The ADA Foundation | ADA Foundation

ADA Foundation

We offer grants and awards that support dentists at pivotal times in their personal and professional lives.

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We support dentists in time of need

The mission of the ADA Foundation is to foster hopeful, healthier communities through philanthropy, professional development and recognition for promising leaders in the dental profession.

Our charitable assistance grants offer financial help for dentists and their families during difficult times. Specifically, these funds help dentists and their dependents when the dentist cannot work due to accidental injuries, advanced age, a physically debilitating illness or other medical condition (or any combination of these). Eligibility rules also allow the spouses of deceased dentists to apply.

Funds are awarded to help with daily living expenses and emergency needs of dentists and qualified dependents to age 18. Grants are generally made on a one-time basis and vary in amount.

Our awards program recognizes and supports promising oral health researchers, especially those who are working to expand access to quality dental care in underserved communities.

Special note on COVID-19 relief: Though we know many dental practices have been affected by the pandemic, our charitable grants program is not a disaster fund. We are not able to provide grants to cover business expenses or losses. For tools to help you cope with the impact of COVID-19, please visit this page.

COVID-19 resources

Find out how the program works and how to qualify.
Complete and return this form to apply for a charitable grant.
Learn more about planning this important event in your community.

More about ADA Foundation awards

The Whiston Leadership Award

The Dr. David Whiston Leadership Award is given each year to recognize a promising individual whose leadership and research excellence has made a substantial contribution to public oral health. This annual $5,000 award, which honors researchers and leaders from diverse backgrounds, enables the winner to attend the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership. Funds may also support research focused on an oral health issue or challenge within an underserved population or community.

Eligible applicants include dental students, graduate students, residents enrolled in an accredited dental school program, early-career dentists under the age of 40, and dentists in the first 5 years of professional work following residency. In choosing the winning candidate, the award committee explores factors such as community engagement, service to the dental profession and scientific advancement of public oral health.

Our 2022 award recipients are Brittaney Hill, DDS, MS, MPH from University of Illinois Chicago and Sylvette Ramos-Diaz, MPH from UNC Adams School of Dentistry. We will begin accepting applications for 2023 early in the year. Please check back for updates. To learn more about the Whiston Leadership Award, contact Tracey Schilligo, Professional Programs Manager at or 312.440.2763.

The Crest and Oral-B Promising Researcher Award

The ADA Foundation Crest and Oral-B Promising Researcher Award promotes and recognizes excellence in oral health research. This annual award provides $5,000 to a promising researcher focused on preventive dentistry.

Our 2022 award recipient is Nicholas Fischer, PhD from University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.

Eligible candidates may be involved in basic, translational or clinical research. Award funds will enable the winning candidate to attend one or more scientific conferences to further their knowledge or skills or to present findings. Award funds can be used for expenses such as conference registration fees, travel expenses, meals and lodging.

Degree candidates must be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents 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
  • Foreign equivalent

(For purposes of the award, an eligible institution is defined as an accredited public, nonprofit or privately owned for-profit college, university, vocational school, or post-secondary education institution that is eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education.)

Applications for the 2022 award are closed. We will begin accepting applications for 2023 in the spring. Please check back for updates. To learn more about the Crest Oral-B Promising Researcher Award, contact Tracey Schilligo, Professional Programs Manager at or 312.440.2763.

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