Fellowship in Oral Health Informatics

About the Program

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) co-sponsors a 2-year full-time Fellowship in Oral Health Informatics (OHI). Health Informatics is a rapidly growing field of expertise that encompasses a number of areas from information processing and technology to statistics and data visualization for application in the health sciences. Health Informatics has the potential to transform healthcare through the discovery of new approaches to information management in biomedical research, clinic care, and public health. According to the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), informaticians are advancing health informatics through research and practice in 5 main areas: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics, and public health informatics. The NIDCR-NLM Fellowship in OHI is designed to provide dental public health specialty training and public health informatics training to dental professionals with an interest in applying informatics science as it relates to dental research, education, and clinical care. This could include health services research, surveillance, disease prevention, and health promotion with an emphasis on incorporating “Big Data” or data analytics concepts and skills, such as text mining, named entity recognition, image analysis or health records analysis, and clinical research informatics. Topics in clinical informatics could include capture, processing, and analysis of clinical data for patient care and research and the development of health informatics resources.

The content of the curriculum and the resident’s training plan are designed to ensure that each resident achieves a foundational level of competency in dental public health and health informatics. The educational structure of the residency program is based on a number of learning experiences, including site visits, seminars and lectures, critical thinking and scholarship. With the guidance of program mentors and faculty, fellows develop an individualized training plan, which describes activities to be undertaken during the fellowship and the conduct at least one major informatics research project under the guidance of NLM and NIDCR staff. The program has a partnership with the DentaQuest Institute to promote educational and research opportunities utilizing dental electronic health record (EHR) databases and dental claims data to provide opportunities for fellows to conduct informatics research. Other informatics projects are possible and fellows may have the opportunity to use dental EHR data from other sources or aggregated data from various national surveys.

NLM's Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (LHNCBC) engages in research and development in biomedical informatics and the use of advanced communications and computing technologies to improve how NLM brings clinical data and health information to consumers, health care providers, and researchers. LHNCBC research projects are organized in six research areas: (1) Clinical Data Standards & Electronic Medical Records; (2) Collaboration Technologies & Mobile Health Applications; (3) Document Processing; (4) Health Information Resources; (5) Image Processing & Visualization; and (6) Natural Language Processing. Participants in the NIDCR-NLM OHI Fellowship have the opportunity for enhanced exposure in these areas.

Individuals in the NIDCR-NLM OHI Fellowship will also be enrolled in the NIDCR Dental Public Health (DPH) Training Program as a part-time Fellow. This Program provides a formal training opportunity for dentists planning careers in dental public health, with an emphasis on oral and craniofacial, health-related epidemiologic research and is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). By participating in both health informatics and dental public health training, OHI fellows will receive an enriching experience that merges public health dentistry and informatics science in a transformative way. This training opportunity is for dentists planning public health informatics careers in academia, large health care providers, health care plans / insurers, and government.

Fellows completing the NIDCR’s Dental Public Health Residency Program’s requirements over the 2-year OHI Fellowship will earn a Certificate in Dental Public Health issued by NIDCR acknowledging that graduates are educationally eligible to challenge the specialty certifying exam in Dental Public Health. Fellows successfully completing the OHI Fellowship will earn a Certificate in Oral Health Informatics.

Faculty and Resources

The NIDCR Program Manager for the OHI Fellowship is also the Director of the DPH Residency Program and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health. The NLM Program Manager for the OHI Fellowship is Director of the Medical Informatics Training Program at LHNCBC. Participants interact with staff from the NIDCR, NLM, and elsewhere, and include informaticians, computer scientists, clinical investigators, epidemiologists, statisticians and data scientists. In addition, qualified scientists in practically every area of biomedical, behavioral, and health services research are available for consultation. The entire resources of the NIDCR are available to fellows, as are other supporting facilities of the LHNCBC and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These include a large scientific computer network, excellent medical libraries, and other research and educational services. Fellows are eligible to attend seminars, guest lectures, and short courses offered at the NIH.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must be graduates of a school of dentistry accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the United States (CODA) of the American Dental Association or the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC). Applicants who are graduates of a school of dentistry outside the U.S. must be deemed to have equivalent education as determined by the NIDCR Residency Program Director.

Applicants must also have completed at least one academic year of advanced training and obtained a graduate degree in public health (MPH or equivalent) in an area related to the practice of public health. Examples of an equivalent public health degree could be a MHS, DrPH, or PhD in Epidemiology. The advanced graduate public health program should include courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, health care policy and management, environmental health and behavioral sciences from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If the applicant’s public health training was completed in an institution outside of the U.S. or Canada that is deemed equivalent by the residency director, two or more years (full-time equivalent) of advanced education in public health leading to a graduate degree are required. The same content areas described above apply to public health graduates from outside the U.S.

Applicants with training or experience in natural language processing, image analysis, computational biostatistics or a general background in computer science would receive special consideration.

Financial Considerations

A stipend is available to support trainees who meet eligibility criteria. Applicants will not be charged an application fee and there are no registration fees or tuition to participate in this training program. Equal consideration is given to all applicants without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or age.

Application Form and Deadline

Application cycle for the OHI Fellowship is between July 15 and January 15. The tentative start date for selected Fellows is the first Monday in July. Applicants will be notified within 4 weeks after the submission deadline if they are selected for an interview.

View the 2018-19 OHI Fellowship Application.​

The fellowshi​p application must include:

  • The completed application form
  • The applicant’s current CV
  • Official transcripts from both dental school and graduate education in public health. The transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar’s office of the issuing institutions. Transcripts from institutions where English is not the official language of instruction must be accompanied by certified translations.
  • A course-by-course evaluation report by a credentialing organization for transcripts issued by educational institutions outside the U.S. or Canada. These reports should be sent directly from credentialing agencies (please refer to question 32 in the FAQ for more information).
  • Three letters of recommendation (letters of recommendation must be sent directly from persons who have agreed to serve as references).

Please send the above-mentioned materials to Ms. Yu-Ling Huang by Jan. 15, 2018.

As soon as your application materials are complete, you will receive a completion confirmation email from Ms. Huang. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 2 weeks of submitting all required application materials, please contact Ms. Huang.

Yu-Ling Huang
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
31 Center Drive, MSC 2190
Building 31, Room 5B55
Bethesda, MD 20892-2190
Tel: 301.451.3392
Fax: 301.496.9988
Email: Yu-Ling.Huang@nih.gov

Questions or Additional Information

NIDCR Dental Public Health & Informatics Fellowship Program

Bruce Dye, DDS, MPH
Director, NIDCR Dental Public Health & Informatics Fellowship Program
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Building 31, Room 5B55
31 Center Drive, MSC 2190
Bethesda, MD 20892-2190
Telephone: 301.496.7765
E-mail: bruce.dye@nih.gov​

NLM Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications

Paul Fontelo, MD, MPH
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Buildong 38A, Room B1N30L
Bethesda, MD 20892-3842
Telephone: 301.435-3265
E-mail: paul.fontelo@nih.gov​

Last Reviewed on
February 2018