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Exploring dental research within the UK

Gail Vernon looks at the work of the British Society for Oral and Dental Research.

The British Society for Oral and Dental Research (BSODR) was formed back in the early 1950s to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health in the United Kingdom. Throughout my career I have been lucky enough to attend a number of BSODR conferences and regardless of the role I attended as, I have always found them to be thought provoking and collaborative at every level. The BSODR conference held in Birmingham last September was the first in person post-covid conference. It was a great conference, and more than ever they welcomed delegates creating a platform for shared learning and exploring possibilities. As a non-academic, I am always heartened by the openness and engagement I receive at such an event. If you have an interest or questions this is a great event to meet both young and established researchers from a large number of academic institutions.

The BSODR is a division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) and also a member of the Federation of European Research Societies, including the Pan European Region (PER) with members from Great Britain, Continental Europe, Ireland, Israel, and Scandinavia.

Support and represent the oral health research community in the UK
Encourage junior workers to become involved in oral and dental research
Facilitate the dissemination and application of research findings relating to oral health and the interactions between oral and systemic health

A wide range of scientific themes Members can also join one of seven BSODR Scientific Groups of their choice at no additional charge: Behavioural Sciences; Dental Materials; Implantology Research; Oral Microbiology and Immunology (OMIG); Mineralised Tissue; Oral Medicine and Pathology; Periodontal Research. These research groups come under the umbrella of BSODR and provide forums to promote interest and research in these important areas. This could be anything from promoting the advancement of research in biomedical sciences, microbiology of the periodontium, oral medicine, therapies for abnormalities of mineralised tissues or even just encouraging interdisciplinary communication of collaboration – to just mention a few.

A unique aspect of BSODR meetings is that they are multi and interdisciplinary. Clinical and nonclinical scientists attend in equal numbers and all areas of research are represented. These meetings attract and welcome researchers from all backgrounds, including scientists from many disciplines, dentists, DCPs, technicians and nurses. This provides an opportunity, unique in the UK, to hear of research advances in other disciplines and to learn of other methodologies and approaches which may inform and improve other research projects. The opportunity for to meet people from other disciplines enables delegates and companies to share experiences and develop collaborations.

Prizes and awards The BSODR also administers and awards a number of research prizes. These are presented annually during the annual meetings of the BSODR, either in the UK or that form part of the Pan European Region (PER)-IADR Congress, as it is this September in Marseille. Current established prizes and awards include:

Colgate Senior Prize
An award of £500 for the best oral presentation by an early career dental researcher. In addition, in order to reward the department in which the research was performed, Colgate will also provide a £5,000 research award to the prize-winner’s department which may be used towards activities that advance the prize winner’s researcher career development.

Colgate Junior Prize
A cash award of £300 for the best verbal presentation by an undergraduate student. Colgate will also reward the prize-winner’s department with £3,000 to support undergraduate research in the coming year. Winners from the Senior Colgate and Junior Colgate Prizes are eligible to be considered for the IADR Unilever Hatton Divisional Award and are funded to attend the next international meeting of the IADR to compete in the international Unilever Hatton awards.

Septodont Poster Prize
To encourage the pursuit of excellence in this mode of presentation, Septodont offers an award of £500 for the best poster presentation by a dental researcher. In addition, Septodont will reward the prize-winner’s department with £2,000 to support undergraduate and postgraduate research in the coming year.

GSK-Mineralised Tissue Group (MINTIG) Research Award – Oral Presentation
A prize worth up to £1,500 for the best oral presentation showcasing the highest standard of mineralised tissue research. This research award is intended to fund activities that will be of benefit in enhancing an individual’s career development – beyond that offered by current research funding available to the researcher.

Voco Prize for Dental Biomaterials Research
Voco offers an annual prize of £300 for the best oral communication on a topic related to dental biomaterials. There are other awards and prizes available to BSODR members, but the above prizes show the wide range of opportunities that exist for companies within the dental industry to support, and be a part of, with limited investment. What I particularly find interesting is the names of past winners across all awards – published on the BSODR website past winners as young or established researchers and almost all playing key roles in their areas of specialism today.

Visit for more information on eligibility and submission process for BSODR members. Consider how your company could support a prize to stimulate research in your area whilst widening links with academia and researchers across the UK and beyond both today and for the future.

Explore the possibilities The BSODR is linked to 18 dental schools across the UK and is also affiliated wide a wide range of British dental societies and organisations. Again, this gives dental companies the opportunity to gain insights and access to a wide range of expertise they may not otherwise have within their own organisations. As the current vice president of BDIA, I am also delighted to be the industry councillor for BSODR

I would be happy to explore any opportunities that BDIA members may have to strengthen their links and benefit from partnering with the BSODR. You can reach me on

Article written by

Gail Vernon

Director, VSM Marketing

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