start accepting grant proposals which fall under the pillar of Access to Care; the application deadline is the last Friday in July of such year.)

Announcement of Grant Recipients: On or about May 15, 2015. 

Eligibility Requirements: U.S. based organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Dollar Amount and Number of Awards: Grants will be awarded up to, but not exceed, Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) in the case of Education and Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) in the case of Access to Care. Organizations may submit only one grant request per year for Semi-annual Grant funding under Education, and one grant request per year for Semi-annual Grant funding under Access to Care.

Allied Dental Student Scholarship Program

Purpose: ADA Foundation Allied Dental Scholarships are offered annually to help dental assisting, dental hygiene, and dental laboratory technology students defray a part of their professional educational expenses. The goal of this program is to facilitate the education of academically gifted students, which in turn helps to foster the public's oral health.

Application period: Second Friday in January (application period opens) through the second Friday in March (application deadline). 

The ADA Foundation will accept one application from each school for each accredited program offered by that school. For example, if a school offers an accredited Dental Hygiene program and an accredited Dental Assisting program, the ADAF will accept one Dental Hygiene Scholarship application and one Dental Assisting Scholarship application from that school. If the ADA Foundation receives multiple applications from one school, all but one application within each accredited program will be disqualified at the ADAF's discretion and without alerting the school.

Eligibility Requirements: In order to be considered eligible for these awards a student must:

  • be a U.S. citizen (permanent resident status does not qualify);
  • be enrolled as a full-time student, defined as maintaining a minimum of 12 credit hours course load;
  • demonstrate a minimum financial need of $1,000; and
  • have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 based on a 4.0 scale.

Dental Hygiene student applicants also must:

  • be currently attending or enrolled in a dental hygiene program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association;
  • have completed at least one full semester at the time of application, and must have at least one full semester remaining in the program as of May of the application year; and
  • provide two completed reference forms, one from each of two dental hygiene program representatives (e.g., professor or academic advisor) in support of the application, submitted as part of the application form.

Dental Laboratory Technology student applicants also must:

  • be currently attending or enrolled in a dental laboratory technology program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association;
  • have completed at least one full semester at the time of application, and must have at least one full semester remaining in the program as of May of the application year; and
  • provide two completed reference forms one from each of two dental laboratory program representatives (e.g., professor or academic advisor) in support of the application submitted as part of the application form.

Dental Assisting student applicants also must:

  • be currently attending or enrolled in a dental assisting program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association;
  • must have completed enough of their program to demonstrate a minimum 3.5/4.0 GPA, either from a completed semester or for their work to date as of the application deadline (if grades are to date, applicant must submit an official record and a calculation of their grade to date in 4.0 format); and
  • provide two completed reference forms, one from each of two dental laboratory program representatives (e.g., professor or academic advisor) in support of the application submitted as part of the application form.

The ADA Foundation considers one application for each program from each accredited school, submitted by the school on behalf of its selected student. For example, if a school offers both an accredited dental hygiene program and an accredited dental assisting program, the ADA Foundation will consider one Dental Hygiene Scholarship application and one Dental Assisting Scholarship application for students selected by that school. Any application sent directly to the ADA Foundation by a student who was not selected by his or her school will not be considered.

Dollar Amount and Number of Scholarships: Each year, the ADA Foundation makes the following scholarships available:

  • Dental Hygiene Student Scholarships: Approx. 15 awards, up to $1,000 each award (up to $15,000 total funding)
  • Dental Assisting Student Scholarships: Approx. 10 awards, up to $1,000 each award (up to $10,000 total funding)
  • Dental Laboratory Technology Student Scholarships: Approx. 5 awards, up to $1,000 each award (up to $5,000 total funding)

Samuel D. Harris Fund for Children's Dental Health Grant Program

Purpose: Since 1999, the Samuel D. Harris Fund for Children's Dental Health, named for noted pediatric dentist and philanthropist Dr. Samuel D. Harris who passed away in 2003, has bestowed grants on organizations dedicated to fighting children's dental disease.

Application period: Last Friday in February (RFA period opens) through the second Friday in April (application deadline)

Eligibility Requirements: Grants of up to $5,000 each are offered to non-profit organizations and agencies that sponsor education programs for parents and caregivers to reduce the incidence of early childhood caries.

Dollar Amount and Number of Grants: Competitive grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded solely for prenatal and postnatal oral health instruction for parents and caregivers. The total number of Harris Grants awarded is dependent upon the ADA Foundation Board’s allocation of funds in a given year. The ADA Foundation awarded 24 grants totaling more than $114,000 in 2013. See below for a list of 2013 Harris Grant recipients.

The ADA Foundation expresses its gratitude to all organizations that perform work related to reducing early childhood caries.

Education Through Give Kids A Smile®

The ADA Foundation’s support of the ADA’s Give Kids A Smile program helps educate tens of thousands of children and their families on the importance of good oral health to overall health.

Visit the Give Kids A Smile page

Download this brochure to read about the grants, scholarships, and awards offered by the ADA Foundation.