Student Research Group
Student Research Group
Student, School, Research. Three terms. Three ideas. One goal. The dental student, the dental school, and dental research each strive to improve the dental healthcare provided to the public. Yet, often the three are treated separately. To the dental student, improving healthcare involves an education in treatment modalities and methods. The continuing progress in dental research should make dental education easier. We should be understanding more, providing better diagnoses, and practicing better clinical management of the patient. Yet, many dental students view science, in particular, and research, in general, as difficult partners in their education. This reflects, in part, a lack of understanding of the process of research and its useful application. Within this context, the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) has recognized that the future of dental research and dental care requires the recruitment of students to research, both for the purpose of training investigators sensitive to clinical objectives and for educating clinicians in the methods of research.
The AADR has for many years included student memberships and in 1980 established the AADR Student Research Group (SRG) in recognition that dental students are the major source of student investigators. The National AADR SRG is one of the 18 groups of the AADR, organized into local chapters at many dental schools. Each SRG chapter elects officers and all AADR student members vote annually to elect national SRG officers. As stated in its constitution and bylaws, the objectives of the National SRG are to:
- promote student research in dentistry and its related disciplines,
- promote the advancement of dental research and related aspects,
- further the aims and objectives of the AADR relative to student research.
The goals of the National SRG are to develop:
- funding for research/travel grants for student members,
- a student symposium at the annual meeting,
- a student newsletter, and
- research seminars and projects for students between annual meetings.
As an official group, students are entitled to elect a Councilor to represent them in the AADR governing body. Student members may compete for the annual L.D. Caulk Student Research Group Award for best student research presentation at each AADR annual meeting. Additionally, the AADR officers work closely with SRG representatives in developing suitable student activities.
What is the BCD SRG and Why Should I Join?
The BCD SRG is a group of about 80 dental students that participate in research on the local, regional, and/or national level. We have a large fall meeting to introduce first-year students to the many aspects of research and the various areas of research available at the College. The SRG sponsors lunch and learn workshops to introduce students to research methodologies and to members/faculty who present some of their recent project findings (in a very informal manner). This allows SRG members the opportunity to observe the presentations and to ask questions about the research process. The group also has semi-quarterly meetings designed to: 1) update members and faculty on local, regional, and national research interests; 2) allow presentation of research findings of members/faculty; and 3) provide workshops, by guest speakers, who cover specific areas of research related careers, graduate programs, and funding opportunities. Additionally, the SRG holds an annual Student Research Day which includes presentation of research projects, a student research competition, and various fund raising/social functions.
The goals of the BCD SRG are to:
- identify students interested in research,
- generate further student adn faculty interest in research, and
- help students organize to seek research opportunities more efficiently.
BCD SRG Membership Benefits
Membership in the local chapter of the national SRG and includes automatic membership of IADR/AADR. Membership in the IADR/AADR will provides the opportunity to attend annual meetings and to participate in one of the special interest groups. The national SRG provides a forum for special activities of interest specifically to students. Through this student program, you can help develop local activities and programs.
Become a student member by:
- completing a local SRG membership application and
- paying dues of only $50. This covers membership in IADR/AADR.
All benefits are provided for a one-time-only fee of $50 and include:
- The SRG Handbook to Research at Baylor College of Dentistry.
- Complete labeling of first-year instrument kit.
- Membership to the IADR/AADR and the National SRG. AADR student members have all rights of active members, except they have no vote in AADR policy. They do, however, have representation on Council, the AADR governing body and exclusive voting privileges on all SRG issues.
- Registration discounts at annual meetings
- Opportunities for AADR student research fellowships
- Opportunities for awards
- Special interest group activities
- National Affairs Committee/Cohorts Program
- Direct mailings to members - includes correspondence, abstract packets, meeting registration packets, and meeting programs.
- The Journal of Dental Research On-line
Special Interest Group Activities
Student members can participate in any one of the 17 groups designed to keep them informed of specialized research developments. Each group participates in the development of its own scientific program at the annual meeting and sponsors activities during the year spanning such diverse research areas as behavioral sciences, cariology, craniofacial biology, dental materials, diagnostic systems, experi-mental pathology, geriatric oral research, implantology, microbiology/immunology, mineralized tissue, neurosciences, oral and maxillofacial surgery, periodontal research, prosthodontics research, pulp biology, pharmacology/therapeutics/ toxicology and salivary research.
Student members are eligible to participate in research competitions during annual meetings and may compete for travel awards and research fellowships, including:
- Edward H. Hatton Awards: Junior investigators from IADR divisions compete for these awards at the annual meeting.
- Caulk/Denstply Student Research Awards: student researchers compete for these awards at the annual AADR meeting.
- Division Travel Awards: Enables division entrants for the Hatton competition to attend the annual meeting.
- Student Research Fellowships: These fellowships, supported by several major industrial companies, have been created to encourage dental students living in the United States to consider careers in oral health research. Approximately 25 fellowships are awarded annually.
- IADR Fellowships: The David B. Scott, Norton M. Ross, and John A. Gray Fellowships are monetary awards which rotate around all the IADR divisions and are intended to support dental and postgraduate students in gaining experience/training for future careers in dental research.
BCD SRG Mission
The main mission of the SRG is to aid the dental school in providing the public with dentists that are not only excellent clinicians, but scientists as well. Hopefully the SRG can stimulate the dental field to take an active role in the scientific process, and if not, at least they will be able to discern useful from useless innovations making them active participants in the ever changing world of dental science.
History of the National SRG
The International Association for Dental Research has over 10,000 members, from more than 60 countries -- effectively representing all the disciplines and specialties in the dental research fields. There are 16 divisions and many sections organized by geographic area as well as 17 groups which have been established to represent special interest topics. Of the divisions, the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) is the largest, registering more than 5,000 members.
Founded on December 10, 1920, under the leadership of William J. Gies, the IADR continues to grow in size and activity. Today, the annual scientific sessions provide a forum for more than 2,000 papers, poster sessions, and symposia. In addition, divisional meetings include hundreds of scientific papers. The Association sponsors special international conferences, including International Conferences on Oral Biology, Periodontal Research, and Pulp Biology. The IADR's goal is to promote research and the communication of research results within the scientific community, the dental profession, and the lay public throughout the world.
The American Association for Dental Research has included student membership for many years. In 1980, during Dr. Irwin D. Mandel's tenure as President of the Association, it became apparent that the number of dental researchers was decreasing. Recognizing that dental students are the major source of future investigators, the AADR Membership Committee, chaired by Dr. Ralph Kaslick, targeted students to promote interest in research and in AADR membership. The Committee identified faculty advisors at each U.S. dental school and set up programs for students, such as the AADR Student Research Fellowships.
The AADR Student Research Group (SRG) was officially formed that year. Since 1980, we have grown from a handful of students meeting only at the AADR General Session, to 60 attending the 1985 meeting in Las Vegas, and over 1,000 participating each year at the annual meeting.
A major turning point for the Group occurred in 1985 at the SRG annual business meeting when heated discussion arose on the topic of elections. Until then, elections took place at national AADR meetings, with each member present having voting privileges. SRG President, Tim Welch, of the University of Missouri at Kansas City, suggested that the incoming SRG officers study the issue. He also recommended that an SRG constitution and bylaws be developed that would address such matters.
When Karl Zimmerman, of Louisiana State University, became SRG President, he accomplished these initiatives, and much more. A constitution and bylaws were written providing for elections (by secret ballot) of the entire SRG membership. He also created and established the Annual Student Research Awards, sponsored by Caulk/Dentsply. These are cash prizes and plaques awarded to student researchers for outstanding original research presented at national AADR meetings.
During the following two years, the SRG refined and continued the Caulk/Dentsply awards and also made an effort to establish organizational ties with the American Student Dental Association (ASDA). This proposal would result in the SRG Vice President serving as the ASDA Consultant on Research. These accomplishments have resulted in AADR SRG membership of approximately 1,500 in 1995. Recently, emphasis has been placed on forming strong SRG chapters at each U.S. dental school. Many schools have viable chapters but others are in the formative stage and the current SRG national officers are focusing their efforts on those schools that need assistance in initiating SRG activity. Accomplishments include the development of SRG regions so that students in schools within a reasonable geographic distance can work together to provide interested dental students with research experiences and to promote student research activities such as competitions, conferences, and interaction with research faculty.
For more information, contact:Dr. Robert SpearsDirector of Student Research