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faculty, the committee recommends that the National Institute of Dental Research
continue to evaluate and improve its extramural training and development programs;
focus more resources on those extramural programs with greater demonstrated productivity in strengthening the oral health research capacity of dental schools and faculties; and
preserve some funding for short-term training programs intended primarily to increase research understanding and appreciation among clinical teaching faculty and future practitioners.
Research is a fundamental mission of dental education, but one not uniformly honored among schools. Certainly, the situation is vastly improved from the 1940s and 1950s, thanks largely. to training programs supported by the National Institute of Dental Research. Nonetheless, the field still suffers from a shortage of well-trained researchers, particularly clinical researchers.
Improving research productivity in dentistry will require leadership from inside and outside—that is, from the university and the academic health center, from the public and private sectors, and from the practice community. The key objectives are to establish research as a priority; to secure new funding and redistribute existing resources; to develop creative strategies to extend the scope of oral health research; to attract qualified new people and develop existing faculty; and to sustain this capacity over time.