One of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s longest running national programs, the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP), will offer support to dental scholars starting with its 2012 application period. For more than 25 years, AMFDP has fostered diversity among U.S. medical school faculty, and that well-known program will now work to do the same among dental school faculty. “We welcome this opportunity for dental scholars to participate in new and emerging interdisciplinary research endeavors that will ultimately benefit the oral health of vulnerable groups” said Leo E. Rouse, D.D.S., President of the American Dental Education Association and Dean of Howard University College of Dentistry.
“Our nation’s dental schools face a serious diversity gap. By expanding the mission of the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, we aim to narrow this gap, help meet the oral health needs of the country’s most vulnerable individuals, and contribute to pioneering oral health research,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Only 4.7% of full-time faculty members at U.S. dental schools are Black or African American and 7.5% are Hispanic or Latino, according to ADEA. Of the 4,600 graduates from U.S. dental schools, only 10.9% are Hispanic or Latino, Black or African American, and American Indian or Alaska Native.
Beginning with its 2012 application period, the AMFDP will fund one or more dentists. For four years, each dental scholar will conduct research in association with a senior faculty member located at an academic dental center noted for its training of young faculty and with the capacity to pursue lines of investigation of particular interest to the scholar.
AMFDP dental scholars will be selected based on their academic achievement, their commitment to academic research careers, and their potential to achieve senior rank in academic dentistry. Amos scholars will receive an annual stipend of up to $75,000 each, complemented by a $30,000 annual grant to support research activities. The AMFDP will begin accepting applications for its next grant cycle starting in February 2012.
As a result of the expansion, two new members from academic dentistry have joined the Harold Amos National Advisory Committee (NAC). The new NAC members are Francisco Ramos-Gomez, D.D.S., M.S., M.P.H., Professor, Section of Pediatric Dentistry, University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry; and George W. Taylor, D.M.D., Dr.PH., Leland A. and Gladys K. Barber Distinguished Professor in Dentistry and Chair of the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry.
“The Harold Amos program will provide our new dental scholars with a professionally supportive environment and new opportunities to pursue innovative research that will advance oral health and dental care and help reduce disparities in oral health,” said James R. Gavin III, M.D., Ph.D., National Program Director for the AMFDP. “As the program makes new inroads in developing dental faculty, we’re confident that it will continue to build on the inspiration of its namesake, the late Harold Amos, Ph.D., the first African American to chair a department at the Harvard Medical School.”