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Postdoctoral Training in General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dentistry


Additional Links

Notice of Funding Opportunity (


Application Deadline: Feb 12, 2020

Sponsoring Organization

Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW)


Offers funding to improve access to and the delivery of oral healthcare services for low-income, underserved, uninsured, underrepresented minority, rural, and other medically-disadvantaged populations by addressing dental workforce and training needs in these areas. Supports the development of new or enhancement of existing postdoctoral dental residency training programs in general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, and dental public health.

Funds may be used to plan, develop, and implement projects in community-based training sites and must focus on at least one of the following areas:

  • Providing care to underserved and/or vulnerable communities
  • Developing/expanding rural training sites
  • Dental public health

Program objectives include:

  • Building dentists' capacity to successfully care for patients with complex medical needs and address the social determinants of oral health
  • Increasing the number of dentists who are trained to manage oral health programs, evaluate systems of care, and develop oral health status surveillance systems
  • Enhancing the training of, or increasing the number of primary care dentists trained in postdoctoral programs located in rural areas
  • Encouraging primary care dentists to practice dentistry in rural, underserved, or vulnerable communities after completing postdoctoral training programs

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling:

  • $450,000 per year for a single discipline
  • $650,000 per year for collaborative, multi-disciplines

Project period: 5 years
Estimated number of awards: Up to 28
Estimated total annual program funding: $13,000,000

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants are entities that have programs in dental schools, or approved residency or advanced education programs in the practice of general, pediatric, or public health dentistry, including:

  • Dental schools
  • Public or private non-profit hospitals
  • Other public or private non-profit entities, including faith-based and community-based organizations
  • Tribes and tribal organizations

Eligible postdoctoral training programs must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

Applicants are encouraged to address one of the following program priorities:

  • Combating opioid use disorder and mental health issues
  • Initiatives for improved care quality and delivery of value-based care
  • Workforce transformation centered on targeting needs
  • Telehealth
  • Childhood obesity
  • Maternal mortality

The Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) defines rural areas as geographical areas residing in non-metropolitan counties, or areas within metropolitan counties that the Federal Officer of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) designate as rural. To determine whether a county or specific address is designated as rural for this funding opportunity, search the location in the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

New Program • Operating Costs and Staffing • Training Providers

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other relevant information can be found in the funding announcement.

Applicant frequently asked questions


For additional information or technical assistance regarding business, administrative, or fiscal issues:
Latisha Nibblett

For programmatic or technical questions:
Jennifer Holtzman, DDS, MPH

Rural Awards

Past awards communities have received are described on the program website.

Communities who have received funding to address the healthcare needs in rural areas include:

  • University of Iowa College of Dentistry in Iowa City, Iowa received funding to improve access to oral health services in rural and underserved areas through increased collaboration with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and other rural-serving programs.
  • Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts used funds to create two rural residency program tracks for general dentistry and dental public health residents, with the goal of increasing access to oral health care for rural populations in New Hampshire.
  • East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina was awarded funding to expand pediatric dentistry training to a site in rural Hertford County. The program will focus on using tools to improve population health management skills to address the needs of rural residents and other vulnerable populations.
  • Mercy Health Youngstown, LLC in Youngstown, Ohio received funding to establish at least 3 integrated oral and primary care clinical training sites to increase access to oral health care for rural and underserved populations in the greater Youngstown area. The project includes an enhanced Rural Residency Program; the implementation of teledentistry in at least 4 practice sites in Columbiana County; and screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) training to help combat the opioid crisis.

Topics This Program Addresses

Education and Training • Health and Wellness • Healthcare Workforce • Mental Health • Opioids • Teleservices and Technology