Robert H. Ahlstrom Award 

The Robert H. Ahlstrom New Investigator Award honors the crucial role dental informatics standards play in improving the quality of patient care and efficiency. 

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Learn more and apply for the 2025 Robert H. Ahlstrom New Investigator Award for Dental Informatics Standards Research below.

Information about the award


ADA dental student members and ADA members who have earned their dental degree no earlier than 2018; and members pursuing an additional degree or specialty are eligible to apply for the 2023 Robert H. Ahlstrom New Investigator Award.

Acceptable submissions include:

  1. An original standards-related research report of no more than 3000 words and completed within the academic year 2021-2023 but not published;
  2. A standards-related article published within the academic year 2021-2023; or
  3. A standards-related extended abstract developed within the academic year 2021-2023. The abstract should include extended detail on methods and discussion sections.

All submissions must include one of the above options and an explanation in 250 words or less of how the research incorporates current dental standards and/or contributes to the development of dental standards. The statement must be included on the accompanying submission form. Research papers that have already received the Robert A. Ahlstrom New Investigator Award are not eligible to be submitted for the John W. Stanford New Investigator Award.

Prize details

The awards committee is composed of a member of the ADA Board of Trustees, as well as leaders from the ADA Council on Dental Practice and the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics (SCDI). The awards committee, along with the ADA Council on Dental Practice, will select the winner, who will be notified in June. The winner will receive a $1,000 honorarium, U.S. domestic airfare and a three-night hotel stay to present his or her award-winning paper in October 2023 at the ADA Standards Committee meeting in Orlando.

About Robert H. Ahlstrom

As the first chairman of the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics (SCDI), which was formed in 1999, Dr. Robert H. Ahlstrom brought together dental informatics experts from across the dental profession, representing dentists, government, academia, and industry. He led the group’s successful efforts to develop standards for information exchange, clinical informatics systems and knowledge management. Under his leadership, standards and technical reports were developed for the dental electronic health record, for digital dental radiology, including DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) imaging requirements for dentistry, and for the security and privacy of electronic dental patient data. Dr. Ahlstrom placed heavy emphasis on SCDI collaboration with other standards development organizations throughout his tenure. Through liaisons he was instrumental in establishing, Dr. Ahlstrom led the achievement of results such as specific criteria for the exchange of clinical dental data used in patient treatment throughout the health care system. Dr. Ahlstrom served as chairman of the SCDI until 2006.

Past Recipients of Ahlstrom Award

2019: Ashley Barrineau, "Systematic Evaluation of Commercially-Available Sensors Using Standardized Image Quality Parameters"

2018: Suvendra Vijayan, "Reliability of 3D Printed Mandibles Constructed From CBCT Volumes of Different Voxel Sizes"

2017: Brittany Lynn Kurzweg, "CBCT Image Quality Testing Clinically Relevant Volume Orientation and Position"

2016: Corey Stein, "A Prototype Mobile Application for Triaging Dental Emergencies"

2015: Emilia Taneva, "3D Evaluation of Palatal Rugae for Human Identification Using Digital Study Models"