Dental Health Info Article

NIH Clinical Research Training Program

The National Institute of Health’s Dental Research Training Program is a leader in the fie...

As part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the National Institutes of Health is "the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research." Devoted to the prevention and treatment of disease, NIH has made great strides in medical discoveries and advancements over the past 100 years, helping Americans live longer, healthier lives.

America's largest hospital devoted entirely to clinical research, NIH's Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD attracts doctors and patients from around the nation. Patients receive treatment and participate in clinical trials at the Clinical Center, where approximately 1500 studies are currently in progress. Every bit of research performed at the Clinical Center helps the National Institutes of Health reach its goal, which is to improve health through scientific discovery.

Dental Training at NIH

The National Institutes of Health provide a unique, exciting educational experience for dental students who are interested in a career in research. The Clinical Research Training Program at NIH offers medical and dental students a chance to further their studies in a particular area of interest. Students, known as Fellows, attend clinics, visit patients and complete laboratory work as part of their clinical and translational research studies.

The NIH Clinical Research Training Program is different from traditional dental universities. Established in 1997, the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) offers its Fellows small-group classes and lectures by distinguished scientists and Nobel Prize winners. During the 12-month program, CRTP Fellows design an individual research program relevant to their career path, and give a formal presentation upon completion of their studies.

As Fellows study with some of the top medical and dental professionals in the nation, the program is extremely competitive. The Clinical Research Training Program at NIH accepts only 30 students every year. Applicants must be currently studying at an accredited dental or medical school, and should have completed at least one year of clinical rotations. Once accepted, CRTP Fellows are assigned a tutor and mentor, who chart their progress throughout the program.


The NIH Clinical Center and Clinical Research Training Program rely on public and private funding. Fellows are supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Foundation for NIH, a non-profit organization that raises funds for several programs at the NIH. To help cover their cost of living, Fellows receive a stipend, and may continue their research for a second year if funding is available.

Fellows are expected to rent residential housing units adjacent to the campus, and are given a limited allowance to attend one scientific conference and purchase a computer. Students may also take a course through the NIH Foundation for the Advanced Education in the Sciences for a semester credit, and health insurance is provided through the same organization. Students also have the option of deferring educational loans while participating in the program. As an added benefit, Fellows participate in a dinner series while attending evening lectures and seminars.

You can find more information about the Clinical Research Training Program at:

Address:         Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education
                      National Institutes of Health
                      Bethesda, MD 20892

Phone:            (888) 695-5343