Alexandria, Va., USA - The American Association for Dental Research (AADR), with the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), today announced that AADR will provide $75,000 funding to support one dental student competitively selected to participate in the 2014-2015 NIH Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP). The MRSP is designed to train the most promising future dentists, physicians and veterinarians in research so that they can help resolve clinical problems by understanding their biological underpinnings and, conversely, by translating basic research into clinical interventions. Scholars accepted into the MRSP are provided with a year-long, highly competitive research training experience, designed to inspire research careers.
The Program is intended for students who have completed their initial clinical rotations, i.e., typically third-year, but does not exclude students with strong research interests from applying prior to having completed these rotations. The MRSP is a residential program on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, and participants reside in one of the available MRSP housing options. In accordance with this requirement, the selected dental student enrollee will take a year away from dental school. Fourth-year students qualify to apply and participate in the Program, however, accepted fourth-year students must defer graduation before participation.
"There's no better exposure to medical research than to be immersed in that culture on the NIH campus," said AADR President Peter Polverini, D.M.Sc., D.D.S. "AADR is delighted to be partnering with the Foundation for the NIH to support a dental student's participation in the MRSP and to add this program to our portfolio of initiatives developing the next generation of dental, oral and craniofacial researchers."
"The Medical Research Scholars Program helps to break down the barriers to success facing talented young medical, veterinary and dental students, such as access to basic, clinical and translational research experiences with investigators at the NIH," said Maria Freire, Ph.D., President and Executive Director of the Foundation for the NIH. "The FNIH is proud to partner with the American Association for Dental Research on this program and looks forward to working with the NIH to promote the growth of future scholars identified through this program, as they transition to fully independent oral health researchers."
MRSP participants, paired with a dedicated advisor, work within the NIH intramural program for 12-months on a clinical research project or in a basic or translational science laboratory that matches their research interests and career goals. The MRSP provides them with access and exposure to a broad range of exceptional leadership, professional development, scholarship, advocacy and opportunities for innovation.
In October 2012, AADR published an interview with the 2012-2013 class of NIH MRSP dental students [four total], which included current AADR National Student Research Group Vice President Kyle Holmberg. In that interview he stated that in addition to the mentoring from the principal investigators and post-docs and having time to explore interests in biomedical research, one of the benefits of Program participation is research training. "All of the investigators are very good at science and what they do, and many are also clinicians. I don't think there is a better place to learn to be a good clinician-scientist."
The NIH is accepting applications for the 2014-2015 MRSP until January 15, 2014. Please visit https://www.cc.nih.gov/training/mrsp/index.html for more information about the Program.