SOAR Applications Open for Fall '24


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SOAR logo: Student Opportunities for AIDS/HIV Research
SOAR logo: Student Opportunities for AIDS/HIV Research

*Application deadline March 7, 2024 (by 11:59 p.m.)*

Sexual and gender minority (SGM) people and communities account for the vast majority of HIV cases in the United States, with Black and Latinx people being disproportionately affected. Unfortunately these communities also experience a host of negative societal factors. The next generation of HIV behavioral and social science researchers must have cutting edge knowledge of the complex factors that influence HIV prevention and care within SGM communities, and possess the interdisciplinary research skills and experiences needed to develop innovative and effective approaches to ending the HIV epidemic.

The Student Opportunities for AIDS/HIV Research (SOAR) program is a multi-component, two-year long research-intensive program for University of Michigan undergraduate students who will participate in faculty mentored research experiences and other evidence-based programs and activities during their junior and senior years. SOAR aims to prepare students for doctoral education and careers in behavioral and social science research on HIV/AIDS.

We are seeking applications from U-M Ann Arbor students who:

  • will have junior standing in fall 2024

  • are interested in behavioral and social science research related to HIV/AIDS, especially among sexual and gender minority communities and/or communities of color

  • are interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in behavioral and social science, (e.g., a Ph.D. in a field such as Afroamerican Studies, Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Health Policy, Public Health, Nursing, Political Science, Women’s & Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, etc.)

  • We especially encourage students who identify as sexual or gender minorities, and those who identify as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a/x, American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; individuals with disabilities; and/or first-generation college students to apply.

About the Program:

During the two-year program, students will:

  • Engage in HIV-focused research with prominent behavioral and social science U-M faculty during the academic year
  • Complete a summer research experience, supervised thesis writing, or internship
  • Participate in graduate school preparation support in May after junior year
  • Take two required seminar courses cross-listed in Women's & Gender Studies and Public Health during their junior and senior years

Benefits include:

  • Mentored research experiences with leading scholars in behavioral and social science research related to HIV/AIDS and/or SGM communities
  • Mentorship from current doctoral students
  • Students are eligible to receive payment and/or independent study credits for the research experiences
  • Academic credit for required courses
  • Graduate school prep & GRE tutoring
  • Spring and summer living stipend
  • Exclusive use of a personal laptop and free printing for the two years of the program
  • Holistic support and well-being workshops
  • Lane Hall study & lounge space exclusively for SOAR students
  • Ongoing support from SOAR directors, staff, graduate student mentors, peers, and faculty research mentors

SOAR is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and NIH's Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. The program is administered out of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender in collaboration with the School of Public Health, School of Nursing, School of Social Work, and College of Literature Science & the Arts.

Prospective students can learn more and apply through the SOAR website. The application deadline is March 7, 2024 (by 11:59 p.m.).


Photo of Feaven with quote: Before joining SOAR, I wasn’t really sure where I saw my future. Through this program, I realize that I can combine all of my interests in public health, STEM, social justice, and working in communities through the field of research!  Now I know that research is where my future lies, and that’s all thanks to SOAR!" - Feaven Gebrezgi, SOAR scholar

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