While there is no requirement for students to become involved in research while completing the requirements for the DDS program, they are strongly encouraged to do so.
Types of Student Dental Research Opportunities
Students are encouraged to contct investigators (both faculty, graduate or postdoctoral fellows) about their interests in pursuing dental research. Based on the project, skills sets and deliverables, there may be both volunteer (unpaid) or technician (can be paid) positions available.
Potential Research Opportunities:
D1 - Volunteer, Technician, Apply for summer research program and attend research day
Rising D2 - Summer Research Program
D2 - Continue summer research, present at summer research day, submit abstracts and attend scientific meetings
Rising D3 - Summer Research Program and NIDCR summer research program (strongly encourage prior SRP students)
D3 - Continue research, present at summer research day, submit abstracts and attend scientific meetings
Rising D4 - (None suggested due to integrated Dental Board)
D4 - Continue research, present at summer research day, submit abstracts and attend scientific meetings
The School of Dental Medicine is a nationally recognized center for dental research. Students who take advantage of research opportunities become far more knowledgeable of their profession regardless of whether or not they choose a career in dental research.
Participation in research:
Many faculty members participate in the Student Research Program. Their research interests include all area of the basic sciences and dental clinical Sciences. Students are encouraged to contact these faculty members to pursue specific projects.
There are several ways to find a research mentor. For example, you could begin the search by talking with the instructor of a course that you enjoy and that includes topics that may be of interest to you for a research project. We also recommend that you identify potential research mentors by looking through the Faculty Expertise & Contacts page on this website.
By compiling the results of completed research into a thesis and presenting the results of their efforts to the members of the Student Research and Honors Committee, students may graduate with thesis honors — a designation noted on the diploma.
Attempts are made to subsidize participants whenever possible. However, there is not enough funding available to support all students who are interested in doing research. A small stipend is available from the Dean's office for DDS students who have been selected to participate in the Summer Research Program. Application for participation in the Summer Research Program is a 2-step process: (1) submission of a Letter of Intent in the Fall semester and (2) submission of a research proposal in January. The student's research mentor must be involved in both parts of this process. Proposals are evaluated by the school's Student Research & Honors Committee, which makes recommendations for funding to the Associate Dean for Research.
In a research-intensive laboratory, funding priority is given to graduate research students in that department’s degree program. Funding for PhD students usually has a higher priority than funding for M.S. or DDS students. Research support for non-PhD students, however, sometimes can be arranged with funds from government-, foundation-, or industry-sponsored research grants.
Student and Mentor Assurances: This required form will be sent to all students and mentors who submitted a Letter of Intent.