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Research

The ADA Foundation uses research to improve the oral health of the public and advance the science of dentistry through collaborations with government, industry and the dental profession. Please see the below program descriptions and guidelines for complete information, and check this website for updates.

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

ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center

The ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center is active in the fields of biomaterials and biomineralization, molecular and cell biology, and clinical science and therapies, and also in standards-related activities. We emphasize a strong applied research program with a focus on scientific collaboration by working closely with industry to translate new technologies into clinical and over-the-counter products. Our projects target technologies that meet the needs of patients, but also fit within the oral care delivery system and the industries that serve it.

For complete information, visit the ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center area of this website. 

ADA Foundation Research-related Educational Opportunities

The ADA Foundation offers a variety of educational opportunities through which young and emerging researchers can explore the world of oral health research. Contact the ADA Foundation at 312.440.2547, or the ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center at 301.975.6806, to learn more.

Colgate Dental Students’ Conference on Research

Purpose: Each year, the ADA Foundation hosts the Colgate Dental Students' Conference on Research in Gaithersburg, Maryland, drawing select students from more than 50 schools in the U.S. and Canada. The goal of this conference is to introduce dental students to industry professionals, as well as scientists from the ADA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) - National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and the ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center to raise their awareness of the wide-ranging careers available in oral health research.

Application Period: Spring, 2018. See eligibility requirements, below.

Eligibility Requirements: The Colgate Dental Students’ Conference on Research welcomes one student representative from each dental school in the U.S. and Canada who has not previously attended the program. This student representative is typically selected by the school’s Dean, and is someone who is either actively involved in a research project or has expressed an interest in a research career. Space is limited. Priority is given to new students who have not previously experienced the program.

Dollar Amount of Support to Attendees: Student attendees are fully funded by the ADA Foundation except for a $600 contribution made by each student's school.

Dentsply Sirona logo

ADA Foundation Dentsply Sirona Research Award for Dual Degree (D.D.S./Ph.D. or D.M.D./Ph.D.) Candidates

To apply: Complete an application here: http://www.grantinterface.com/adafoundation/common/logon.aspxYou may use this worksheet to prepare (PDF). You will be taken to a third party website to complete the application.

Purpose: The purpose of the ADA Foundation Dentsply Sirona Research Award for Dual Degree Candidates is to promote and recognize excellence in oral health research by providing financial assistance to dual degree candidates who are interested in pursuing a career in research that advances the oral health of the public.

Application Period: The application period opens the last Friday in August. Applications must be received by the last Friday in November. Applicants will receive notice of the outcome of the selection process following committee review.

Eligibility Requirements:  Dual degree candidates (defined below) who are U.S. citizens in good academic standing and are currently enrolled in an eligible program (defined below) may apply. A "dual degree candidate” is defined as an individual pursuing both a D.M.D./D.D.S. degree and a Ph.D. either simultaneously, or in sequence within a period of five* years from the completion of the first degree and the start of the second. An “eligible program” means a program at a U.S. public, nonprofit or privately owned college or university accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Dollar Amount and Number of Awards:  The Award will provide funds up to $10,000 for one awardee to fund expenses to attend the AADR SCADA competition and, in addition, may be used to defray the cost of one or more of the following:
•    A research project approved by the ADA Foundation; and/or
•    Attending one or more scientific conferences in order to further his/her knowledge or skills; and/or presenting his/her findings at such scientific conference.

*This requirement has been changed from two years to five years.

Crest Oral B logo

ADA Foundation Crest and Oral-B Promising Researcher Award

To apply: Complete an application here: http://www.grantinterface.com/adafoundation/common/logon.aspx. You may use this worksheet to prepare (PDF). You will be taken to a third party website to complete the application.

Purpose: The ADA Foundation Crest and Oral-B Promising Researcher Award promotes and recognizes excellence in oral health research by providing financial assistance for promising researchers to pursue a career in research that advances preventive dentistry.

Application Period: The application period opens the first Friday in April. Applications must be received by the last Friday in June. Applicants will receive notice of the outcome of the selection process in September.

Eligibility Requirements: The minimum qualifications for those nominated include degree candidates who conduct oral health research in preventive dentistry while enrolled in one of the following degree programs at an eligible institution*:

  • D.D.S. or D.M.D.
  • D.D.S./D.M.D. and Ph.D. dual degree
  • Ph.D. or equivalent
  • M.P.H., M.S. or equivalent

*Eligible institution is an accredited public, nonprofit, or privately owned profit making college, university, vocational school, or postsecondary education institution that is eligible to participate in a student aid program administer by the U.S. Department of Education.

Dollar Amount and Number of Awards: One award of $5,000 annually. The award funds can be used to pay for expenses to attend and/or to present at scientific conference(s), including registration fees, travel expenses, meals, and lodging, if applicable. With the approval from the selection committee, the award money may also can be used to cover the research related expenses. A written summary of how the award funds would be used by the applicant must accompany the application at the time of submission.

Summer Scholars Fellowship Program

Purpose: The Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center annually appoints one or two young investigators to its Summer Scholars Fellowship Program. Since its inception in 1940, the program has been a way to apply classroom and lab experience to real world scenarios. Currently supported by the ADA Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the program has given many talented students (undergraduate and dental school) the chance to participate in basic research at the VRC, as well as gain hands-on experience in the clinical theater; working side-by-side with their mentors, while becoming part of the research process.

Application Period: The application period will open in late December, 2015 and usually closes in late January. Please email vrc@ada.org for information.

Eligibility: Individuals interested in learning more about the program or application process are invited to contact the Summer Scholars Fellowship Program coordinator, Gretchen Duppins at gretchen.duppins@nist.gov.

Dollar Amount and Number of Fellowships: Varies