Student Research Opportunities

The student research program provides an opportunity for dental students to become involved in research during the academic year as well as in the summer intersession period.

On this page:

While there is no requirement for students to become involved in research while completing the requirements for the DDS program, they are encouraged to do so.

Dental Student

Potential research opportunities


Volunteer, Technician, Apply for summer research program, Attend summer research day

Rising D2

Summer Research Program (SRP)


Continue research, present at summer research day, submit abstracts to scientific meetings, Apply to NIH Research Fellowship

Rising D3

SRP (repeat) OR NIDCR summer research program (strongly encouraged for prior SRP)


Continue research, present at summer research day, submit abstracts to scientific meetings OR NIH Research Fellowship (Full year)

Rising D3

SRP (repeat) OR NIDCR summer research program (strongly encouraged for prior SRP)


Continue research, present at summer research day, submit abstracts and attend scientific meetings

Gain Experience and Insight

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:

  • Encourages critical review and analysis of scientific design — skills crucial to the development of clinical competence in diagnosing and treating patients
  • Provides insight into additional career alternatives; some participants have chosen to pursue careers in academic dentistry following their research
  • Allows students to interact and work with faculty under more informal circumstances; many students work with a single faculty member on research in a specific area that extends over three or four years
  • May lead to publication of research in scientific literature, as well as travel for presentation of data at national and international meetings

Graduate With Honors

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.

How to Get Funding

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.

Informal Research Opportunities

Many students want to do research but choose not to participate in a formal program

Students may participate in SDM Student Research Day if mentor approves

DDS-PhD, PhD-Residency options

Research not in the lab, can be done in policy, regulatory, public health and patient centered research 

Other Avenues to Discover Research Opportunities

  • University at Buffalo - research areas/topics
  • SDM-JSMB class instructors
  • UB News
  • SDM Shout Outs
  • SDM Events - CE programs, Buffalo Niagara local events
  • Student Dental Research Group
  • Prior research/peer group