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 2012 ADAF Tarrson Award and ADAF Zwemer Award. The ADAF received many applications for these awards from student groups conducting meaningful outreach and volunteer work, which made the award committees' decisions a challenge. Congratulations to this year's winners, and thanks all who applied for giving of themselves to serve humanity.
The winner of the 2012 Bud Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award is UCSF School of Dentistry for their Community Dental Clinic student outreach program.
The ADA Foundation Bud Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award annually highlights significant dental student outreach to vulnerable communities within the U.S. One application from each dental school is accepted. One award of $5,000 is made annually to one dental school on behalf of the student's winning outreach effort.
ADA News will provide coverage of the UCSF School of Dentistry's Community Dental Clinic during 2013. Read more in ADA News about the 2011 winner of the Tarrson Award, the University of Louisville School of Dentistry.
The application for the 2013 Tarrson Award will be available in late August, 2013.
The winner of the 2012 Dr. Thomas J. Zwemer Award is Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine for their student outreach program in rural Madagascar.
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 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.
Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine is the first winner of the new ADAF Zwemer Award. The launch of the new Dr. Thomas J. Zwemer Award in the October 15 issue of ADA News. More coverage will follow during 2013.
- Read the American Dental Association’s policy addressing students’ participation in dental outreach programs (June, 2011) (PDF)
The applicaiton for the 2013 Zwemer Award will be available in late August, 2013. 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.
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Research Training Fellowships
Summer Scholars Fellowship Award
The ADAF Paffenbarger Research Center (PRC) 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 PRC, 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.
The submission deadline has passed for 2013.
Individuals interested in learning more about the program or application process are invited to contact PRC Summer Scholars Program coordinator, Gretchen Duppins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 to apply. (See ADAF Dental Student Scholarship Guidelines for complete guidelines, 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 applicatn 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 2012 application period is now closed. The 2013 Predoctoral Dental Student Program will be announced in late summer 2013 to all dental schools accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation, through other ADA communication channels, and on this website.
The ADA Foundation funds scholarships for allied dental students including dental hygiene, dental assisting and dental laboratory technology.
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 received several questions about the year-of-study qualifications for these scholarships. As a result, for the purposes of 2013 scholarship applications, the ADAF relaxed the requirement that students be in their second year of study. Applications for 2013 were accepted for any student within the accredited program who met the minimum GPA requirement. (The requirement for one application per program did not change.) The ADAF will update the guidelines and process for the 2014 cycle.
The recipients of the 2013 Allied Dental Student Scholarships will be announced in early June, 2013 on this website and in an email to the program directors. Those who are not on this list did not receive a scholarship.
Below is the list of Allied Dental Scholarship recipients from 2012.
Due to the tremendous amount of Disaster Assistance Grant Program activity related to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the ADA Foundation is not accepting Disaster Assistance Grant applications at this time.
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 ADA Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2013 Samuel D. Harris Fund for Children's Dental Health Grant Program. Applications are due in the ADA Foundation's office no later than June 10, 2013. To apply, please download the application form linked above, complete it as directed, and send it to the ADA Foundation by the deadline.
For more than 10 years the Harris Fund, 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.
Twenty grants totaling $94,379 were awarded in 2012.
- 2012 Harris Grantees (PDF)
The ADA Foundation 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.