Align Technology Opens Up 2020 Research Award Program

Dentistry Today


Align Technology has opened its 2020 Research Award Program to support clinical and scientific dental research in universities around the world. This year, up to $300,000 will be awarded to university faculty for scientific and technological research initiatives to advance patient care in dentistry and orthodontics.

The company has funded approximately $2 million in research awards since the program’s inception in 2010, providing insights into intraoral scanning and the patient experience, quality of life changes, and the biochemical markers of bone metabolism during early orthodontic tooth movement with clear aligners. 

Research awards have been provided to 28 North American and 65 international research institutions. Universities that have received the most awards from Align Technology to date include:

  • Sichuan University (one publication, one poster)
  • Baylor College of Dentistry (one publication, three posters)
  • University of Illinois-Chicago (two publications, one poster presentation)
  • University of Texas at Houston (one publication, one presentation)
  • University of the Pacific (one poster, one presentation)

“Align is committed to partnering with academic research institutions to advance the fields of orthodontics and dentistry with the goal to ultimately improve treatment outcomes,” said Zelko Relic, chief technology officer and senior vice president, global research development, at Align Technology.

“We are proud of the research findings that have been shared in peer reviewed journals, scientific conferences, and presentations as a result of Align’s Research Award Program and look forward to reviewing this year’s submissions,” said Relic.

Awards available for dental research at universities are available in the following regions:

  • Americas (United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America): Four one-year awards of up to $25,000 each
  • Europe, Middle East, and Asia (EMEA): Four one-year awards of up to $25,000 each
  • Asia Pacific (APAC): Four one-year awards of up to $25,000 each

Eligible applicants for dental research awards include full-time and part-time faculty involved in dental or scientific research at universities at which Invisalign treatment is available. All applications are reviewed by an independent academic committee that forwards its recommendations to Align Technology for final selection.

Applications are available at for Americas applicants and at for EMEA and APAC applicants. Research proposals and completed applications must be received by 5 pm PST on March 6, 2020. Award recipients will be notified by June 1, 2020.

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