Established in May 1964, the New Zealand Dental Research Foundation awards grants for research projects related to dentistry. Its overall purpose is to "promote, foster and extend the study and practice of the art and science of dentistry in New Zealand". 

To manage the operation of the Foundation, two complementary governance bodies have been established, a Trust and a Board. The Trust is responsible for the accumulation and investment of the capital of the Foundation, while the Board decides the expenditure on a variety of research activities.

The Foundation Board considers applications for funding to support new or ongoing projects, to purchase equipment, or for any other purpose that will result in the acquisition and/or dissemination of new knowledge relevant to dentistry. The Board annually invites applications for grants, assesses their quality with advice from national and international expert referees, ranks them and approves funding up to the level determined by that year's income transferred from the Foundation Trust.

Since its inception, the Foundation has provided financial support for hundreds of research projects related to dental and oral health, to help advance the boundaries of dental knowledge and to promote the fostering and extension of the study and practice of the art and science of dentistry in New Zealand. The number of awards offered varies each year and currently has an individual application ceiling of $15,000.

The New Zealand Dental Research Foundation Board also administers research funds on behalf of:

  • The Ministry of Health, providing annual funding for New Zealand-specific research for community, university or practice-based research in fields related to oral health.
  • The Continuing Dental Education Trust (Auckland) annual award for dental research, in support for New Zealand based dental research which has clinically applicable outcomes.
  • The International College of Dentists (Australasian Section) annual grant to support dental research in New Zealand


Fund-raising for the Research Foundation commenced in 1964 with contributions made by the Association, dental practitioners, the dental supply industry and other businesses. In addition to on-going fund raising campaigns, the Research Foundation is supported through the NZDA Annual Conference, donating one third of its profits each second year to the Foundation. The Foundation also receives support through the continued generosity of NZDA members, providing annual donations with their membership subscriptions.

How can you help?

If you or your business would like to help us improve the oral health of New Zealanders by making a donation to dental research, please contact NZDA Associate Director (Development) or phone +64 9 579 8001.

2021 Research Foundation Grants

The closing date for applications is 30 April 2021.

If you are interested in applying for the 2021 grant round, please view the links below.