Internal Research Grant (IRG)

The Internal Research Grant (IRG) Program supports research initiatives of relevance to oral health or dental education. This program promotes scholarly activity by faculty members whose primary appointment is within Schulich Dentistry. Faculty members who are cross-appointed with a major portion of their teaching in Dentistry will also be considered. A maximum of $10,000 is available to successful applicants for seed money, one-time requests, and projects of short duration.

 2020/2021 Competition is now open

On-Line Submission Form for IRG Projects

Deadline for submission:  January 05, 2021

  • The principal applicant must be a regular, full-time faculty member of Schulich Dentistry. Faculty members who are cross-appointed with a major portion of their teaching in Dentistry will also be considered.
  • Applicants who currently hold research grants as PI, contracts or internal funds (including start-up funds) totaling more than $15,000 a year are ineligible to apply.
  • Requests for funds to supplement existing operating or research grants, to augment funds for larger projects, or to attend workshops or training programs will not be accepted.
  • Applications from the same applicant will not be funded for the same project beyond two consecutive years.
  • Applicants re-applying after the first year of funding must provide a progress report of their research, including evidence of grant applied for and list of publications resulting from the IRG funding received previously
  • Preference will be given to those clinical faculty members striving to get new research programs established.

Guidelines for Projects: A faculty member may submit only one application per year. The project can be on any topic relevant to oral health or dental education, including biomedical, materials, clinical, health services, population health or educational research. Applications should provide a detailed budget that justifies the planned expenditures. Purchase of equipment costing more than $2,000 in total will not normally be allowed.


The Dentistry Research Committee will review and rank the submitted applications. Preference will be given to applications that offer a clear rationale for the proposed research, exhibit innovation, and contain a budget explaining fully how the money requested will be spent. Based on the Research Committee’s recommendation, the Director and Assistant Director of Research will make the final decisions on the awards and budget. Funds will be released by March of the next year (if all applicable Ethics, Animal & Biohazard approvals are submitted) and will be available for use for up to 1 year. Extensions will be granted in special circumstances upon written request to the Director of Dentistry.

Ethics, Animals & Biohazards

All research proposals involving human or animal subjects or biohazardous materials must be approved by the appropriate Western review committee. Approvals should accompany the proposal or be sent to the Director’s office within 60 days of the granting of the award. Funds will be encumbered and the project may not commence until appropriate approvals are received from the investigator.

Use of Funds

A research account will be established for each award. Investigators are expected to spend the funds in the manner proposed in the original request. Any unused funds must be returned to Dentistry at the end of the project period. Eligible expenses include salary for employees or trainees, supplies, and publication costs; please note, travel expenses are now not eligible (see more information on the application form). Funds cannot be used for computer hardware or non-research related items. Equipment purchases (including the software to run equipment) totaling no more than $2,000 and which are essential to carry out the study will be allowed. Use of funds for items not listed in the approved budget will require prior written permission from the Research Committee.


Within 3 months of the end of the project period, applicants must submit a report to the Director describing the research completed. Successful applicants will be provided with a report form. It is expected that funded projects will generate peer-reviewed publications and lead to applications for research funding from other sources.



Schulich Dentistry 2019/20 IRG (Internal Research Grant) Competition Results 

Congratulations to Dr. Cecilia Dong who was awarded a Schulich Dentistry IRG of $7,850.

Dr. Cecilia Dong, Assistant Professor, Division of Prosthodontics

Co-investigators: Dr. Christina McCord and Dr. Mark Darling
‘Pilot Study on Biomarkers in Biopsy and Resected Tissues from Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients’

Congratulations to Dr. Les Kalman who was awarded a Schulich Dentistry IRG of $6,982.

Dr. Les Kalman, Assistant Professor, Restorative Dentistry

‘Assessment of 3D Printed Zirconia Veneers & Crowns’

Congratulations to Dr. Jacinta Santos who was awarded a Schulich Dentistry IRG of $8,000.

Dr. Jacinta Santos, Associate Professor, Division of Restorative Dentistry

Co-investigators: Dr. Liliani Vieira and Dr. Trevor Thang 
‘Non-Invasive and Minimal Intervention in Dental Caries Management: Randomized Clinical Study’

Congratulations to Dr. Sharat Pani who was awarded a Schulich Dentistry IRG of $5,700.

Dr. Sharat Pani, Assistant Professor of Paediatric Dentistry

Co-investigators: Dr. Hiran Perinpanayagam and Dr. Liliani Vieira
‘Geo-mapping to examine sociodemographic predictors of dental caries in children – a retrospective study of patient records‘

2017 Competition Results

Congratulations to Drs. Les Kalman and Harinder Sandhu, Clinician Scientists, who were each awarded a Schulich Dentistry IRG of $10,000 each.

Dr. Les Kalman

Assistant Professor, Restorative Dentistry
Chair, Dental Outreach Community Service (DOCS)
‘Development & Assessment of a Dental Shade App and Peripherals with Dental Students

Abstract: The determination and communication of dental shade can be one of the most challenging aspects for the restorative dentist and even more difficult for the dental student.  Improper shade determination is the second most common reason for laboratory remakes, which proves to be timely and costly.  Shade determination may have a subjective approach, based on numerous variables, or may employ technology, which has provided a slight improvement.  This research project will develop a novel software application and peripherals for the accurate determination and communication of teeth and soft tissue shades. 

Dr. Harinder Sandhu
Chair and Professor, Periodontics
Co-investigators:  Drs. Roman Maev and Bartosz Slak (Windsor)
Clinical Evaluation of an Ultrasonic Dental Device for Gingival Thickness Assessment

Abstract: Presently there is no objective, non-invasive technique available to assess the quality and quantity of soft and hard tissues in the oral cavity. Our collaborators at The University of Windsor have developed a novel compact device to address the clinical need for soft tissue measurements. We propose to clinically assess and evaluate this device prototype for non-invasive measurements of gingival thickness in dental patients treated at Schulich Dentistry. It is believed that the proposed device can considerably improve diagnosis and treatment of patients requiring periodontal intervention.