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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin November 2011
14 NOVEMBER 2011 The ADRF continuing research support in harsh economic times AdRf news As we approach the end of 2011, and a fragile global economy, we can still reflect positively on the excellence of the science and research that engaged us at the Brisbane Congress in March this year. While we appreciate greatly the expertise of our international colleagues, the quality of the work presented by Australian researchers and clinicians should not be underestimated. Australian research continues to be ‘world class’ and continues to benefit the profession. This year the Australian Dental Research Foundation (ADRF) has seen yet another record number of Research Grant applications, with some 109 applications reviewed from around Australia encompassing almost all disciplines and topics in dentistry. Add to this the requests to the ADRF from universities for undergraduate research grants, scholarships and awards and it is clearly seen that dental research projects in Australia continue to need support. Obtaining research funding in dentistry is difficult. Recruiting and inspiring undergraduates and graduates into undertaking dental research is becoming even more challenging when funding and resources are compromised. Dental disease continues to be a major concern within our society. It is unfortunate that this is not fully recognised by larger government research funding agencies and therefore does not receive the attention and funding it deserves. Fortunately, the ADRF continues to provide support to as many researchers as possible to ensure our knowledge base does not diminish. As the number of dental schools in Australia increases and the demand for high-quality dental education increases there is also an essential need to ensure there is a balance of clinical education and research. Dental education and training is at risk of becoming focussed purely on the technical skills required. Therefore, it is vital that research underpinning dental education is enhanced and promoted to ensure a strong evidence-base for all dental curriculums. Universities throughout Australia must continue to be supported by research funding, particularly from the ADRF, which is becoming increasingly difficult in these tough economic times. Despite the strong position held by the ADRF, the Foundation is inevitably faced with an ever increasing request to support research projects that are escalating not only in number, but also in cost, due to greater sophistication of methods and materials. Funds from external sources are scarce, and therefore the Foundation finds it necessary to make periodic appeals to the entire dental profession to help by contributing regularly as Supporting Members or Donors to the Foundation. ADRF’s income has principally been derived from interest on invested capital and from the sale of appointment books used throughout the dental profession. However, as computers become more commonplace in dental practices, the sale of appointment books is declining and there is a marked reduction in the income for the Foundation. Fundraising from external sources to increase overall funding is not easy and the Foundation Executive and Finance Committees are forever endeavouring to explore all avenues available to gain additional funding for this critical aspect of dentistry. Unfortunately, this takes time and the Foundation needs income now. I again appeal to all members of the profession to reflect on the benefits of supporting research and evidence-based dental education in Australia and thereby enhancing our profession. I urge you all to please assist the ADRF in its endeavours to keep Australian research world class, and contribute by simply completing and providing your support using the insert enclosed with this issue of the News Bulletin. Ian Meyers Chairman Australian Dental Research Foundation “I again appeal to all members of the profession to reflect on the benefits of supporting research and evidence-based dental education in Australia and thereby enhancing our profession.”
ADA News Bulletin October 2011
ADA News Bulletin December 2011