Schulich Dentistry Research Opportunity Program

Fourteen students spent summer doing research thanks to the Schulich Dentistry Research Opportunity Program

The Schulich Dentistry Research Opportunity Program (SDROP) provides an opportunity for students enrolled in the DDS program to contribute to clinical and basic science research being performed in Schulich Dentistry. Each year, there are a limited number of Studentships awarded by competition. 

This year SDROP was facilitated and conducted virtually, with students and supervisors completing 12 projects that included a range of clinical and paraclinical topics.  The physical distancing norms that were in place through the summer meant that the students had to complete all projects virtually.

This saw an interesting blend of  research methods that included curriculum analyses, secondary data evaluation, online surveys and  reviews of literature.  


Student Supervisor Project
Moulik Patel Dr. Ali Tassi Clinical Outcomes of Maxillomandibular Advancement Surgery for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome
Shideh Gharaei Dr. Bertha Garcia Curriculum Mapping in Dental Education
Victoria Thorburn Dr. Cecilia Dong Biomarkers in Biopsies and Resected Tissue from Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients

Harleen Juneja

Prateek Aggarwal

Dr. Christina McCord Outpatient Oral Biopsy Submission Trends: An Examination of the Role of General Dentists and Dental Specialists in the Diagnosis of Oral Diseases
Hanna Chang Dr. Liliani Vieira An investigation of caries rate in two forward sortation areas in London, Ontario: a pilot study
Anshula Samarajeewa Dr. Mark Darling S100A7 as a biomarker for predicting malignant transformation in chronic hyperplastic candidiasis
Vladyslav Podskalniy Dr. Sharat Pani A retrospective analysis of the sociodemographic predictors of quality of dental caries treatment in children
Alicia Gordon Dr. Cecilia Dong Preparing dentists to provide geriatric dental care. A scoping review of the literature that explores the influence of undergraduate dental education and interprofessional education on student and dentist attitudes, perceptions, and comfort levels

Shatha Jaber

Catalin Gramisteanu

Dr. Tim Wilson The Effects of Orthognathic Surgery on the TMJ
Viswanath Akella Dr. Tim Wilson Virtual simulation or Typodont training: A race to competency
Hannah Der Dr. Trevor Thang Quality assurance of damaged photostimulable phosphor plates: validating a machine-learning algorithm
Nathaniel Lowe Dr. Trevor Thang Trends in Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) Imaging in Ontario: A Retrospective Study



Schulich Dentistry Research Opportunity Program (SDROP) provides an opportunity for students already enrolled in Schulich Dentistry's DDS program to contribute to clinical and basic science research. Each year, a limited number of studentships are awarded by competition for the upcoming summer.

2020 COMPETITION (Now closed)

summer studentsThe goals of this program are … 1) to promote student participation in oral health research, 2) to provide students with opportunities to meet their peers and present their research at national and internal meetings, 3) to contribute to publications in peer-reviewed journals, and 4) to encourage students to consider careers in oral health research.  There are many bright and experienced students in Dentistry that would be an asset to research at Schulich.

Total stipend: 12-week period - $5,000
Deadline for Faculty Projects: December 20, 2019
Deadline for student applications: January 17, 2020

Submit forms electronically (in MS Word) to Dentistry’s Research Office

All DDS Students (Years 1-3) and ITD Students (Year 1) are eligible to apply. All Faculty members associated with Schulich Dentistry are invited to submit one (or more) project proposals.



Practical application

By Ciara Parsons, BA’15
FarahIt was a few years ago when Farah Abu Sharkh, Dentistry Class of 2018, noticed an opportunity for greater interactive learning in one of her dentistry courses. She felt compelled to take action and took her academic education experience and channeled it into a research project as part of the Schulich Dentistry Research Opportunity Program (SDROP).

The idea behind this project was to simplify the learning process related to dental anaesthesia instruction to make it more interactive and eventually launch an instructional series. Taking existing multimedia resources and modifying them into individual modules about dental freezing, Abu Sharkh created a user-specific instructional series about what each freezing does, applicable scenarios, techniques and how to troubleshoot difficult situations. Users of these modules were able to personalize their learning by controlling their progress and select which areas of instruction they wanted to focus on more closely.

“We wanted to make the program flexible so that it could be personalized to the way in which people like to learn and how much they already know about the subject. These modules allow you to skip around and focus on what you want to know,” she said. Read more in The Bridge 

Finding the evidence in ‘evidence-based practice’

The Summer Student Research Program gives dentistry students a chance to participate directly in the science that informs their clinical work.
By Crystal Mackay, MA’05
Guessy Wang

The Summer Student Research Program gives dentistry students a chance to participate directly in the science that informs their clinical work. The best way for dentistry students to understand what it means to practice evidence-based dentistry, is to be directly involved in finding that evidence. Being exposed to research early on in their careers helps students develop important critical-thinking skills vital to the practice.

That’s where the Summer Student Research Program comes in. Each year, when their classmates have packed up their dental kits and gone home for the summer, a select group of students are working away on answering important research questions. These students are given the opportunity to contribute to clinical and basic science research under the supervision of faculty members at the School. They cap off their experience by presenting their work as part of Dentistry’s annual Research Day.  Read article in The Bridge


In 2019, with available funding, 10 projects are supported through various sponsors. Many generous donors help make funding for our students possible and we are grateful for the donations.

Schulich Dentistry

Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Dentistry Canada Fund - Ontario Dental Association

Ontario Dental Association Summer Research Studentship   

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  Logo - ODA