Enabling research and innovation

Research award program

Align Technology believes in enabling research and innovation within the dentistry industry with a goal to improve orthodontic and dental treatment for communities around the globe.

In 2010, Align Technology began the Research Award Program with the goal to support clinical and scientific orthodontic and dental research in universities across the globe. Since its inception in 2010, we have funded over $2.0 million in research awards. Research has provided insights into various areas including tooth movement efficacy with clear aligner therapy, oral hygiene and microbial bacteria presence or absence with clear aligners, and comparisons in quality of life with aligners as compared to fixed appliances.

Each year, awards are made available for dental research at universities across the globe. All applications are reviewed by an independent academic committee that forwards its recommendations to Align Technology for final selection.

2020 grant application process

The Align Technology 2020 Research Award Program is designed to support clinical and scientific dental research in universities across the globe. This year, up to $300,000 will be awarded to university faculty for scientific and technological research initiatives to advance patient care in the fields of orthodontics and dentistry.

Through its Research Award Program, Align Technology has funded approximately $2 million in research awards since its inception in 2010, providing insights that include intra-oral scanning and patient experience, quality of life changes, as well as insights into the biochemical markers of bone metabolism during early orthodontic tooth movement with clear aligners.

Research awards have been provided to 28 North American and 65 international research institutions. Universities that have received the most research awards from Align Technology to-date include:

  • Sichuan University (China): [1 publication/1 poster]
  • Baylor College of Dentistry: [1 publication/ 3 posters]
  • University of Illinois-Chicago: [2 publications/ 1 poster presentation]
  • University of Texas at Houston: [1 publication/1 presentation]
  • University of the Pacific: [1 poster/1 presentation]

Awards available for dental research at universities are available in the following regions:

  • Americas (US, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America): Four one-year awards of up to $25,000 each
  • EMEA: Four one-year awards of up to $25,000 each
  • APAC: Four one-year awards of up to $25,000 each

Eligible applicants for dental research awards include full- and part-time faculty involved in dental or scientific research at universities at which Invisalign® treatment is available. All applications are reviewed by an independent academic committee that forwards its recommendations to Align Technology for final selection. Program details, instructions, and application forms for prospective applicants can be found at
https://learn.invisalign.com/researchawards (for Americas applicants) and https://learn.invisalign.com/internationalresearch (for EMEA and APAC applicants).

Research proposals and completed applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on April 10, 2020. Award recipients will be notified by July 6, 2020.