The Dental Academic Research Training DART) Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry (UAB SOD) is a comprehensive research-training program focused on the development of an innovative, integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to produce a cadre of well-trained, skilled, collaborative scientists and clinician scientists that are capable to address the critical dental, oral and craniofacial research issues of our nation. This submission although considered a new application, transitions our existing NIDCR T-32 training program ?Dental Academic Research Training (DART)? (T-32 DE017607-05) to the new T90/R90 mechanism (PAR-10-170) under the same title allowing training of foreign dentists. This program is a culmination of our prior successful NIDCR T32 Research Training programs (Postdoctoral Training in Oral Health T32-DE14300 &Post-Doctoral Training in Caries Research T32-DE007026) and a Short-Term Research Training for Health Professional Students grant (T35DK07545) funded for over thirty five years. The experience gained through these training programs has lead to an innovative program designed to enhance the interest and knowledge of dentists, graduate students, dual degree (DMD/PhD) students, and postdoctoral fellows in basic and clinical research providing a pathway to productive, independent dental academic careers. Integrative core activities include the SOD?s Scholars Day, Graduate School Research Day, DART Seminar Program, SOD Deans? and IOHR Seminar Series, the Dental Academic Career Club, an Dental and Skeletal Journal Club, Mentorship, Scientific and Grant Writing courses, a Laboratory Management course, Presentation Workshop and Leadership Training as well as instruction in responsible conduct of research. The DART Program offers four complementary training tracks: Track I- DMD/Ph.D;Track II- Pre-doctoral Ph.D.;Track III- Pre-doctoral Ph.D. for foreign trained dentists;and Track IV- Post-doctoral training with two emphasis lines 1) a traditional post-doctoral experience and 2) a Master?s of Science degree in Public Health in Clinical Research program. The primary objective of the DART is to provide a broadened interdisciplinary research experience for exceptionally motivated trainees in a research-intensive collaborative academic university environment. The UAB SOD is uniquely position to provide research training for the next generation since we are the only dental school that has obtained NIDCR U-24 Research Infrastructure (DE016449), U-01 Practice-based Research Network (DE016747), R-25 Research Curriculum (DE015614) and P30 Oral Health Research Enhancement via Faculty Recruitment (P30DE20744) grants.
Our nation is faced with a shortage of highly qualified; well-trained clinician scientists and scientists to address the growing needs of our population?s related to dental; oral and craniofacial health. The Dental Academic Research Training (DART) Program is a comprehensive research-training program focused on the development of an innovative; integrated; multi-disciplinary approach to produce a cadre of well-trained; skilled; collaborative scientists and clinician scientists that are capable to address critical dental; oral and craniofacial research issues of our nation. The program is housed in the School of Dentistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham which sits within a vital major health science center.