Student Activities in Research
Student research activities are an important part of the dental educational program at the UKCD.
Within the purview of the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), the accrediting body for dental schools in the U.S., there is a specific accreditation standard that mandates the opportunity to both dental faculty and predoctoral dental students to be engaged in research. While often the term “research” is considered to describe laboratory based biologic investigations, in fact, research in dentistry or oral health sciences spans the gamut from these laboratory studies, to clinical and translational research, to public health research often implementing community-based protocols.
The UKCD, through the activities of the Center for Oral Health Research, provides a number of stipends annually for students to participate in research projects. The fundamental goal of these projects is to “create new knowledge” for the profession so that prevention and treatment of oral and craniofacial diseases continues to evolve. UKCD students in these mentored research programs not only gather information that is presented through College Research Day each spring, but frequently use this experience to compete for national research awards, and often are co-authors on publications of the results.
Various faculty in dentistry who have served as research mentors for the predoctoral students, as well as residents and graduate students, have received recognition for the quality of their mentoring via specific awards from the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences at UK. Thus, while our research enterprise is not exceptionally large compared many dental schools, the UKCD remains a research committed dental school with an important role in contributing to the knowledge base of the profession.