Dental Clinical Research Fellowship

NIDCR Dental Clinical Research Fellows

NIDCR offers a clinical research fellowship to dentists interested in an academic career. An independent clinical research project with relevance to human disease or health is the focus of the fellowship.   

The NIDCR Dental Clinical Research Fellowship is a 2-3 year full-time on-site program designed to provide experience in the latest clinical and translational research methodologies. Fellowships begin on July 1 of each calendar year. 

Since 2010, NIDCR has offered fellows an individualized curriculum that supports professional development tailored to the goals of each Fellow. Fellows participate in weekly Clinical Case Conferences, Grand Rounds, career development workshops and lab-based journal clubs which highlight current research on a wide range oral and craniofacial conditions and give fellows the opportunity to interact with experts in their fields. Fellows develop a Clinicopathologic Conference based on their work and may engage in additional training and education in grant writing, research design and management, pharmacology, biostatistics, regulatory aspects of clinical research, and bioethics through the NIH Clinical Center. In the final year of their fellowship, fellows give a capstone presentation on their research and have the opportunity to serve as Chief Fellow.

Fellows have modest clinical service responsibilities in the NIH Clinical Center Dental Clinic within NIDCR’s intramural program in Bethesda, Maryland. The Dental Clinic supports clinical and translational research and offers oral medicine, oral surgery, and hospital dentistry consultation services for the unique patient population of the NIH Clinical Center. Clinical competence is expected as the Fellowship is NOT an advanced clinical training program.

Fellows also have the option of participating in the NIH-Duke Master’s Program in Clinical Research, which is one of the nation’s first training programs in clinical research. A Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Research is awarded by the Duke University School of Medicine upon completion of required coursework in research design and management, medical genomics, and statistical analysis and a final project.

Download the Dental Clinical Research Fellowship fact sheet (PDF - 1.2MB).

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Research Areas

Fellows work with investigators (clinical or basic science) in the NIDCR intramural research program, as well as other NIH institutes, to develop and complete an independent clinical and translational research study. NIDCR intramural clinical research focuses on salivary gland pathology, oral immunology/microbiology and periodontal disease, oral chronic graft-versus-host disease, novel approaches to pain, bone metabolic abnormalities and fibrous dysplasia, bone regeneration, bone marrow stromal stem cell therapy, and craniofacial anomalies.

For more information about possible research areas and mentors see:

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Qualified applicants must have a D.D.S./D.M.D. or equivalent dental degree and a demonstrated interest in dental, oral, and craniofacial research as evidenced by prior significant research experience beyond clinical training. U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status is not required, and visas are permitted, but candidates must have relevant U.S., Canadian, or equivalent clinical licensure approved by the NIH Clinical Center Credentialing Committee.

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Fellows are provided with a stipend with consideration of PGY experience. A full range of benefits is available, including health insurance, dental, and vision coverage.

Fellows may be eligible for the NIH Loan Repayment Program that repays up to $50,000 of educational debt annually.

In addition, fellows are eligible for intramural K awards and the NIH-Duke Master’s Program in Clinical Research, which leads to a Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Research, a professional degree awarded by the Duke University School of Medicine. Fellows accepted to the NIH-Duke training program may receive tuition support.

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How to Apply

Deadline for applications: August 31, no exceptions 

Submit basic application materials to

  • CV
  • Personal statement: should highlight the candidate’s research experience, research areas of interest within NIDCR, career goals/plans, and how the fellowship will help the candidate attain career goals
  • Copy of active dental license (translated if not in English)
  • Statement whether candidate has been clinically active within the past 6 years; brief description of scope and nature of clinical activities during the past 6 years, including hours spent/week
  • Statement of citizenship or visa status (if not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, candidates must submit documentation of visa status if invited to interview)
  • Dental school transcripts (translated if not in English; unofficial copies are fine at this stage; candidates must submit official copies if invited to interview)
  • Three letters of recommendation (dated within 6 months of application submission and on letterhead) submitted directly from recommender to the Fellowship Director

Select candidates will be invited to submit supplemental application materials including a one-page clinical research plan and interview after review of the basic application materials.

Jacqueline W. Mays, D.D.S., M.H.Sc., Ph.D.  
Director, NIDCR Dental Clinical Research Fellowship
30 Convent Drive, Building 30
Rm 303, MSC 4340
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: (301) 496-8800

For questions or to request assistance, contact:

Simona Simmons  
Administrative Assistant 
10 Center Drive, Building 10
Room 5-2531, MSC 1470
Bethesda, MD 20892-1470
Phone: (301) 827-7759
Fax: (301) 480-0498

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Last Reviewed
January 2024