William H. Rollins Award for Research

Dr. William H. Rollins has been called by many “dentistry’s forgotten man” as he has received very little fame and recognition as one of the pioneers in oral and maxillofacial radiology.

Dr. Rollins was a graduate of the Harvard Dental and Medical Schools. He practiced dentistry in the Boston area. In July 1896, eight months after Roentgen’s discovery, he designed, made, used and published a description of an intra-oral cassette and oral fluoroscope. While working with x rays in 1898, he suffered severe burns to his hand. Dr. Rollins was among the first to warn about the adverse effects of radiation and urged the use of the least exposure possible to make diagnoses. He experimented with the effects of radiation on guinea pigs. He suggested, also in 1901, that anyone working with x rays should wear leaded glasses, enclose the x-ray tube in a leaded box and to cover all areas of the body not being radiographed with a radiopaque shield. He published a series of over 200 articles warning of the possible dangers of the x-ray beam. For many years his suggestions were ignored.

Today, however, his accomplishments are belatedly recognized. Dr. Rollins has become known as the father of radiation protection. He was a member of the Radiological Society of North America, and was its first Treasurer. He was a remarkable man, born perhaps a century ahead of his time.


To honor his contributions to radiation biology and radiation research, the Academy established the William H. Rollins Award for research in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology has been established to recognize an individual with an outstanding body of research.


The recipient of the award will receive:

  • Monetary prize of $1000
  • Certificate
  • Distinguished award plaque

The awardee will be announced and recognized at the Annual Session of the AAOMR.



The William H. Rollins Award is available to students enrolled in an accredited Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology program as well as to faculty members at the rank of Assistant Professor or Associate Professor in either the tenure or non-tenure track. Applicants should be members of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology or should have applied for membership at the time of application. The body of completed research should pertain to Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. Previous awardees are not eligible.


  • Online application form (Click Here)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of support from program director (for resident) or Department Chair ( for faculty)
  • Research Summary
  1. Specific Aims
  2. Background and significance
  3. Materials and Methods
  4. Results
  5. Discussion
  6. References
  7. Supporting documentation pertaining to the research
  • Publications
  • Presentations (scientific and invited)
  • Grant Support

Selection Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by members of the Awards Committee and will be awarded according to the following criteria:

  1. Originality of the research
  2. Research design and data analysis
  3. Quantity and quality of research publications, presentations and grants
  4. Significance related to OMFR, dentistry and society