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Evidence-based dentistry can only advance with a commitment to research. In the Marquette School of Dentistry, we are committed to expanding our research effort and productivity as evidenced by our new strategic plan. We strive to recruit strong research orientated faculty to utilize our new 4000 sq. research space.
Vision: “Be a leader in oral health care research”
Mission: “We execute oral health research that is recognized and endorsed by faculty, students, and other dental professionals that is relevant to patients and the community”.
Approach: Place emphasis on those initiatives/research programs that establish a unique niche and/or competitive advantage while maintaining congruence with the overall institutional and university mission.
With the advent and ongoing promotion of evidence-based dentistry, there is an increasing need for expanding and validating the current and future knowledge base of the dental profession. The Marquette University School of Dentistry has a significant role in contributing to this knowledge base. In fact, research and its importance to the advancement of the knowledge base of dentistry represent an important aspect of the Dental School's strategic plan. Research is one of five important themes found in our strategic plan and therefore represents one of our measures of success. I am excited and encouraged by the many opportunities for the Dental School to contribute to the research mission of the institution and beyond. I fully support and am committed to continuing to enhance the research efforts of the School of Dentistry.
Dean William K. Lobb, D.D.S., M.S., M.P.H.
Marquette University School of Dentistry
The Institute of Medicine's report Dental Education at the Crossroads: Challenges and Change described research as one of three pillars that constitutes the foundation of dental education. The report’s testimonial in support of academic research is as valid today as it was 20 years ago. A strong research program, academic rigor and operational excellence are the building blocks upon which the school’s vision of excellence can be realized.
The goal of focused research is to establish a sustainable, nationally recognized research program. Mission-critical strategies aim at improving the physical infrastructure, faculty recruitment and development, master's degree programs, and resource use.
Strategy 1: Develop a Culture that Supports the Research Mission. The allocation of resources with a focus on excellence, growth potential and sustainability demonstrates a commitment to research. Appropriate allocation is sustained by a long-term resourcing plan. While 4,000 square feet of new research space was completed in 2015 as part of the school’s expansion project, options for more research space are identified as part of a long-term growth plan.
Achieving a critical mass of active researchers is essential for building a research culture. Senior faculty members whose primary achievements have been in research are hired as a priority. As a rule, tenure-track and research-productive tenured faculty members must be granted protected research time. Time protection makes a big difference in a faculty member’s professional development. With the intention to stimulate Marquette's School of Dentistry’s research, incentives for successful researchers are considered.
Faculty should include more students in their research projects. Such advisory activity contributes significantly to the culture of a research-friendly academic organization and is a strong indicator of academic excellence. Pertinent internal grant programs should be improved.
Strategy 2: Strengthen Scholarship in Clinical M.S. Programs. A special effort is made to unleash the research potential that exists in advanced dental specialty education programs. A first step aims at thesis process analysis and improvement. Increasing the quality of foundation courses, the development and implementation of quality criteria, improvements in study design and analysis, advising, and peer review are just a few examples of planned changes that can yield immediate positive results.
Strategy 3: Foster Research Partnerships. Expertise, sophisticated equipment and research support services are available through the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin. Partnerships with CTSI members and partners within Marquette University should be sought and strengthened.