T90 Grant Program

Five tracks of training programs are offered in the T90 Grant Program

Three are tailored for Dentist-Scientists:

  • Dentist-Scientist Training Program - DSTP (DDS/PhD)

  • Dentist-PhD  (D-PhD)

  • Dentist-Scientist Postdoctoral Fellow (DSPF)

Two are for Oral Health Researchers:

  • Pre-doctoral PhD Trainee (PhD)

  • Oral Health-Researcher Postdoctoral Fellow (OHRRF)

The T90 program focuses on the development of research-committed dentist-scientists and oral health-researchers for academic careers in the challenging NIH funding environment. The UCLA Dentist-Scientist and Oral Health-Scientist Training Program builds upon our considerable training experiences, outstanding applicant pool and superb mentoring faculties. Trainees in this program will be competently prepared for independent scientific academic careers in oral health research.


Dentist-Scientist Training Program - DSTP (DDS/PhD)

Provides for integrated DDS and PhD experiences for exceptional baccalaureate graduates. For the first three years of the program, the trainee enrolls full time in the dental school curriculum, while attending selected Oral Biology graduate classes. Also, during this time the trainee performs three lab rotations and selects his/her thesis research laboratory. The last four years of the program, the student dedicates 75% time in research activities and 25% time in Dental School requirements.

The fourth year of the program, is central in the training program. During the fall and winter quarters, the student enrolls in the rigorous and demanding graduate Basic Science courses offered through the UCLA ACCESS program. UCLA ACCESS represents the most competitive in all UCLA Biomedical Sciences admission and first year graduate course of study for 12 outstanding PhD-granting programs, including Oral Biology, in the molecular, cellular and integrative life sciences.

At the end of this integrated curriculum, the student dedicates four years in Dental education, and three years plus all research and selective time of the dental curriculum in PhD training. Importantly, towards the end of the training, the focus is clearly shifted towards the research component. We feel that with such a configuration, the chances the student will continue in a research focused dental academic career are significantly enhanced.


Dentist-PhD Program (D-PhD)

This training track addresses the critical need to provide doctoral level research training support for research-oriented, research-focused and research-committed dentists. Applicants should have completed a DDS, DMD or equivalent degree. No concurrent clinical or residency training is permitted. Trainees must satisfy the Core PhD Curriculum requirements. Dentists that might elect to perform the PhD degree alone could be recent graduates that decide to follow a research-focused career or junior/mid-career dentists with research aspirations such as clinical faculty.


Dentist-Scientists Postdoctoral Fellow (DSPF)

This training track addresses the need to provide support for dentist-scientists (DDS/DMD or DDS/DMD-PhD) to obtain dedicated postdoctoral training experience in preparation for transition to scientific independence. We are cognizant of the importance of dedicated full-time un-interrupted postdoctoral training experience in enhancing research career transition towards scientific independence. The DSPF track strives to maintain the dentist-scientist’s focus on a research-focused career in oral health research.

This track will attract two kinds of dentist-scientists. First, a DDS/PhD (either from DSTP or D-PhD background) graduate that will transit directly to a postdoctoral research position. A productive postdoctoral training is of paramount importance for the career development towards scientific transition to independence. A second pool of applicants comes from residency/PhD programs. These individuals would also require the advanced experience and guidance of postdoctoral training to enhance their likelihood for a successful academic career. A third potential group will be DDS/DMD only candidates. DDS/DMD only candidates interested in dedicated postdoctoral research training is unlikely but will consider if we encounter qualified and highly motivated candidates.

Although postdoctoral training does not require any formal course work, T90/R90 funded DSPF trainees will be required to audit the UCLA ACCESS courses, Biomath and statistics course and research ethics for basic and patient-oriented research and to participate in the Oral Biology seminar (OB 260). In addition to research training, faculty mentors will be required to mentor trainees to apply for F/K research training and career development awards or research grant (R) applications.

It should be noted that the DSPF training positions are designated for dentist-scientists. While they may be considered similar in nature to the Oral Health Researcher Postdoctoral Fellow (OHRPF) program, these are reserved for the research training and career development of dentist-scientists.


Pre-doctoral PhD Training Program (PhD)

This training track supports doctoral candidates who will conduct research in health-related fields relevant to NIDCR mission. Trainees will be enrolled into the PhD track from either the Oral Biology program or from the UCLA ACCESS program. Trainees must satisfy the Core Curriculum requirements and all approved by the Steering Committee.

All other requirements previously described for this T90 program must be met.


Oral Health-Researcher Postdoctoral Fellow (OHRPF)

This track addresses the need to recruit and provide training opportunities for postdoctoral fellows with background in biomedical research other than oral health in order to tap into a robust source of investigators to support the research mission of NIDCR. The trainees must satisfy the Core Curriculum and programs of research must be approved by the Steering Committee.

Similar to the DSPF, while postdoctoral training for OHRPF does not require any formal course work, T90 funded OHRPF trainees will be required to audit the UCLA ACCESS courses, Biomath and statistics course and research ethics for basic and patient oriented research and to participate in the Oral Biology seminar (OB 260). In addition to research training, faculty mentors will be required to mentor trainees to apply for F/K research training and career development awards or research grant (R) applications.