Dental Public Health Research Fellowship

As resident fellows in NIDCR’s dental public health program, Ishita Singh (left) and Leah Leinbach (right) gained field experience, conducted research projects, and learned about the core disciplines of public health.
As dental public health and research fellows at NIDCR, Ishita Singh (left) and Leah Leinbach (right) will gain field experience, conduct research projects, and learn about the core disciplines of public health.

About the Program

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) sponsors a three-year fellowship program in Dental Public Health Research. This fellowship includes a 12-month full-time residency in Dental Public Health (DPH) followed by a 24-month full-time postdoctoral fellowship with a strong focus on oral health research.

A stipend is available to support Dental Public Health Research fellows during the three-year program. This training opportunity requires a full-time commitment, and those selected cannot be enrolled in other training programs.

Individuals successfully completing the 12-month DPH residency component will receive a certificate of completion and are qualified educationally to apply for examination by the American Board of Dental Public Health (ABDPH) for specialty certification.

Equal consideration is given to all applicants without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or age. 


While emphasizing research training during the three-year fellowship, the program provides experiences in other areas of dental public health, i.e., public health administration and management, the organization and financing of dental care programs, oral health promotion, and the development of resources.

The training program will be tailored to meet the particular interests and previous experience of each individual selected. However, a typical fellow's effort will require that time be spent during the first year in each of the following areas: Research Methods in Dental Public Health; Health Policy, Program Management, and Administration; Oral Disease Prevention and Oral Health Promotion; and Oral Health Services and Delivery Systems.

Dr. Rena D'Souza
Dr. Rena D'Souza


The content of the curriculum and the fellow’s training plan are designed to ensure that fellows receive the foundational knowledge and experiences necessary for core competencies in dental public health.

The educational structure of the fellowship program is based on:

  • Site visits to public health organizations at the state, federal, and international levels;
  • Field experience for applied public health practice;
  • Seminars and lectures providing instruction in the core disciplines of public health (epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, behavioral health science, and health management and policy) with an oral health focus;
  • Critical thinking and scholarship.

In addition, fellows will receive expert guidance in the origination and conduct of oral health research.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be graduates of a school of dentistry accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the United States (CODA) or the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC). Applicants who are graduates of a school of dentistry not accredited by CODA or CDAC must have acquired an equivalent education to a doctoral-level dental degree received in the U.S.

All applicants must also hold a graduate degree in public health (MPH or equivalent) from an accredited U.S. academic institution that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (e.g., the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)). Examples of an equivalent public health degree are a MHS, DrPH, or PhD in Epidemiology.

In general, graduate public health degrees (MPH or equivalent) should, at a minimum, include instruction in biostatistics, epidemiology, health care policy and management, environmental health and behavioral sciences.

Advanced graduate degrees in public health obtained outside of the U.S. do not meet the program's eligibility requirements. 

Meet the Program Leaders

Timothy Iafolla, DMD, MPH

Timothy Iafolla, DMD, MPH is a Supervisory Science Policy Analyst and Chief of the Program Analysis and Reporting Branch of NIDCR’s Office of Science Policy and Analysis, which oversees the Dental Public Health Research Fellowship Program. He previously worked for eight years as a dentist in private practice and later as a Public Health Dentist in the North Carolina Division of Dental Health.


Hosam Alraqiq BDS, MSD, MA, EdD, CHES

Hosam Alraqiq BDS, MSD, MA, EdD, CHES is a Health Science Analyst at the NIDCR Office of Science Policy and Analysis. He previously worked at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine where he acted as Project Leader on HRSA-sponsored programs, including those that enhance HIV training and service, as well as postdoctoral and predoctoral training in dental public health, population oral health, health communication, community engagement, and inter-professional practice.

How To Apply

Applications will be accepted until Tuesday, January 16, 2024. Applications submitted after that date will not be accepted, and incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the selection committee. All applicants are REQUIRED to submit a complete application package by email.

Applicants will be notified within 6 weeks after the submission deadline if they are selected for an interview.

The following items are to be included for review by the selection committee (A Submission Checklist (PDF - 117 KB)) is provided for your convenience):

  1. Application Form (PDF - 449 KB) and Current CV (Please note: these are to be combined together into one Adobe PDF document and sent electronically by email - no paper copies will be accepted).
  2. Official Transcripts from Dental School (Transcripts are to be sent directly from the academic institutions and transmitted electronically by email only).
  3. Official transcripts from Accredited Graduate Education in Public Health (to be sent directly from the U.S. schools and transmitted electronically).
  4. Three Letters of Recommendation, including at least one from a faculty/administrator from your academic institution (letters of recommendation must be sent by email directly from persons who have agreed to serve as references).


Application Coordinator
Yu-Ling Huang
31 Center Drive
Bethesda MD 20892

The tentative start date for the program is Monday, July 01, 2024.


Have additional questions about the program, curriculum, or eligibility criteria? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Last Reviewed
June 2024