After undergoing a rigorous strategic planning process during the 2015-2016 campaign year, the Foundation for Endodontics spent significant efforts through 2016-2017 to re-evaluate its programming in the areas of research and education. These two focus areas have been at the core of the Foundation’s mission and values since its incorporation in 1966. While the mission has been expanded to include access to care and public awareness, the Foundation continues to invest in research and education as foundational pillars of the specialty. The organization’s funding initiatives committee reviewed the available funding opportunities that fall under the focus areas of research and education to evaluate the impact and relevance of each program. Considerations such as utilization, effectiveness and intention were all taken into account. After investigating many environmental elements and analyzing trends over the last five to 10 years, the committee developed proposed program changes to present to the Foundation’s board at its 2017 interim board meeting.
The Foundation for Endodontics Board of Trustees approved amendments to many of the proposed changes from the funding initiatives committee to become effective January 1, 2018. The two most notable changes were made to the funding programs available to full-time endodontic educators and to the resident research grant available to all incoming residents at every endodontic program.
Full-time Educator Development Grant
Previously available as five different grant opportunities, the full-time educator development grant was introduced to allow educators and their institutions more flexibility and control over their individual professional development needs. The Funding Initiatives Committee felt it beneficial to allow educators to apply development funds towards a wider variety of meetings and seminars over the course of the year. Being more inclusive with where funds can be applied allows the educator to customize their professional development efforts as their needs change over the course of their career. Up to $1,500 is available to each educator annually and can be applied towards any variety of the eligible opportunities listed.
This new grant combines the following previously available programs into one easy application:
- Grants to Educators for AAE’s annual meeting
- Grant to Educators for Insight Track
- Grant to attend ADEA Annual Meeting
- Grant to attend ADEA Fall Meeting
- Grant to attend ADEA/AAL Institute for Teaching and Learning
The following meetings/courses have been added to the list of development opportunities eligible for funding:
- College of Diplomates Board Review Course
- College of Diplomates Summer Conference
- American Association for Dental Research Meeting
- International Association for Dental Research Meeting
- International Association for Dental Traumatology Meeting
- Other AAE meetings (i.e., Joint Symposium, Winter Meeting)
To learn more about the Full-time Educator Development Grant and take advantage of this new opportunity visit the Foundation’s Educator Grant page.
Resident Research Grant
In an effort to encourage and enhance more resident research projects, the Foundation introduced an additional $500 grant available to all residents applying their resident research funds towards a defined research project. The existing grant allows program directors to apply resident research grant funds towards the following activities:
- To fund an individual resident’s research project
- To supplement a competitive research grant award
- For travel to a meeting to present research
- For travel to a board review course
- For other activities related to research
The Foundation for Endodontics’ Funding Initiatives Committee expressed the value and necessity of strong research in the specialty, the catalyst for which comes from participation in projects conducted during residency. The committee determined that providing an additional $500 grant to residents whose program directors apply the initial funds towards their research projects as opposed to the other eligible activities, would give incentive to the endodontic programs to direct funding focus more heavily towards this important activity.
Groundbreaking research fuels the specialty and gives both established and developing endodontists the tools to achieve excellence in patient care, saving natural teeth whenever possible. The Foundation helps fund impactful studies, allocating approximately $260,000 annually in research grants. From 1990 to 2000, the Foundation funded $1 million in research; since 2001 over $6 million has been invested in research! This research has enabled advances in many areas, such as dental materials, pain management, microbiology, clinical research and regeneration.
To learn more about to requirements of the additional $500 grant available to resident research grant recipients and to take advantage of the available funding, visit the Foundation’s Research Grant Program page.
The Foundation for Endodontics continues to broaden its reach and meet the needs of our growing specialty year after year. By focusing on research, education, Outreach and development, the Foundation assists members of AAE in the pursuit of excellence in their field and furthers the vision to support endodontists in their efforts to save natural teeth whenever possible. Visit the Foundation’s Funding Opportunities page to explore the many other programs available to you throughout your career.