Certificate for International Volunteer Service

The Certificate for International Volunteer Service recognizes ADA members who have volunteered in developing countries to improve the oral health and overall health of individuals.

Apply now

This program has been temporarily suspended for the 2021 year. We will resume accepting online applications on January 1, 2022. Thank you. 

Applications for the Certificate of International Volunteer Service must be received by July 1. Nominations received after the deadline will be considered for the following year. 

Information about the award

Goal of the award
The intent of the Certificate for International Volunteer Service is to encourage and support sustained international volunteer service with the end result of improving oral healthcare in developing countries through activities that will have a lasting effect. Volunteers are encouraged to promote international volunteer service in the U.S., inspire other U.S. dentists to join them or conduct follow-up visits to the same volunteer location. Where appropriate, and with the guidance of the volunteer organization / dental school, volunteers are encouraged to interact with local healthcare workers (for example, teaching preventive procedures, performing emergency services, repairing equipment, etc.).

U.S.-based active, life, student or retired membership of the American Dental Association.

Volunteer service in an international location with a recognized nonprofit organization or dental school for a minimum of 14 days within a 24-month period. Travel days may be included in the 14-day requirement.

Volunteer service includes but is not limited to:

Clinical dental services (preventive, diagnostic, restorative, or surgical)

  • Community or patient education activities
  • Assisting or teaching local dental personnel

Volunteers will use caution when working across cultures and healthcare systems and endeavor to provide the best care possible within the specific environment. Poor quality of care or conduct may disqualify a recipient from receiving the award.

You may submit up to four International Volunteer Service examples per application (per calendar year)

You may submit new or previously unrecognized International Volunteer Service each calendar year

The process
  • Nominations must be submitted via online application no later than July 1 of each year. Nominations received after the deadline will be considered for the following year. 
  • Nominations may be submitted by the volunteer, volunteer nonprofit organization or dental school, a component or constituent society, federal dental service or another third party.
  • International Relations staff will verify membership, review online applications to determine criteria have been met, and contact the appropriate party if further information is needed.
  • Applicants must supply evidence of the dates of the service with a letter or testimonial from the director of the program or other appropriate official. For student members working in a dental school program, this requirement shall be the responsibility of the dean or director of the outreach program. This information should be completed as part of the online application or via communication with International Relations staff. 
  • The certificate can (and should) be awarded to the same individual more than once for repeated volunteer service. Fourteen (14) days of service are required for each certificate that is awarded; service dates may not be reused on multiple certificate applications. 
  • Award recipients will receive the certificate and a letter from the current ADA President thanking them for their service within sixty (60) days after the deadline of July 1.