Align Technology Inc, San Jose, Calif, announced that it has extended its funding of the Align Research Award Program, an annually funded program designed to promote clinical and scientific dental research by universities. This signals the sixth consecutive year the award will be available for North American universities and the fifth year for international universities. Due to the program’s success, the funding is increasing this year from that offered in past years.

“With an increasing number of applications each year and excellent quality of the proposed research, this successful program has become highly competitive,” said John Morton, Align Technology director of research and technology. “We are delighted to be able to provide this opportunity for researchers to advance the field of dentistry.”

Awards for 2015 include four 1-year awards of $25,000 each for dental research at universities in North America and eight 1-year awards of $25,000 each for international universities. Additionally, there are five 1-year awards of $5,000 each earmarked for intraoral scanner research at universities globally. As part of each scanner research award, Align will either loan the award recipient an iTero™ scanner for 1 year or provide an additional $10,000 credit toward the purchase of the iTero scanner. Study proposals for intraoral scanner research are not limited to the field of orthodontics; they may address any aspect of dentistry in which scanner technology would be of value.

“These scientific research opportunities provide for greater understanding and acceptance of clear aligner treatment within dental universities and practices worldwide,” said Mitra Derakhshan, DDS, Align Technology director of clinical international.

Eligible applicants for the dental research award component include full- and part-time faculty involved in dental or scientific research at universities where Invisalign is available. Eligible applicants for the scanner research award component include full- and part-time faculty involved in research in orthodontics or general dentistry, in countries where the iTero scanner is commercially available. All applications are reviewed by an independent academic committee, which forwards its recommendations to Align Technology for final selection.