How to Apply
Unsolicited Grant Proposals
The ADA Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. All Requests for Applications are announced via this website. The ADA Foundation gives grants to non-profit organizations only and does not give grants to individuals.
The ADA Foundation has announced the winners of the 2013 Tarrson Award.
2013 Tarrson Award recipients:
• Harvard University School of Dental Medicine for its ACTION program
• Indiana University School of Dentistry for its Student Outreach Clinic
• University of California at Los Angeles School of Dentistry for its UCLA ASDA Los Angeles Community Clinics
• University of Michigan School of Dentistry for its Wolverine Patriot Project
• University of Mississippi Medical Center-School of Dentistry for its Jackson Free Clinic
• University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine for the Huntridge Clinics
The ADA Foundation Bud Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award annually highlights significant dental student outreach to vulnerable communities within the U.S. The ADAF accepts one application from each dental school. For 2013, a generous gift from ADABEI (ADA Business Resources) allowed the ADA Foundation to make six awards of $5,000 each to dental schools on behalf of the students' winning outreach efforts.
The winner of the 2012 Bud Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award was UCSF School of Dentistry for their Community Dental Clinic student outreach program. Read the ADA News coverage of UCSF School of Dentistry and their Community Dental Clinic. ADA News also covered the 2011 winner of the Tarrson Award, the University of Louisville School of Dentistry.
The ADA Foundation has announced the winner of the 2013 Zwemer Award.
The winner of the 2013 Dr. Thomas J. Zwemer Award is the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry for its Malawi Dental Project.
The Dr. Thomas J. Zwemer Award was created in 2012 by Dr. Richard Simms, then a member of the ADAF Board of Directors, in honor of his mentor and longtime friend, Thomas J. Zwemer, D.D.S. The goal is to recognize and encourage student programs that provide services to underserved populations outside of the U.S. in the same fashion as the ADAF’s very successful Tarrson Award. One award of $5,000 is made annually to one dental school on behalf of the student's winning outreach program.
The winner of the 2012 Dr. Thomas J. Zwemer Award was Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine for their student outreach program in rural Madagascar. Read more in ADA News about Stony Brook and their outreach program, the Madagascar Ankizy Fund. The launch of the Dr. Thomas J. Zwemer Award was covered in the October 15 issue of ADA News.
- Read the American Dental Association’s policy addressing students’ participation in dental outreach programs (June, 2011) (PDF)
If you have questions or require more information on these awards, please contact the ADA Foundation at 312.440.2547.
The ADA Foundation offers the Dr. Ray Bowen Student Research Fellowship in odd-numbered years in collaboration with the Academy of Operative Dentistry. This student research award honors Dr. Ray Bowen, the inventor of resin composites and dentin adhesives, and an internationally recognized authority on composite materials. Dr. Bowen is a former Director of the ADA Foundation's Paffenbarger Research Center and is presently active as Distinguished Scientist at the research center on the campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The Award is open to dental students at all levels who wish to undertake novel research relevant to contemporary operative dentistry.
The winner of the first Dr. Ray Bowen Student Research Fellowship was announced in March, 2013.Return to Top
Summer Scholars Fellowship Award
The ADAF Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center annually appoints one or two young investigators to its Summer Scholars Program. Since its inception in 1940, the program has been a way to apply classroom and lab experience to real world scenarios. Currently supported by the ADA Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the program has given many talented students (undergraduate and dental school) the chance to participate in basic research at the research center, as well as gain hands-on experience in the clinical theater; working side-by-side with their mentors, while becoming part of the research process.
Individuals interested in learning more about the program or application process are invited to contact the Summer Scholars Program coordinator, Gretchen Duppins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ADA Foundation has announced the winners of its 2013 Predoctoral Dental Student Scholarships and Underrepresented Minority Dental Student Scholarships.
- 2013 Predoctoral Dental Student and Underrepresented Minority Dental Student Scholarship Recipients (PDF)
Purpose, Description, and Objectives: The American Dental Association Foundation (ADAF) dental student scholarships help predoctoral dental students defray a part of their professional education expenses. The goal of this program is to facilitate the education of academically gifted dental students. Students in the second year of study at the time of application, and currently attending or enrolled at a dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, are eligible. The ADAF accepts one application per school per program, submitted by the school on behalf of the student. The ADAF does not accept applications submitted directly from students. (See guidelines for complete rules and eligibility requirements.)
Dollar Amount and Number of Scholarships Available: Each year, the ADA Foundation makes the following scholarships available.
- Dental Student Scholarships: Approx. 25 awards, up to $2,500 each award (up to $62,500 total funding)
- Underrepresented Minority Dental Student: Approx. 25 awards, up to $2,500 each award (up to $62,500 total funding)
- Robert J. Sullivan Scholarships: Up to two awards, up to $2,500 each award (up to $5,000 total funding)
- Dr. Robert B. Dewhirst Scholarships: Up to two awards, up to $2.500 each award (up to $5,000 total funding), one to an application from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Dentistry and one to an applicant from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California (USC).
Total: Approx. 54 scholarships with up to $135,000 total funding.
Scholarship Timetable: The 2014 Predoctoral Dental Student Scholarship Program will re-open in fall, 2014.
Please check this website for updated information.
The 2013-2014 Allied Dental Student Scholarship Program application period is closed. The application deadline was March 14.
A notice will be sent to the selected scholarship recipients ONLY on or about the second monday in May, and the list of recipients will also be posted on this website. The ADA Foundation will not directly contact those who were not selected to receive a scholarship. The ADAF thanks all allied dental students for their work toward improving the public's oral health.
The ADA Foundation funds scholarships valued at up to $1,000 for allied dental students including dental hygiene (15 scholarships), dental assisting (10 scholarships) and dental laboratory technology (five scholarships).
Just added: two NEW Young Dental Hygiene Scholarships valued at $2,500 each! With financial support from Young Dental, the ADA Foundation will award these two additional scholarships as part of the 2014 Allied Dental Student Scholarship Program. The scholarships will be awarded to enterprising dental hygiene students who have demonstrated academic success and leadership qualities, and who are actively involved in outreach activities and volunteer programs. Young Dental Hygiene Scholarship recipients will be selected from among this year’s pool of Dental Hygiene Student Scholarship applicants.
Read the ADA Foundation's news release about the new Young Dental Hygiene Scholarships here.
The Allied Dental Scholarships provided by the ADA Foundation support the Education mission pillar of the ADAF. ADAF Allied Dental Scholarships are offered annually to help dental assisting, dental hygiene, and dental laboratory technology students defray a part of their professional educational expenses. The goal of this program is to facilitate the education of academically gifted students, which in turn helps to foster the public's oral health.
The ADA Foundation considers one application for each program from each accredited school, submitted by the school on behalf of its selected student. For example, if a school offers both an accredited dental hygiene program and an accredited dental assisting program, the ADA Foundation will consider one Dental Hygiene Scholarship application and one Dental Assisting Scholarship application for students selected by that school. Any application sent directly to the ADA Foundation by a student who was not selected by his or her school will not be considered.
The ADA Foundation does not consider unsolicited grant requests. Instead, the ADAF utilizes a Request for Proposal (RFP) process through which it periodically invites U.S.-based nonprofit organizations to submit an application for grant funds in a particular program category.
Twice each year, in January and July, the ADA Foundation will accept grant proposals from nonprofit organizations whose work is not covered by other existing ADAF grant programs and which falls under one of the ADAF’s four Pillar areas: Charitable Assistance, Access to Care, Research, and Education. Please read the Guidelines and Application Form (below) and contact the ADA Foundation if you have questions.
Applications must be submitted using the following application form.
Emergency Disaster Grant Program, and
Emergency Disaster Grants for 501(c)(3) Organizations Providing Dental Care Following a Disaster
Emergency Disaster Grant Program
Purpose: The purpose of the ADA Foundation Emergency Disaster Grant Program is to provide a small measure of immediate financial assistance to eligible dentists (as defined in these guidelines) who are victims of a disaster. A disaster is defined as a "sudden occurrence which inflicts widespread catastrophic damage to a large geographic area and/or which generally affects a large number of individuals." Disasters can be both natural and caused by human conduct. Examples include, but are not necessarily limited to: civil disorders (excluding acts of war), explosions, fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, tidal waves, wildfires, hurricanes, ice storms, and similar natural disasters.
Eligibility Requirements: Any dentist who is a victim of a disaster may apply to the ADA Foundation for a grant.
Emergency Disaster Grants for 501(c)(3) Organizations Providing Dental Care Following a Disaster
Purpose: The purpose of the ADA Foundation Disaster Grants for 501(c)(3) Organizations Providing Dental Care Following a Disaster is to provide needed emergency dental care in communities affected by a disaster.
Eligibility Requirements: Any U.S.-based dental-related organization exempt from tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that provides emergency dental services within the U.S. to victims of a disaster is eligible to apply for such grants. Please read the Guidelines and Application and contact the ADA Foundation if you have questions.
Relief Grant Program
Submission Deadline: Rolling
The purpose of the ADA Foundation Relief Grant Program is to provide financial assistance to dentists and their dependents who, because of accidental injury, a medical condition, disability or advanced age, are unable to meet basic living expenses.
The Request for Applications (RFA) period for the 2014 Samuel D. Harris Fund for Children's Dental Health grant program is open. This year, the ADA Foundation will award up to 23 grants valued at up to $5,000 each, for a total of up to $114,000. The application deadline is Friday, April 25, 2014.
- ADAF Samuel D. Harris Fund for Children's Dental Health Grant - Guidelines and Application (PDF)
- ADAF Samuel D. Harris Fund for Chldren's Dental Health - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (PDF)
Organizations that received a Harris Grant in 2013 must submit an interim report along with their 2014 Harris Grant application.
Since 1999, the Samuel D. Harris Fund for Children's Dental Health, named for noted pediatric dentist and philanthropist Dr. Samuel D. Harris who passed away in 2003, has bestowed grants on organizations dedicated to fighting children's dental disease. Grants of up to $5,000 each are offered to non-profit organizations and agencies that sponsor education programs for parents and caregivers to reduce the incidence of early childhood caries. Competitive grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded solely for prenatal and postnatal oral health instruction for parents and caregivers.
A list of the 2013 ADA Foundation Harris Grant recipients is below.
The ADAF expresses its gratitude to all organizations that perform work related to reducing early childhood caries.
The ADA Foundation has offered a variety of grants to support activities related to Give Kids A Smile. At this time, there are no grants available.
For more information on Give Kids A Smile, visit the Give Kids A Smile website.