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Summer Research Opportunities

Students in the College of Dental Medicine have many opportunities for research experiences in addition to those integral to the Dental Medicine Scientist Training Program. These include opportunities for short-term research experiences at MUSC and at NIH as well as research exposures as part of the curriculum of the College of Dental Medicine. (
Previous Students' Research Projects)

One opportunity for MUSC Dental Students to gain research experience at MUSC is to participate in the College of Graduate Studies Summer Health Professions Research Program. The goal of this program is to introduce students in the health professions to biomedical research by allowing them to work during the summer in a research environment under the guidance of an experienced investigator. This research training program provides unique opportunities for health professions students to become directly involved in cutting edge research leading them to a greater appreciation of the process of scientific discovery. Student-faculty and student-student interaction through shared experiences are important factors for the successful research experience. At the conclusion of the training period, students prepare a brief written paper and give an oral presentation on their project. Activities such as seminars, a structured overview of important research areas in the biological sciences, discussions of the ethical conduct of research, and interactions with faculty and social events are key components of the overall experience that are essential to provide a supportive and nurturing environment.

First year dental students interested in participating in the Summer Health Professions Research Program are encouraged to enroll in STOMA 901: Introduction to Clinical Dental Research, and elective course offered through the College of Dental Medicine. This is a graded, 2 hour elective course held mid Fall through mid Spring Semesters. The purpose of this elective course is for dental students to learn or adapt their understanding of research to include the clinical dental environment. Course topics include components of clinical research – how to develop the research question, the study design and population, the measurement of variables, and the management and summarizing of data. Emphasis is on research ethics and human subject research, however animal and material science questions are also encouraged. During the course students complete the University of Miami Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI) course and the MUSC Summer Health Profession (SHP) Program application.

All junior dental students participate in an independent project course which results in a formal presentation to the faculty and students of the college. Students define a topic of their choice and work with an approved mentor to develop and present a body of knowledge relative to the topic. Seminars and individual conferences are provided to assist the student with this project. The independent nature of the investigation and the scholarly relationship with a mentor will be emphasized throughout the course.

Research Opportunities at the NIH
NIDCR (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) Summer Dental Student Award
Designed to expose dental students to the latest advances in oral health research and administration. The program is a minimum of eight weeks during the summer on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. NIDCR provides a stipend and the nominating dental school provides support for air or ground transportation. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. dental school. U.S. citizenship or permanent residence is required.

NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research
The Summer Internship Program (SIP) at the NIH provides an opportunity to spend the summer working side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research. MUSC DMD students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply.

Howard Hughes Medical Institutes Research Scholars Program

Participants of the Howard Hughes Medical Institutes-National Institutes of Health (NIH) joint program work in NIH laboratories in Bethesda, Maryland as part of a research team and are given the opportunity to attend conferences and meetings. Most students participate in the year-long program after their second or third year of dental or medical school. Candidates must be in good standing at a U.S. dental or medical school and must receive permission from the school to participate in the program. An annual salary is provided. Joint PhD candidates are not eligible.

NIH Clinical Research Training Program
Meant to attract research-oriented dental and medical students to the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Fellows spend a year engaged in a mentored clinical research project in an area that matches their personal interests and goals. An annual stipend is provided and moving expenses are reimbursed. Candidates must have completed a year of clinical rotations prior to starting the program. U.S. citizenship or permanent residence is required.
NIH Clinical Electives Program

Offers a full complement of elective rotations for third- and fourth-year dental and medical students. Designed to provide first-hand experience in the design, conduct and management of clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Research Center in Bethesda, Maryland. It is recommended that all application materials be received by May 1 preceding the academic year of the desired session. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited dental or medical school. Both U.S. citizens and non-citizens are eligible to apply.

Where to Present Your Dental Research?
International Association for Dental Research

The most important dental research meetings are held worldwide. When the IADR General Session & Exhibition and the AADR/CADR Annual Meeting & Exhibition occur as a combined event, it attracts over 6,000 participants. Every other year, the IADR General Session (outside North America) and the AADR/CADR Annual Meeting (in North America, usually the United States) occur separately, each attracting from 4-6,000 participants. The meetings consist of individual oral and poster presentations and symposia/workshops on topics of major interest to the scientific community. Abstracts from the meetings are published online and/or in CD-ROM form as Special Issues of the Journal of Dental Research (JDR). Both meetings are excellent forums for the presentation of current dental and collateral research findings.


 - Center for Oral Health Research
 - SC COBRE for Oral Health
 - MUSC College of Dental Medicine