NIDCR Seeks Input on Research



The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) administers millions of dollars in grants each year. But how does the organization determine which research gets funded? It starts with your input.

As part of its budget planning process for fiscal year 2017, NIDCR is identifying topical themes for development into research initiatives. During the process, it welcomes feedback from its scientific advisory boards, the extramural community, interested organizations, and the public at large.

Institutes and centers use initiatives to communicate future research goals to the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Congress. NIDCR begins the initiative development process by identifying broad research topic areas, or themes. It then develops a specific initiative proposal for each theme, considering the input received.

“Initiatives are not a complete picture of the institute’s planned research portfolio for the year indicated, nor do they signal that themes highlighted the previous year have been abandoned,” said Martha J. Somerman, DDS, PhD, director of NIDCR.

“Several initiatives from last year have become formal funding opportunities and are posted on NIDCR’s website. Others are still under development. Proposed FY 2017 initiatives will be integrated into this larger landscape as they are considered for funding,” Somerman explained.

NIDCR has proposed 5 themes:

  • Factors Underlying Differences in Female and Male Incidence Rates for Certain Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Diseases
  • Glycoprofiling HIV and HIV/AIDS-related Oral Pathogens that Persist During Antiretroviral Therapy
  • Tailoring Dental Treatment Guidelines for Patients with Genetic Disorders and Other Conditions Known to Impact Oral Health
  • Three-dimensional Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Tissue Models to Mimic Human Diseases
  • Wireless Biosensors in the Oral Cavity for Precise, Individualized Medical Care

When identifying themes for potential funding initiatives, NIDCR considers scientific opportunity, alignment with the mission and goals of the institute’s strategic plans, robustness of the existing portfolio into a particular theme area, both currently and in the year and under consideration, and current budgetary climate.

Comments and suggestions related to these specific themes may be sent to Suggestions for additional topic areas and comments on the process for developing research initiatives may be sent to the same email address. Comments and suggestions must be received by Friday, Sept. 4, 2015.