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Dental Student Resources

Scholarships, Awards, and Grants for Dental Students

The ADA Foundation offers a variety of scholarships and awards just for dental students. This page offers a brief summary of each program. Click on the "Application and Guidelines" link under each heading for complete information. Contact Tracey Schilligo at 312.440.2763 if you have questions. 


Predoctoral Dental Student Scholarships

The application period will open in November or December, 2017. Check this website in early January for more information.
Predoctoral Dental Student Scholarships program description

The ADAF’s Predoctoral Dental Student Scholarship Program helps dental students defray some of their academic expenses. New in 2017-2018, the ADA Foundation will offer up to seven total scholarships of up to $20,000 each. The scholarships will be open to second-year dental students. Please check this website in early November, 2017 for complete information.


E. “Bud” Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award

Application deadline: November 10, 2017
Tarrson Award program description

The ADAF Tarrson Award recognizes exemplary volunteer community service projects that are organized and/or conducted by a group of dental students enrolled in an accredited predoctoral dental education program. One grant of $5,000 is made annually to a dental school in honor of the selected student outreach program.  (From 2014 - 2016, due to generous gifts from ADA Business Resources (ADABEI) and an anonymous donor, the ADAF awarded six to seven Tarrson Awards.) The ADA Foundation accepts one application from each accredited dental school with a predoctoral dental student group involved in an outreach program to vulnerable communities within the U.S.


Dr. Thomas J. Zwemer Award

Application deadline: November 10, 2017
Zwemer Award program description

The Dr. Thomas J. Zwemer Award recognizes and encourages student programs that provide services to underserved populations outside of the U.S. One grant of $5,000 is made annually to a dental school in honor of the selected student outreach program. Dental student groups at accredited dental schools who are involved in an outreach program to vulnerable communities outside of the U.S. are eligible to apply. The ADA Foundation accepts one application from each accredited dental school.


Summer Scholars Fellowship Program

Summer Scholars Fellowship Program description 

The ADAF Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center annually appoints one or two young investigators to its Summer Scholars Program, allowing them to apply classroom and lab experience to real-world scenarios. Currently supported by the ADAF 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 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.


Colgate Dental Students' Conference on Research

Application period opens: Summer 2018
Colgate DSCR program description

The ADA Foundation’s annual Colgate Dental Students’ Conference on Research brings students from dental schools in the U.S. and Canada to the ADA Foundation Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center (VRC) in Gaithersburg, MD each spring, in order to raise awareness of the wide-ranging careers available in oral health research. Each accredited dental school in the U.S. and Canada may nominate a student attendee. The school is asked to pay $600 offset part of that student’s costs and the ADAF funds the rest of the trip including the conference, travel, housing, and meals.


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

Application period opens: February 23, 2018
Harris Grant program description

The ADAF Harris Grant Program is not geared specifically to dental students, but dental students may have some involvement in organizations that could be eligible for a Harris Grant. Grants of up to $5,000 each are offered to non-profit organizations and agencies that sponsor education programs for new parents and caregivers to reduce the incidence of early childhood caries. Dental students who volunteer for such an organization may be interested in passing this information along, or helping to apply for a grant. In 2016, the ADA Foundation awarded $119,631 in grants to 25 deserving organizations.