Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry (CiPD)

Transforming the Future of Oral Health Care

The CiPD leverages engineering and computational approaches to discover new knowledge for disease mitigation, develop affordable diagnostics and therapies, and train future leaders to advance oral & craniofacial health care.

IDEA Prize

Innovation in Dental Medicine and Engineering to Advance Oral Health

IDEA is focused on supporting collaborative work at the dental medicine and engineering interface to develop new solutions to study, diagnose and prevent or treat oral diseases and craniofacial disorders. This award program supports investigators with no prior collaboration, as well as ongoing collaborative teams, investigating novel ideas using engineering approaches to kickstart competitive proposals for (1) federal funding (e.g. R01-type work) and/or (2) private sector/industry for commercialization. The awardee(s) will receive up to $80,000 to support new breakthroughs.


All faculty in Penn Engineering and Penn Dental Medicine, including secondary faculty appointments, are eligible for the IDEA prize.



To be considered for the IDEA prize:

  1. Submit an application for the Call for Proposals for Medical Devices and Health Technology Projects. Apply here>>
  2. Select Oral Craniofacial Health as the application category.

Submissions are due by 5:00pm EST on April 6, 2020.

All applications for the Oral Craniofacial Health category will be considered for the IDEA Prize. The review committee may reach out with follow up instructions and information for this opportunity.


Review of Submissions and Finalist Selection

All submissions received will be reviewed by a senior advisory committee composed of faculty from Penn Engineering and Penn Dental Medicine. Up to five (5) submissions will be selected as finalists. The review committee may reach out with follow up instructions and information for this opportunity. Finalists will be asked to present their concept to an advisory panel in April. Selection and announcement of the awardee will occur in May 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the criteria that the review committee will use to review submissions?

Submissions will be evaluated based on:

  • Originality and novelty
  • The impact of the proposed innovation to oral-craniofacial health
  • The team composition with complementary expertise

Does the review committee prefer submissions from investigator(s) with no prior collaborative work or from ongoing collaborative teams?

Both new and existing collaborations are acceptable.

Is eligibility restricted to Faculty?

Yes, only faculty from Penn Engineering and Penn Dental Medicine are eligible to apply. Faculty with secondary appointments are also eligible.

Can graduate students or postdocs apply?

No. At this time, only faculty nominations will be accepted.

Can the team comprise of Penn faculty, Penn graduate students, and Penn postdoctoral fellows?

The inclusion of both graduate and postdoctoral trainees are strongly encouraged.

What are contractual obligations once the award is accepted?

The award is expected to support the research costs for the proposed breakthrough idea. The awardee(s) is(are) provided the authority to spend the funds as they deem appropriate.

Advancing Oral & Craniofacial Health Pilot Award

One application, Multiple Opportunities

In addition to the IDEA Prize, your submission for the Oral Craniofacial Health category is eligible for the Advancing Oral & Craniofacial Health Pilot Award. The goal of this program is to accelerate the translation of engineering and computational approaches to address unmet needs in oral health. Proposals can range from new ways to study and intervene in disease, to the development of biomedical tools, materials, and technologies for affordable diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of oral diseases and craniofacial disorders, including head & neck cancer. Awardees will receive collaborative mentorship and up to $50,000 support.