Frequently Asked Questions

Jeffrey Hajibandeh C'14
Mentor: Dr. Jeremy Mao
How many fellowship positions are available?
When will I have time to do research?
What types of research will I do?
How will I find the right mentor?
What are my options if I am unable to locate a mentor on campus?
 

How many fellowship positions are available?

Typically there are 10-16 positions available. The number of candidates selected for fellowship positions solely depends on the availability of funds through CDM Alumni Association funds and corporate sponsored funds.

When will I have time to do research?

The predoctoral dental school curriculum is well-known for the demands it places on students' time. There are a number of formal opportunities within the four year DDS program for students to participate in research projects. Interested students may also make additional or alternative arrangements outside of the academic year. The first opportunity for research while at CDM is the summer break between first and second year, with varying amounts of additional time spent during the second half of the second year working with their mentors completing experiments and writing up their results in the form of an abstract to be published in the student organized Jarvie Journal of the William Jarvie Society and a poster. Research fellowship recipients are required to present during Research Day, the annual Birnberg Research Program. an abstract poster during the Table Clinic/Poster Session.

What types of research will I do?

Within basic and clinical research the type of training experience the student can expect is research training that is part of a larger program of research that is ongoing in a faculty member's lab or office. The student has developed a well-defined project that builds on results previously obtained by the mentor's research group and advances the overall progress of the research. Note that neither the overall research nor the student's specific project is student conceived, although dependent on background, experience, and the progress of the project the student may expect to gain opportunities for contributing to the direction of his/her work as the project develops. To participate in this type of project the student must show an interest and enthusiasm for the mentor's ongoing work, starting with a basic understanding of the mentor's research area and program. In conjunction with the mentor a plan should be developed with measurable and attainable tasks that will be engaging to the student and provide an enthusiastic learning experience.

If your project involves human subjects or animals, you must be included on an approved IRB Human Subjects protocol or approved IACUC animal protocol. 

How will I find the right mentor?

Students are encouraged to meet and consult with potential faculty advisors for assistance identifying research opportunities, and consultation with upperclassmen is highly recommended. Medical and dental research share broad areas of conceptual, scientific and methodological common ground, and the Health Sciences campus contains a breadth of research opportunities available for dental student participation. 

The "prime directive" in the exploration of research opportunities is to find a research project in which you will participate to your fullest. Students who work on a problem that fascinates them will put considerable energy into their research projects and get the most out of the experience. Finding a research project that you believe is important and which you will enjoy will require some work on your part. Simply emailing a faculty member and request that he or she tell you about his/her research is not enough. Having some preliminary information about the faculty member's research will help you gauge your potential interest.

There are several sources of information you may find useful:

  1. Speak with upper level students and members of the Jarvie Society
  2. Review past Jarvie Journal publications to get a sense of the types of research that CDM students have participated in
  3. Visit websites of CUMC schools, departments and division across campus to study the various research programs. Individual faculty members, labs and research groups also have websites that highlight areas of ongoing research opportunities
  4. Schedule a meeting to meet with Dr. Carol Kunzel, Director of the Office of Research Administration for additional guidance

What are my options if I am unable to locate a mentor on campus?

The Office of Research Administration is available to assist you with your search for external opportunities. Do not hesitate to contact the office for help.

Historically about one half of the DDS students tend to work with mentors that are CDM Faculty, and one half work with mentors from Physicians & Surgeons (P&S) medical school, Mailman School of Public Health, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Arts and Sciences. In addition to the vast research opportunities at the Health Sciences campus, students are encouraged to make use of the research training opportunities at the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the American Association of Dental Research (AADR), as well as other appropriate labs, both in the U.S and internationally.

Please be advised that if you find any research opportunites that require Departmental of Institutional approval from the Dean you must follow the procedures in place:

  1. prepare your application in a timely manner and familiarize yourself with firm deadlines
  2. schedule an appointment with Dr. Carol Kunzel to review application requirements. Many applications require departmental or institutional approval by the Dean. 
  3. upon completion of application, submit a copy to the Office of Research Administration

 

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