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The Dental Academic Research Training (DART) Program provides a broadened interdisciplinary research experience for exceptionally motivated trainees in a research-intensive collaborative academic environment.

Students pursuing basic or clinical research are eligible for DART support upon admission to a UAB faculty member’s laboratory for mentor-based research training. Initial DART funding is provided by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) T90/R90 Institutional Training Grant. Depending on the track, DART trainees are then expected to prepare an Individual Research Fellowship proposal for subsequent funding for submission to NIH during their appointment.

The DART Program offers four training tracks:

Track I - D.M.D./Ph.D. - Dual Degree Program

An innovative clinician scientist training program, the DART DMD/PhD track is designed to prepare students for an exciting career in dental academics by providing a broadened interdisciplinary research experience for exceptionally motivated trainees in a research-intensive academic environment.

Financial Support

Students enrolled in the DMD/PhD training program may be eligible for year 1 funding through UAB’s Graduate Biomedical Sciences (GBS) if they fall within one of the GBS themes.

Students pursuing basic or clinical research are eligible for funding through the School of Dentistry’s Dental Academic Research Training (DART) Program for years 2-4 upon admission to a UAB faculty member’s laboratory for mentor-based research training. DART provides a broadened interdisciplinary research experience for exceptionally motivated trainees in a research-intensive academic environment. Funding for DART is provided by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) T90/R90 Institutional Training Grant. Trainees of the NIH funded T90/R90 grant will receive a stipend/salary and health insurance, partial support to cover tuition, travel and research-related expenses for up to 3 years.

Students are then are expected to secure an NIH Individual Predoctoral Research Fellowship (F30) to support their training in years 5, 6 and 7. DART trainees are expected to prepare an Individual Research Fellowship proposal for submission to NIH during their appointment. Proposal must be pre-reviewed by the DART Leadership Council or a Review Panel selected by the Leadership Council prior to submission.

Track II - Pre-doctoral

The DART Pre-doctoral Training Program is designed to prepare trainees for a career in academic research in either basic science or clinical dental research.

Pre-doctoral training appointments are for a maximum of three years and are funded through the DART (NIDCR T90/R90) training grant. After which trainees are eligible to apply for NIH F31 funding to cover additional years of training. DART pre-doctoral fellows are expected to submit a Kirschstein-NRSA individual fellowship application to NIH during their appointment. The proposal must be pre-reviewed by the DART Leadership Council or a review panel selected by the council prior to submission.

Application

Applications are accepted from students across campus with mentors who fit within the School of Dentistry research themes. Please see the annual DART open position announcement for application due date. The Pre-doctoral Track of DART has an expected start date of July 1. Applicants must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident (Green Card holder).

INSTRUCTIONS: Please send application packet electronically to Ms. Nannozi Ssenkoloto by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Track III - Post-doctoral – Foreign-Trained Dentists

The DART Post-doctoral Training Program is designed to prepare foreign-trained dentists for a career in academia in either basic science or clinical dental research. This track provides postdoctoral research education experiences for non-citizen dentists who have valid dental degrees from accredited domestic or foreign institutions and are pursuing independent research careers in scientific areas relevant to the NIDCR mission. Funding through the DART (NIDCR T90/R90) training grant is provided for a maximum of 3 years.

Must NOT be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident.

Track IV - Post-doctoral Training

The DART Post-doctoral Training Program is designed to prepare its fellows for a career in academic research in either basic science or clinical dental research.

Following the initial 3 years of funding through the DART (NIDCR T90/R90) training grant, DART post-doctoral fellows are expected to prepare and submit an F32 individual fellowship or K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award application to NIH during their appointment. Proposal must be pre-reviewed by the DART Leadership Council or a review panel selected by the council prior to submission.

Postdoctoral fellows will be eligible for support from this program upon admission to one of the faculty member’s laboratories with federal funding for mentor-based research training and to develop an independent project.

Program Requirements

  • Participate in the weekly Journal Club and bi-monthly Research Seminar Series
  • Attend a Scientific Writing Series
  • Present research annually at the School of Dentistry’s Scholars Symposium
  • Attend institutional grant writing program
  • Submit research progress report annually
  • Submit an NIH individual fellowship or Pathway to Independence Award application

Initial Financial Support

Initial funding for DART trainees is provided by a training grant through NIDCR T90/R90 and covers the following:

  • NIH stipend based on years of post-degree experience. Renewable for up to 3 years, with satisfactory annual review
  • Up to 60% of tuition and fees
  • Health insurance
  • Travel support to attend conferences

Mentors