AADR MIND the Future Program Now Open to Applications

Dentistry Today


The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) is now accepting applications for its AADR Mentoring an Inclusive Network for a Diverse Workforce of the Future (AADR MIND the Future) class of 2021.

AADR MIND the Future is open to early-career investigators and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. The deadline to apply is May 3, 2021, and the new class of mentees will be notified at the end of June 2021.

AADR also is seeking mentors to serve for the full year of the program. Experienced mentors may apply online. Mentor applicants will remain in the pool for selection for succeeding years, AADR said.

For 2021, 10 program participants/mentees will be selected and commit to at least one full year of mentoring education and activities.

Twelve months will be devoted to enhancing research career development through intensive hands-on work, combining in-person sessions once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted with distance learning components and engaging in a grant-writing experience. 

Mentees also are strongly encouraged to remain engaged with the program after its completion for an additional 12 months to foster peer mentoring and to support further career development based on individual needs and preferences.

In 2020, the AADR received a five-year grand exceeding $1.3 million from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) in response to the call for the NIDCR Mentoring Network to Support a Diverse Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research Workforce.

The primary goal of the program is to establish a mentoring network that will support a diverse pool of early career investigators including individuals from diverse backgrounds to develop independent research careers dedicated to improving dental, oral, and craniofacial health.

AADR MIND the Future involves a national network of 11 universities and three organizations that will be intimately involved in the program, AADR said. One organization is a research institution that is well funded by the NIDCR but lacks a dental school. Two of the dental schools are based in historically black colleges and universities.

Principal investigators for the grant include:

  • David Drake, professor of microbiology, University of Iowa and the Iowa Institute for Oral Health Research
  • Christopher H. Fox, AADR CEO
  • Effie Ioannidou, director of the University of Connecticut Dental Clinical Research Center

“AADR is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion within the association. We seek to build a more robust dental, oral, and craniofacial research workforce,” said Mark Herzberg, AADR president.

“AADR is thrilled to provide educational activities and interactive opportunities as we bring together mentors and mentees for the 2021 class of the AADR MIND the Future program,” Herzberg said.

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