The UMKC School of Dentistry offers many opportunities for dental and graduate students to participate in a wide variety of research opportunities.
Advanced Degree Programs
To meet the challenges of research-oriented education, the UMKC School of Dentistry offers three advanced degree programs, including: Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Education, Master of Science in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, and an PhD in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences through the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program The Master level programs focus on understanding the scientific method and applying it to projects that address special interests and expertise. The doctoral program places emphasis on didactic coursework and research in the discipline of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences (primary research areas: biomaterials, mineralized tissue, and translational/clinical research) and a co-discipline in another discipline of interest, such as engineering, chemistry, or pharmacology. For students interested in a career in dentistry and research, we have a dual degree DDS/PhD program which merges the comprehensive clinical training of oral health care in our DDS program with the research-intensive curriculum of our PhD program. Training in dentistry and research will prepare the DDS/PhD student for a career as an oral health clinician scientist. This program also serves to develop future dentist-scientist faculty who can be leaders in oral health research and teach using an evidence-based approach.
UMKC School of Dentistry offers an exemplary program for dental students to pursue research interests. Each year, dental students who rank in the top one-third to one-half of their class are invited to apply to the Summer Scholars Program. Those selected receive a stipend and, more importantly, have the opportunity to participate in research projects in collaboration with faculty mentors. This is an 9-week program during which students work in the dental school's state-of-the-art, fully equipped laboratories and clinics. Hands-on duties encompass a wide range of research aspects such as conducting literature searches, preparing specimens, gathering data and analyzing results. At the end of the 9-week program, students produce a research paper, give an oral presentation, and submit a research abstract for a national meeting, most frequently the American Association for Dental Research (AADR). Later in the year, students attend the AADR national meeting where they present their research results in oral or poster presentations. Upon successful completion of the program, students earn 1 credit hour of independent study.
Student Research Group
In addition to its mission to promote support for oral health research and the advancement of oral health and science, the American Association for Dental Research also sponsors the National Student Research Group. UMKC School of Dentistry is proud to host an active chapter. Students participating in the program work with faculty mentors to build and improve their research and leadership skills. The students actively assist in on-going research projects and earn recognition by presenting papers reflecting their work at regional and national conferences in addition to students who participate as co-authors of journal articles. The most successful and active students in the research group are typically former participants of the Summer Scholars Program.