BFS announce new academic fellowship opportunities

The British Fluoridation Society (BFS) in partnership with the Borrow Foundation, has launched a new career development fellowship designed to attract new academic expertise to the field of water fluoridation and its role in public health. 

Overall, £30,000 has been allocated to create two fellowships which will be delivered within the next three years. 

The programme is called The British Fluoridation Society Career Development Fellowship.

“This is an important investment in the future of water fluoridation,” explains Barry Cockcroft, BFS chair and former chief dental officer. 

“Oral health is fundamental to overall health, wellbeing and quality of life. Community water fluoridation is a crucial element in preventing tooth decay and securing good dental health for all. 

“Despite a long history and exemplary record in efficacy, only 10% of the UK population drinks fluoridated water, and those communities are benefitting from schemes that were introduced decades ago.

“In addition to highlighting the need for more schemes, our partnership with the Borrow Foundation has enabled us to create The British Fluoridation Society Career Development Fellowship, which will strengthen the UK academic knowledge base for water fluoridation by encouraging future leaders in their field to take an active interest in fluoridation as a safe and effective intervention.

“I’d like to thank the Borrow Foundation for its support in helping us to take good oral health forward.” 

Today, over four hundred million people benefit from fluoridated water worldwide. 

The BFS has been working to improve dental health in England through the introduction of new community water fluoridation schemes since 1969. The Borrow Foundation is a UK charity seeking to improve oral health, particularly for children. 

Dr Ray Lowry, BFS secretary, adds: “Our new career fellowships are designed to provide a greater academic underpinning for fluoridation as an effective and safe dental health intervention.

“Recently, we have seen an increase in political enthusiasm for water fluoridation and as a Society, we have identified a need to strengthen the academic foundation for fluoridation, to keep research relevant and encourage young academics to pursue the issue as a viable career interest. 

“The fellowships will help us to build a modern UK database of evidence and to engage with younger academics on this career-enhancing subject. The BFS is the obvious organisation to initiate this activity as part of its role to support the academic knowledge base for fluoridation.”

The BFS is now seeking applications from candidates. Closing date for the first fellowship is 31st August 2022.

Applications are invited and the process can be accessed on Career Development Fellowship page.

The Society anticipates successful fellowship candidates will be second-year academics on a recognised training pathway in the UK. 

The fellowship could potentially fund an attachment within an academic department (dental public health or the equivalent) in the USA, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore. 

Candidates will be tasked to draw on their mentor’s experience and knowledge and to work on a short thesis/research project that will develop their thinking on an aspect of water fluoridation. They will also have the opportunity and are encouraged to build a network of colleagues also engaged in the field of preventable oral disease and fluoridation. 

For more information and media contacts, please call Sharon Walker 

Tel: 07498982937 or email: sharon@bfsweb.org