top of page

Summer Opportunities in Academic Research (SOAR)

SOAR Eagle.png

What is SOAR?

SOAR (Summer Opportunities in Academic Research) is a summer program for high school students in Charlottesville and Albemarle County seeking to immerse themselves in an exciting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) research environment. SOAR aims to provide hands-on research and academic experience to high school-level students who are “under-represented” in STEM, as defined by NIH guidelines. Participating students are paired with research mentors at the University of Virginia (UVA) and introduced to numerous topics and career avenues in science and medicine during morning didactic sessions and afternoon research in mentor labs. Through these experiences, SOAR encourages high school students to pursue careers in science through education and mentoring in biomedical research.

Read more about our highly successful inaugural year at the following link. 

The SOAR Daily Structure:

The SOAR program consists of a structured 8-week schedule divided into AM lectures and PM mentored research.


Collaborative morning sessions focus on topics such as:

  • Searching the scientific literature

  • Writing a literature review

  • Manuscript writing

  • Case-based ethics

  • Internal Review Boards

  • Introduction to statistics and coding


Afternoon laboratory time involves:

  • Garnering research lab experience

  • Designing and executing research protocols 

  • Experience in a pathology lab

  • Surgery lab simulation


At the end of the program, SOAR scholars are encouraged to deliver a presentation to their research mentors summarizing their summer research.

To learn more about SOAR, please contact Sana Syed ( or Brynne Sullivan (


Program Directors: 

Brynne Sullivan & Sana Syed

SOAR Program Associate Directors  

bottom of page