The objectives were to characterize oral cavity cancer (OCC) funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with a secondary aim of comparing NIH support provided to OCC and other malignancies. NIH awards supporting OCC inquiry from 2000 to 2014 were accessed from the NIH RePORTER database. These data were used to evaluate temporal trends and the role of human papilloma virus and to determine the academic training and professional profiles of the principal investigators. Comparison of 2014 funding levels with other malignancies was also performed, controlling for incidence. Overall funding totals decreased considerably after 2009. Funding administered through the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) was 6.5 times greater than dollars awarded by the National Cancer Institute in 2000. During the period evaluated, NIDCR support decreased in most years, while National Cancer Institute support increased and approached NIDCR funding levels. Funding for human papilloma virus-related projects gradually rose, from 3.4% of dollars in 2000 to 2004 to 6.2% from 2010 to 2014 ( P < 0.05). A majority of principal investigators had a PhD omnia solus (57%), and 13% possessed dual PhD/clinical degrees. Among clinicians with specialty training, otolaryngologists and oral/maxillofacial pathologists garnered the most funding. OCC had a 2014 funding:incidence ratio of $785, much lower than for other malignancies. There has been increased volatility in funding support in recent years possibly due to budget cuts and sequestration. The National Cancer Institute has played an increasingly important role in supporting OCC research, concomitant with decreasing NIDCR support. Our findings suggest that OCC is underfunded relative to other non-oral cavity malignancies, indicating a need to increase the focus on rectifying the disparity.