In collaboration with Penn Dental Medicine, the LDI–Penn Dental Summer Health Services Research Fellowship engages and supports Penn Dental students who are interested in working with a Penn faculty mentor on a health services or health policy research project(s) during the summer between their first and second year of dental school.  Through these projects, participating students gain proficiency in writing and research methods and exposure to the most pressing issues in health care, including access to care, social determinants of health, quality of care, and health care outcomes. 

This partnership was initiated Summer 2017 and is currently recruiting for its sixth cohort.

“The LDI-Penn Dental Summer Health Services Research Fellowship provides an opportunity unlike any other that you would have in dental school, that truly makes your experience in dental school unique compared to all other programs. It provides you with a completely different perspective on health care and a great opportunity to network and connect with professionals outside of dentistry to collaborate with in a very unique manner.”

Francesco DeMayo, 2018 LDI-Penn Dental Fellow

“My ultimate goal is to work on U.S. health care policy to provide enhanced dental and other types of health care plans to underprivileged populations…LDI offered me stellar research opportunities focused on this subject, as well as the comprehensive social policy education I need to broaden my understanding of this complex subject…I gained a comprehensive knowledge of the fields of health care and health policy, which has been, and will continue to be, invaluable to my professional growth and career goals.”

Margaret Lee, 2019 LDI-Penn Dental Fellow

“…the program was invaluable in shaping my core drive to work in public health dentistry and an experience I would recommend to any student wishing to learn more about the role of public health policy in dentistry.”

Andrew Ng, 2017 LDI-Penn Dental Fellow

“The experience was as enjoyable as it was transformative for my career development. I entered dental school with seemingly parallel interest in oral health care and public policy, having had minimal prior exposure to career options that could integrate the two. The LDI Fellowship introduced me to health services research as a perfect nexus to intersect my dual interests.”

Tim Wang, 2018 LDI-Penn Dental Fellow

How to Apply


Currently enrolled Penn Dental students between their first and second year who have an interest in health services or health policy research.

Current Call for Applications

Applications for Summer 2024 admission to the LDI-Penn Dental Summer Health Services Research Fellowship are open as of November 18, 2023. The Fellowship will run for 8 – 12 weeks, beginning May 28, 2024 through August 16, 2024.

Required Application Materials

  • Online application form
  • A resume
  • A headshot
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
    • The letters of recommendation should address your academic accomplishments and related research experience.
    •  The letters of recommendation should be sent directly from the recommender to Joanne Levy as a PDF attachment.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application Timeline

  • Application Deadline: March 1, 2024
  • Applicant Interviews: March 2024
  • Admissions Notifications: April 2024

Program Details

LDI-Penn Dental Fellows work with Penn faculty mentor(s) full-time on a health services research project(s) of the student’s choice. Fellows receive a stipend from the Penn Dental School and are able to work with their mentors to devise a schedule that can accommodate both the research project(s) and academic requirements.

Fellows attend weekday lunch meetings with program staff and Penn faculty to discuss their projects and learn more about the broad range of health services research at Penn.  Fellows also attend a national health services research conference as a group, all expenses paid, and take part in various extracurricular activities and social functions sponsored by the program.

There is an option to take an 8-week writing course taught by Penn’s Critical Writing Program faculty.

At the conclusion of the fellowship, Fellows present their work at an End-of-Summer Research Symposium.

For LDI Senior Fellows: Mentorship Opportunities

Faculty involvement is a crucial element of the LDI–Penn Dental Summer Health Services Research Fellowship.

If you are interested in mentoring and collaborating with a LDI-Penn Dental Fellow on a specific project, please complete this application by February 15, 2024.

If you are interested in mentoring and collaborating with a LDI-Penn Dental Fellow on a specific project, please send a brief summary of the project, how much effort it would require, and whether you have funding available to Joanne Levy.  Mentors are recruited annually and abstracts are due by March 1.

Prior LDI-Penn Dental Summer Health Services Research Fellows


Uri Hangorski, DDS, MS

Clinical Professor of Periodontics and Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Penn Dental Medicine; Director, Pass Program

Joanne Levy

Joanne Levy, MBA, MCP

Founding Director, SUMR Program and Director of Student Initiatives, Penn LDI

Margaret Yang, MSed

Director of Student Affairs and Engagement, Penn Dental Medicine