Research, the generation of new knowledge, is an integral part of the mission of the UConn School of Dental Medicine.

Research Dean’s Message

Welcome to the UConn School of Dental Medicine (SDM)! We are a research-intensive dental school with a broad portfolio of basic, translational, and clinical research focused on improving human health. Over the last several years, our research program and associated extramural funding have grown significantly in size. Reflecting the breadth of our research areas, our faculty receive funding from several different centers and institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in addition to other federal agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense (DOD), as well as private foundations and industry. We have been among the top 10 US dental schools based on total direct funding from the NIH (all institutes and centers together) for the last four years (NIH FYs 20-23). These rankings are not adjusted for faculty size, which is notable because we are one of the smallest US dental schools. Over the last few years, we have also seen a several-fold increase in the number of patent applications from our faculty and associated start-up company formations, demonstrating the innovativeness and practical implications of the research being conducted.

Our strong research environment is supported by numerous internal and external resources, including over 30 years of support from NIH institutional training grants. We have established a dedicated SDM Research Office, which provides high-quality dedicated support to our faculty and trainees at all stages of the research process. Our Research Office staff team has been recognized with the UConn Health PAWS TEAM award, which recognizes outstanding performance by a team in support of the UConn Health mission. We look forward to maintaining and improving on these high standards in service of our research community.


Rajesh V. Lalla, DDS, PhD
Professor and Associate Dean for Research
Director, Dental Clinical Research Center

Fast Facts

Research-intensive school with over $10M in extramural research funding per year

Several fold increase in patent applications and start-up company formations in the last few years

Ranked among the top 10 US dental schools based on total NIH funding for four years in row (NIH FYs 20-23; rankings from the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, based on NIH data).

A broad spectrum of research activity and funding including laboratory and clinical research

Modern high-quality laboratory facilities; dedicated Dental Clinical Research Center

Access to a wide range of cutting-edge core facilities that support research

Robust research training opportunities including Masters and PhD programs

Over 30 years of support from NIH institutional training grants

Research Strengths

Faculty and trainees at the UConn School of Dental Medicine (SDM) are engaged in a broad spectrum of research activity ranging from basic science laboratory research to clinical research, including clinical trials. Although every unit of the SDM has research activity, the following 3 groups in the SDM are especially research-focused:

Behavioral Sciences and Community Health

Biomedical Engineering

Regenerative Medicine and Skeletal Development

Research Training Opportunities

The UConn School of Dental Medicine provides a variety of research training opportunities ranging from a short summer research experience to comprehensive PhD level research training and postdoctoral training. Please use the links below to explore our various research training opportunities.

UConn-NIDCR T90/R90 Research Training Program
(includes the DMD/PhD program, PhD program, and postdoctoral fellowships)

Master of Dental Science Program

Combined DMD/Masters Program
(includes training in Public Health or in Clinical and Translational Research)

Summer Research Programs

Research Resources

Students, residents, postdoctoral trainees and faculty at the UConn School of Dental Medicine (SDM) have access to a wide range of research resources through the School, UConn Health, and UConn Storrs campus.

Prospecting for Funding Opportunities

Pivot-RP is a comprehensive search engine and database for grant funding opportunities available through state, federal, corporate, non-profit and foundation sponsors. All current UConn faculty, trainees and staff have access to this database through an institutional subscription. This enables you to identify potential funding opportunities, including research grants, as well as fellowships and training grants. It can be especially useful to identify funding opportunites from scientific societies, foundations and other non-profits. You can also receive weekly alerts with relevant opportunities based on your profile. For additional information and to set up your account, please see this link:

If you would like SDM Research Office staff to help you look for funding opportunities, please contact Laura Didden at

Internal Funding Opportunities

A variety of internal funding opportunities open to SDM faculty including the Research Excellence Program, Convergence Awards for Research in Interdisciplinary Centers (CARIC) and the SPARK Technology Commercialization Fund.

Find Collaborators using Lincus

Looking for collaborators at UConn? Try Lincus, which tells you which faculty at UConn are working on topics of interest to you. Log in with your UConn Net ID.

Grant Writing Training and Resources

Periodic training on grant writing for various types of grants is offered by the OVPR.

Learn More

Proposal Development Services

The SDM research community can access scientific editing and other proposal development services through arrangements at the School and University level. For scientific editing support, please contact Laura Didden at For proposal development services and proofreading services offered through the Office of the Vice-President for Research (OVPR).

UConn SDM Research Environment Statement

UConn School of Dental Medicine Research Environment Statement


Statistical Support

For statistical support for dental residents in Master’s degree programs, please contact Dr. Chia-Ling Kuo at

For all other statistical support needs for SDM students, residents, and faculty, assistance is available through the UConn Statistical Consulting Services, through one of the following options:

Free Walk-In (Virtual): For quick questions about statistical issues that can be handled in a 20 minute consulting session.

Free Ask Online: Alternatively, you can submit questions online using the submission form at the link below:

Fully Supported Project Engagement: If more in-depth assistance is needed, it will be supported by the SDM, if there is no funding available for the project. Complete the SDM project submission form to request assistance.

For any questions about support through UConn Statistical Consulting Services, please contact Dr. Timothy Moore at

Core Facilities

Core Facilities are available to the SDM Research community. Resources are located at UConn Health, and the Storrs and Avery Point campuses.

Visit Core Facilities

Sample Language describing UCH Core Facilities

Pre-submission Grant Review Program

Support to obtain scientific reviews of grant applications prior to submission to an external funding agency. For details, please see this document. If interested, please contact Laura Didden at




Clinical Research Support Program

Support for pilot clinical research studies led by SDM Faculty. For details, please see this document. If interested, please contact Dr. Lalla at



Technology Commercialization Services (TCS)

Technology Commercialization Services helps the UConn research community move their research towards practical application.

Health Center Research Advisory Council (HCRAC) programs

  • Research Equipment support (includes repair/replacement support and new capital equipment support)
  • Emergency Grant Program
  • Exploratory Project Transition Award
  • Travel Grants for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

For information on the above programs, please see the HCRAC website

For more information and resources, visit the Office of the Vice President for Research

Research Office Staff

Laura Didden, CRA
Manager, SDM Research Office
Phone: 860-679-3891

Annmarie Martin
Phone: 860-679-2548

Brandon Mulcunry
Phone: 860-679-7652

Gina Saccone
Phone: 860-679-3023

Kamal Sahoobah
Phone: 860-679-6012

Caibin Zhang
Phone: 860-679-4498