Press Releases

AADR Receives NIDCR Grant to Develop AADR MIND the Future Program

March 16, 2020, Alexandria, Va. — The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) has been awarded a five-year grant of more than $1.3 million by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) in response to FOA RFA-DE-19-007: NIDCR Mentoring Network to Support a Diverse Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Workforce. The grant project dates are March 2020 through February 2025 (Grant No. 1UE5DE029439-01). Principal Investigators for the grant are David Drake, Professor of Microbiology, University of Iowa and the Iowa Institute for Oral Health Research; Christopher H. Fox, CEO, American Association for Dental Research and Effie Ioannidou, Director, University of Connecticut Dental Clinical Research Center. 

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the NIH funded biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences workforce. The primary goal of this NIDCR program is to establish a mentoring network that will enable a diverse pool of early career investigators, including those from groups identified as underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences, (see NOT-OD-20-031), to develop professional career skills; to enhance professional career advancement and transition from one career stage to the next, such as postdoctoral scientists transitioning to junior faculty positions, or junior faculty achieving tenure; and to develop a high quality independently funded research program. 

The AADR Mentoring an Inclusive Network for a Diverse Workforce of the Future (AADR MIND the Future) is expected to build a vibrant and inclusive community of investigators whose participation is vital to advancing dental, oral and craniofacial research and improving the oral health of our nation. Ten new mentees will be funded per year for the five funding years; and once the mentees complete the program, they will become alumni. The program will offer educational activities and interactive opportunities across the network, between mentors and mentees to support the development of a diverse cadre of dental, oral and craniofacial researchers. 

“AADR is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion within the organization and within the broader dental, oral and craniofacial research workforce,” said Timothy Wright, AADR President. “This grant allows us to connect 50 mentees and mentors, several universities and three reputable organizations to advance diversity and inclusion. It’s an outstanding opportunity that we are proud to lead."

The program includes a national network of 11 universities and three organizations which will be intricately involved in the program. The universities are organized into Eastern, Western, Southern and Midwest Hubs and include the two dental schools based in Historically Black Universities and Colleges, recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion for both mentees and mentors, as well as one institution well-funded by the NIDCR, but without a dental school.

The universities include:

  • Columbia University
  • Howard University
  • Meharry Dental College
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Florida
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
  • UT Health Science Center at Houston

The organizations include: 

  • Oklahoma Center for Mentoring Excellence will conduct a workshop for mentor training each year of the grant.
  • The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science will offer one full-day Workshop in Science Communication during the AADR Annual Meeting each year for the five grant years.
  • The NIH National Research Mentoring Network is an NIH-funded and supported, nationwide consortium of biomedical faculty and scientists across universities and institutions. AADR plans to integrate the program with key programs within the NRMN. This is an important integration that will significantly benefit both NIH-supported programs but most importantly, provide mentees with a comprehensive mentoring experience that will lead to their success in academia.

About the American Association for Dental Research

The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) is a nonprofit organization with over 3,300 individual members in the United States, dedicated to driving dental, oral and craniofacial research to advance health and well-being through discovery and dissemination. The AADR is the largest Division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) with over 10,000 members. The AADR also manages the activities of FNIDCR. To learn more, visit