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Pittsburgh Craniofacial Sciences Training Program(PCSTP)

Pittsburgh Craniofacial Sciences Training Program (PCSTP)

About the Pittsburgh Craniofacial Science Training Program

Pittsburgh Craniofacial Sciences Training Program (PCSTP) was established in 2022 with a goal to train and mentor a new generation of leading scientists in Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial sciences. The program is designed to support predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. The PCSTP provides a highly collaborative, vibrant multidisciplinary environment, where trainees from different backgrounds, i.e., oral and craniofacial sciences, bioengineering, immunology and human genetics, work side by side to  develop therapies.

The PCSTP is administered and managed by the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences (OCS) with faculty mentors from OCS and other Pitt Dental or University departments. The PCSTP provides courses, research experiences, seminar series, journal clubs, an annual symposium, and an annual retreat. Our trainees have full access to all University resources, such as training in artificial intelligence, the responsible conduct of research, grant writing and many other opportunities. Our trainees benefit from a wealth of seminars, conferences, intramural funding opportunities, and specialized training and experiences available through hundreds of laboratories and clinics across the six schools of the health sciences, Swanson School of Engineering and the Pitt Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI).

Application Process 

Applications must be submitted by March 31 of each year to be considered for a September 1 start date.  

Application packets may be submitted to the PCSTP Administrator, Ms. Deb Haralam at  


            Eligibility for Predoc positions

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a PhD program through the academic department of the faculty mentor.   

  • Candidates pursuing simultaneous DMD and PhD degrees are encouraged. 

  • Applicants may not have a prior doctoral degree (DDS/DMD, MD, PhD).

  • The applicant must be a United States citizen or permanent resident of the US. 

  • Student trainees are required to participate in the core training requirements while actively funded through grant number T90-DE030853, and plan to submit an individual NRSA application (F- or K‐award) to NIH. 



            Eligibility for Postdoc positions 

  • Applicants must have a doctoral degree (DDS/DMD, MD, PhD) 

  • Non-US-citizen/non-permanent resident applicants with a DDS/DMD may be foreign trained (for grant number R90-DE030853), and either seeking a PhD or postdoctoral research experience 

  • US citizens or permanent residents are eligible for postdoctoral positions through the T90-DE030853 grant. 

  • All trainees are required to participate in the Core Training Requirements during the months funded through the T90/R90 and are required to submit an individual NRSA application (For K‐award) to NIH. 



The T90/R90 grant covers NRSA allowable tuition, stipend, health and dental benefits, as well as support for trainees to travel to various research events.   

Application Procedure

The mentor and the nominated PhD Trainee should work together to provide the following items: 

  • PCSTP Application Cover Page 

  • academic record (unofficial transcript(s) from most recent institution) of the nominee

  • the nominee’s curriculum vitae (CV) 

  • description of the nominee's research, with the specific aims relevance to oral health 

  • description of career goals and how participation in PCSTP will advance these goals

  • past funding information (Pitt history and any previous grant appointments) 

  • Three confidential letters of recommendation are required and may be submitted by the mentor to Ms. Deb Haralam, grant administrator at 

Applications for admission to the program are considered on a rolling basis. The PCSTP Operating Committee meets quarterly to complete the trainee selection. If you have questions, please contact Deb Haralam

Meet our Training Grant Mentors

The faculty mentors of the PCSTP represent research spanning the development of bioinspired nanomaterials, joint tissue regeneration, the immune response in periodontal disease, the mechanisms of pain, craniofacial genetics, AI-related biology and epigenetics—to name only a few

View list of OuR Training Grant Mentors 



Charles Sfeir, DDS, PhD 

Co‐Director, Principal Investigator
Pittsburgh Craniofacial Science Sciences Training Program 
School of Dental Medicine


Mary L. Marazita, PhD 

Co‐Director, Principal Investigator
Pittsburgh Craniofacial Science Sciences Training Program 
School of Dental Medicine 



The Grant covers NRSA allowable tuition, Stipend, Health and Dental Benefits, and travel to support trainee research. 

Application Procedure

Please submit your application packet to Deb Haralam.