Summer Research Program
The Summer Research Program, initiated in 1995, is designed to provide incoming freshmen dental students with an interest in research an opportunity to carry out a ten-week research project under the direction of a faculty member. No prior research experience is required to participate in this program. Since its inception, the program has been well received by both student and faculty participants.
The 2014 Summer Research Program Application is due March 14, 2014.
Purpose and Benefits
The purpose of the program is to provide students with a structured research experience. The program also allows the student to form relationships with faculty and to become familiar with the College prior to beginning their dental school careers. Previous student participants have felt that this intangible benefit was very valuable to them as entering freshmen. Several students have continued their research activity throughout their dental school career. Furthermore, students receive 3 hours of elective credit in the fall semester for their research activities.
At the beginning of the program, participants receive a program schedule of activities for the entire 10-week program. Each year, guest speakers provide an overview of various topics which include, but are not limited to:
- Highlights of current faculty research projects
- Laboratory safety
- Human and animal contact
- Responsible conduct in research
- Abstract preparation
- Library resources
Student discussion groups provide an opportunity for participants to discuss their ongoing research projects and to interact in a less structured environment. At the end of the program, student participants are required to submit an abstract of their research project to the Office of Research. They also present the results of their research at an abstract presentation session, usually scheduled during the first week of dental school.
One of the tangible benefits of the program is the participation of our students in local, national and international dental research meetings. Research papers presented by students at these meetings represent the results of only 10 weeks of total research activity! Some of these abstracts are refined and submitted to the American and/or International Association of Dental Research for presentation at the annual national/international meetings. The number of students who have presented papers at this annual, prestigious meeting in previous years testifies to the quality of the students, the mentors, and the overall research experience.
Faculty mentors and staff contribute their time and effort to assist in the design, operation, data acquisition, data analysis phases, and in the interpretation of experimental results. This program has been highly effective in transferring research skills to eager students and has clearly demonstrated that significant research can be accomplished in a short period of time when the involved participants are organized and committed to the generation of new knowledge.
For more information, contact the UFCD Office of Research at 352-294-5440.
Questions & Answers
Who is eligible for the Summer Research Program?
Incoming freshmen dental students interested in research.
What are the benefits of participating?
- Helps increase skills in analytical thinking, accessing and critically analyzing scientific literature, organizing and presenting research findings.
- Allows students to form relationships with faculty and become familiar with the College prior to beginning a dental school career.
- Allows students to participate in local, national and international dental research meetings.
Where do Summer Research Program participants live during the program? Are scholarships available?
Student participants are responsible for their own living accommodations. However, a small stipend is paid from funds that are received from corporate and UFCD sponsors to partially offset the living expenses of these incoming students during the summer program.