The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences along with the School of Medicine has established the Office of Student Opportunities for Advancement in Research (SOAR). The purpose of the SOAR Office is to educate and support all BCM medical students interested in pursuing research opportunities offered at Baylor College of Medicine and its affiliates. The SOAR database provides students with an opportunity to identify research projects and gain valuable research experience while pursuing their medical studies. The SOAR Office also offers SOAR Travel Awards to support medical student research presentations at scientific and medical conferences.
The simple-to-use, searchable SOAR database helps medical students to identify projects in their area of interest and to connect with faculty willing to serve as mentors for their research experience. BCM Faculty can list projects in the searchable database to attract medical students to their labs. Once a project has been selected, students must complete the NICER Authorization for Research Activities Form before starting their research. More information about NICER is available. Additionally, if you cannot find a project that meets your needs or interests in the SOAR database, you may search the VIICTR profiles website, which provides options to search our faculty by research interests and view faculty publications.
Use of the “My Account” tab gives you the option of setting alerts for keywords. Once you have created your keyword profile, you will be alerted by the database each time a project containing your keyword(s) of interest is posted. You may also bookmark projects for later review. Instructions outlining steps for searching the database, registering keywords or bookmarking projects of interest is available.
Posting a Project?
BCM Faculty members can list projects in the SOAR database. Click on the ‘My Projects’ tab in the SOAR database then select ‘Add New Project Listing’ and begin submission of your project information. Step-by-step instructions for entering a project are available. You can start a submission, save, and return to your draft submission. A project title, project description (2,500 characters or less), contact information, and project time frame are necessary to post a project. Once your project has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the SOAR office, and once complete, it will be posted.
Quality Improvement Project Registry | Centralized Registry & Project Tracking Tool
In addition to the SOAR database, which accepts most project types there exists the QI Project Registry. The QI Project Registry, focused specifically on quality improvement (QI) and patient safety initiatives, is operated by the Institute for Continuing Professional Development in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (I-QIPS) at Baylor College of Medicine. If your project is focused primarily on healthcare quality improvement you may want to post your project with the QI Project Registry. It is open to members of the BCM community and designed for faculty, fellows, staff, and trainees who are or have interest in leading or participating in healthcare QI activities being conducted within the College or affiliated institutions. Users register their QI projects in the QI Project Registry through a guided format to develop, track, and showcase their projects. The QI Project Registry also allows users to explore, learn about, and follow registered QI projects of interest.
To register and/or view already registered QI projects, refer to the instructions and User Guide provided on the QI Project Registry website. If you are interested in participating in a registered QI project, please inquire with the respective Project Lead indicated. For assistance and/or any questions regarding the QI Project Registry, please contact the I-QIPS Team via their Contact Us Form.
Looking to Apply for a SOAR Travel Award?
Information and application instructions can be found on the SOAR Travel Awards page.
Have Research to Present?
The SOAR Office maintains a student-centered conference database. The SOAR Conference Database contains listings of local, regional, and national meetings that you may use to aid in finding a suitable venue in which to present your research. Additional information about this database can be found on the conference listings webpage.
Need Help with Research Skills?
The SOAR office provides informational resources aimed at helping medical students develop research skills. There are presentations designed to aid with the acquisition of research skills in areas that medical students are likely to encounter. Each topic is presented by BCM faculty or staff with experience in the subject area. Ares covered are poster presentations, IRB, survey design, and writing abstracts for scientific conferences. Visit the Student Educational Resources page to view presentations.
Need to Speak in Person?
Should you want to discuss any issues or questions in person, you may drop by to visit Kirt Martin, in the SOAR office located at room N204X in the GSBS suite or email (Kirt.Martin@bcm.edu) to set up a Zoom call.