National Advisory Dental & Craniofacial Research Council

Legislative Authority

The National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council was originally established in June 1948 by the same act that established NIDCR. It was chartered on January 4, 1973, by the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now DHHS).

NADCRC is now governed by section 406 of the Public Health Service Act and will be rechartered every two years.

Responsibilities of NADCRC

Review of Grant Applications

In the dual review system used at NIH, NADCRC provides the second level of review for NIDCR. Currently, the NIDCR Council does not review Small Grants (unless they are foreign), Individual Fellowships, Senior Fellowships, or NRSA short-term training grants.

Council examines the applications primarily for programmatic and policy matters as well as scientific merit (though it is the primary responsibility of the Initial Review Group (IRG) to thoroughly review applications for scientific merit), assures that investigations fall within the stated missions of the NIH, and considers the proposed work in relation to areas of programmatic interest as expressed in approved plans of the Institute, and critically assesses the ethics and possible risks of the proposed studies. In addition to carrying out the second stage of review of applications, Council offers advice and makes recommendations on policy and other matters affecting the Institute.

Advice on Institute Programs and Policies

Council also periodically provides general advice to the Division of Extramural Research. The purpose of such advice is to assure the appropriate use of grants in the Institute's support and conduct of research and related activities. Furthermore, the discussion provides information on program management, assures Institute responsiveness to public needs, encourages new initiatives for the support of quality science, and assists the Institute in establishing objectives and priorities.

Additional Responsibilities

In accordance with the Health Research Extension Act of 1985, Council has additional responsibilities. Council also reviews intramural research being carried out at the Institute.

Members of NADCRC also may collect information or conduct workshops related to the Institute's role. In carrying out its functions, Council also convenes subcommittees on special topics


The Council consists of thirteen regular voting members and five ex officio, non-voting members. The five ex officio members are: The DHHS Secretary, the NIH Director, the NIDCR Director, the Chief Dental Director of the Veterans Administration, and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (or their delegates). The regular members are appointed by the Secretary, DHHS. The membership must include two- thirds scientists with expertise in the disciplines of the Institute and experts in public health and the behavioral or social sciences. The remaining one-third of the members represent the general public, but are to be knowledgeable with respect to the research mission of the Institute.

Although ex officio members may not vote, they are still counted toward the quorum and can freely participate in all other aspects of Council business. Council is presided over by a Chairman, generally the NIDCR Director, appointed by the Secretary of DHHS. In addition to presiding at the meetings, the Chairman sets agendas and meeting dates and reports proceedings of Council meetings to the NIH Director. The Chairman is assisted by an Executive Secretary who is responsible for the administrative management of the Council. Support services are handled through the Office of the Director.

NADCRC Meetings

Council meetings, held at least three times a year, usually last two days and include a session in which Institute activities and current issues affecting support of craniofacial and oral health research are discussed--this session is open to the public. In addition, part of the meeting is devoted to review of grant applications--this portion of the meeting is closed to the public and is attended only by Council members, appropriate NIDCR and NIH staff, and representatives of the DHHS Secretary.

Last Reviewed
July 2018