Overview of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Course #: 2200 Year: postgrad. Semester: fall/spring
Director: Dr. Titus Schleyer Phone: 8-8886 Credits: 3
Office: 331 Salk E-mail: titus@pitt.edu
Faculty: Dr. Titus Schleyer, Dr. Heiko Spallek
Time/Location: by appointment
Offered by: Center for Dental Informatics


This course is intended to provide trainees with a rich practical experience in conceptualizing, formulating, conducting and publishing short-term (3-6 months) research projects in dental informatics. Practical experience with research projects is a crucial component of the dental informatics training program. In this course, students will begin by identifying ideas for short term research projects in cooperation with the course faculty. The group will then jointly formulate the research question(s) to be addressed and conduct a thorough review of the literature. It will then develop the research methodology using state-of-the-art methodological approaches. Students will also prepare the submission of the research protocol to the Institutional Review Board if required. As appropriate, students will participate in the actual conduct of the research project itself, as well as in the analysis and publication of the results.

At any one time, students will work on one or two research projects together. Depending on the intersection of the research interests of particular students with the project, some students may assume more of a "lead" role than others. However, it will be important to have all students involved in all projects to some degree.

Through this course, we expect trainees to develop several ideas for their Master's Thesis or other research projects.


The course will develop students' knowledge and competencies in the following areas:

  • basic knowledge about various research areas in dental informatics
  • understanding of how to identify promising research projects
  • ability to develop a research project from the initial idea to final publication
  • application of IRB regulations to research projects
  • ability to perform each phase of a research project
  • understanding of research methods in informatics

Signing up for and dropping the course

Signing up for and dropping the course follows the rules published by the Office of the Registrar. Please note that additional paperwork will be required to add or drop this course after the official deadlines.


General requirements

  1. In the fall and spring semesters of the academic year 2003/04, this course involves defining and conducting the research project "Chairside computer use in dentistry" and several other projects still to be defined.
  2. The course is graded A-F based on the student's contributions and participation in course related meanings, quality and quantity of work performed on the project, and level of contribution to data analysis and publication preparation. Course faculty will meet with each student twice per semester to assess these grading criteria jointly.
  3. Students who have not completed the assignment by the end of the course will receive a grade of "incomplete."  The final grade will be awarded once the assignment is completed.


If classwork merits a grade of 'F,' students will be assigned appropriate makeup work.  This makeup work will consist of an essay or research assignment.


Readings consist of articles and/or book chapters related to the research projects. In addition:

  • Mansmann U, Jensen K, Dirschedl P. Good biometrical practice in medical research--Guidelines and recommendations. Informatik, Biometrie and Epidemiologie in Medizin und Biologie; 35(2004):1; 63-71.


Academic Integrity

Students in this course will be expected to comply with University of Pittsburgh's Policy on Academic Integrity. Any student suspected of violating this obligation for any reason during the semester will be required to participate in the procedural process, initiated at the instructor level, as outlined in the University Guidelines on Academic Integrity. This may include, but is not limited to, the confiscation of the examination of any individual suspected of violating University Policy. Furthermore, no student may bring any unauthorized materials to an exam, including dictionaries and programmable calculators.


If you have a disability that requires special testing accommodations or other classroom modifications, you need to notify both the instructor and the Disability Resources and Services no later than the 2nd week of the term. You may be asked to provide documentation of your disability to determine the appropriateness of accommodations. To notify Disability Resources and Services, call 648-7890 (Voice or TTD) to schedule an appointment. The Office is located in 216 William Pitt Union.

Schedule and topics

(The schedule is individually arranged with the instructor.)