The NIHR supports patients and the public to participate in high quality research taking place in health and care settings across England, advancing knowledge and improving care.
NIHR Clinical Research Network
The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) includes 30 specialty groups, who coordinate and support the delivery of high quality research by therapy area. Some of this research is funded by the NIHR, but most of it is funded by non-commercial organisations, such as charities or universities, and the life sciences industry.
The CRN provides researchers with the practical support they need to make research happen. It supports the set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS and in other health and care settings through our Study Support Service, with tailored offers of support for:
Supporting oral and dental health research
The CRN Oral and Dental Health Specialty Group supports a wide range of studies, from single-centre early stage evaluations, including first in man studies, through to large multicentre observational studies, randomised controlled trials of medicinal products and devices as well as health services research.
Our research areas of focus include:
- Managing dental decay in younger children
- Reducing the recurrence of childhood dental caries
- Developing and evaluating new technologies for the early detection of periodontal disease
- Strategies for managing oral cancers
- Understanding the links between oral and systemic diseases
- Medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ)
- The health and cost impact of the routine dental treatments and procedures (such as the recall interval and the scale and polish)
- The impact of different ways of working in providing dental care
Our studies take place in a range of settings, including hospital in-patients, dental hospital outpatients, primary care, school and community environments and university research facilities.
Who we are
As well as providing research delivery staff, we also bring together highly engaged NHS consultants and clinical academics from top UK universities, bringing both clinical and academic expertise to your research. Our experts in the CRN Specialty Group can advise on delivering your oral and dental health study in the NHS and in particular geographic regions.
Professor Sue Pavitt is the CRN National Specialty Lead for Oral and Dental Health. Read Professor Pavitt’s full biography.
Professor Pavitt is supported by local specialty leads in each of the 15 NIHR Local Clinical Research Networks.
Our collaborators and stakeholders
We have strong links with British Dental Association, British Society for Oral and Dental Research and British Society of Periodontology and Impant Dentistry.
Our funding programmes fund high quality research in oral and dental health that benefits the NHS, public health and social care. We also provide career development funding awards for oral and dental health researchers - see the careers tab for more information.
Our funding programmes
Most of our funding programmes run funding calls open to research proposals on any topic (researcher-led calls), including research proposals in oral and dental health.
Got an idea for research in oral and dental health? The NIHR Research Design Service can help you turn it into a funding application, offering advice on research design, research methods, identifying funding sources, and involving patients and the public.
Our portfolio of oral and dental health research
You can search and view all the oral and dental health research we’ve funded on NIHR Funding and Awards.
In addition, a number of our research programmes publish comprehensive accounts of our oral and dental health research in the NIHR Journals Library.
The NIHR attracts, trains and supports the best researchers in oral and dental health to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future.
Our investment in people sustains excellent research capacity and expertise throughout clinical and non-clinical academic career pathways and provides high quality learning and development opportunities for the delivery workforce in our infrastructure.
Funding research careers
The NIHR Academy is responsible for the development and coordination of NIHR academic training, career development and research capacity development.
There is a wide range of NIHR training and career development awards available at different career stages, from pre-doctoral through to Research Professorships. These awards comprise both personal awards, which can be applied for directly with the NIHR, and institutional awards which should be applied for through the host institution.
Supporting the delivery workforce
The NIHR invests significantly in people, centres of excellence, collaborations, services and facilities to support health and care research in England. Collectively these form the world-class NIHR infrastructure.
This national research infrastructure is available to use by UKRI, research charities and the life sciences industry as well as NIHR researchers.
NIHR Biomedical Research Centres
NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) are collaborations between world-leading universities and NHS organisations that bring together academics and clinicians to translate lab-based scientific breakthroughs into potential new treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies.
The following BRCs undertake research in oral and dental health:
NIHR Clinical Research Facilities
NIHR Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) are purpose built facilities in NHS hospitals where researchers can deliver early-phase and complex studies.
The following CRFs undertake oral and dental health research:
NIHR Clinical Research Network
The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) supports set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS and in other health and care settings. Find out more on the delivery tab.
The NIHR funds and supports world-class experts in oral and dental health.
In addition, our experts in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (National Specialty Leads) can advise on delivering your oral or dental health study in the NHS or in other health and social care settings.
National Specialty Lead
Professor Sue Pavitt is the CRN National Specialty Lead for Oral and Dental Health.
Professor Pavitt has a PhD in Human Cancer Genetics and had a high-profile career working with Professor Sir Walter Bodmer mapping the first colorectal cancer gene. She worked on the Human Genome Project at UCL, Oxford and UCSF, USA. Since 1998 she has specialised in applied health research, clinical trial methodology and translational research. Her research portfolio of clinical trials spans dentistry and medicine; characterized by forging effective, transdisciplinary research partnerships between clinicians, academics, industry and patients/public.
Read Professor Pavitt’s full biography.
We engage with and involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research in oral and dental health.
Have your say in research
We involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in our national research funding and support activities, including in oral and dental health research.
The researchers we fund also involve patients in planning and delivering their oral and dental health research.
Involvement opportunities across the NIHR
Our Local Clinical Research Networks involve people in oral and dental health research taking place in your local area.
The NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre has a focus on oral health. As part of this, its Patient and Public Involvement group meets with researchers to provide a lay person’s point of view on their work and help them to decide where to focus their efforts.
The NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre has a focus on research into inflammatory, long-term skin and oral conditions.
Take part research
Be Part of Research is an online service that lists opportunities to take part in oral and dental health research across the UK.