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Repayment of the Dental Undergraduate Bursary Contract

A number of dentists have recently received letters regarding the Dental Undergraduate Bursary Contract.

This was provided to dental students who studied at Glasgow, Dundee or Aberdeen Dental Schools.

Students received a payment of £4,000 per academic year of study during years 2, 3, 4 and 5, in return committing to a period of up to five years' work in the NHS in Scotland following graduation. Another condition of the contract is that NHS earnings must also represent a minimum of 80% of the total made over the five years.

Dentists are being asked to submit proof, signed by an accountant, that a minimum of 80% of NHS work has been carried out. If not, a portion of the bursary must be repaid. We asked the Scottish Government to explain what happens if a dentist's commitment has dropped from the 80% threshold and to outline the portion of the bursary due for repayment.

The Scottish Government advised that a proportion of the bursary would need to be repaid for each year the 80% threshold has not been met. For example, if a dentist received all four years' bursaries (£16,000 in total) but failed to meet the threshold in one of those years then a repayment of £3,200 would be required. This is calculated as follows:

  • 5-year commitment period = 60 months
  • Repayment calculation: £16,000 / 60 months * 12 months = £3,200

We hope that this information helps to clarify the situation for any dentist who has received a letter and is concerned by repayment.