NIDCR Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship to Enhance Diversity in Dental, Oral, & Craniofacial Research


NIDCR Postbac Belinda Hauser in the lab

Postdoctoral students selected for this fully funded fellowship will spend up to five years working side by side with NIDCR’s leading scientists, in an environment devoted to dental, oral, and craniofacial research. Fellows will perform research with a mentor in NIDCR’s Division of Intramural Research (DIR), where they will be immersed in a scientific culture and explore essential elements of basic, translational, and clinical research. In addition to performing full-time research, fellows will work closely with their designated mentor, the NIDCR intramural Office of Education, and a cohort of other trainees on fellowship activities, including mapping a research career path, and developing a grant proposal.

Fellowships are full-time positions; fellows are expected to devote a minimum of 40 hours per week to their research projects and training. Fellows will receive a highly competitive stipend and annual travel support to attend a conference.

NIDCR’s goal for this fellowship program is to achieve one or more of the many benefits that flow from a diverse scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the research, advancing the likelihood that underserved or underrepresented populations participate in and benefit from health research, enhancing public trust, and improving the quality of health and wellness for all communities.

As noted in NIH’s Notice of Interest in Diversity (NOT-OD-18-210), research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. 


The Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program seeks to prepare a diverse cadre of postdoctoral students for the rigors of the dental, oral, and craniofacial research enterprise. The program involves both structured and unstructured activities to ensure robust and high-quality mentorship and the advancement of participants’ professional goals towards independent, highly competitive research careers. This program is designed for recent graduates with a PhD, MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, DDS/DMD or equivalent/PhD  with an interest in pursuing dental, oral, and/or craniofacial research. Applicants must have no more than five years of relevant research experience since receipt of their most recent doctoral degree. All postdoctoral trainees that meet the program eligibility requirements, including those already at NIH, are welcome to apply.
NIDCR encourages students from diverse backgrounds to apply, including, but not limited to, students with disabilities; students who are Pell Grant-eligible; students who are or have been enrolled in Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); students who identify as LGBTQ; students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences; individuals whose career development benefited from STEM outreach programs or participation in institutional diversity programs; and individuals disadvantaged by circumstances that have negatively impacted their educational opportunities, including recent natural disasters.
In addition, applicants must:
  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Be recent graduates of a PhD, MD/PhD, DVM/PhD, or DDS/DMD or equivalent/PhD program at a university in the United States, Puerto Rico, or other U.S. territory.

Application Process

Applicants must submit their Curriculum Vitae (CV), a cover letter and the names and contact information of three references. Applicants should include the following elements in the cover letter:

  • Prior research experience, and current and future research interests and career goals.
  • A description of how the applicant’s participation in the Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program will assist the program in achieving its stated goal of building a diverse and inclusive community within the dental, oral, and craniofacial research enterprise.
  • Leadership experiences in school and in the community.
  • Potential NIDCR investigator match with whom to work and a brief research plan.

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis and admission will be granted to outstanding applicants throughout the applications season.

Selection Process

The selection committee will review applications to the Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program on a rolling basis. As part of the interview process, selected applicants will be asked to do a research presentation.

Applicants must also establish a potential laboratory match at NIDCR prior to being accepted for the program. Applicants are encouraged to directly contact prospective mentors (see NIDCR Intramural Research Areas) or the Director of the NIDCR Intramural Office of Education to assist in identifying a matching research laboratory.

Applicants will be informed of the committee's decisions on a rolling basis.


Candidates should forward their application materials to:

Belinda R. Hauser, Ph.D.
Training Director, Office of Training and Education
Intramural Training Director
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Division of Intramural Research
Building 30, Room 516
30 Convent Drive, MSC 4310
Bethesda, MD 20892-4310
Phone: (301) 451-6492
E-mail address:

Last Reviewed
March 2021