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Summer Opportunity for Advanced Research (SOAR)

The Summer Opportunity for Advanced Research (SOAR) Program provides funding for UC Merced undergraduates with prior research experience to continue their projects at UC Merced. Qualified students with an interest in pursuing graduate school are especially encouraged to apply. This program is funded directly through the Division of Undergraduate Education. 

Program Eligibility and Requirements 

To be eligible for selection, each applicant must:
  • Confirm summer faculty mentor and research project prior to applying
  • Have previous research experience (not course-related)
  • In good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0, preferred but not required
  • Demonstrate the potential for success in a graduate program 
  • Be able to demonstrate potential for success in a graduate program
  • Priority will be given to first-generation college students and underrepresented minoritized students



The following materials are needed to complete the UC Merced SOAR application: 

  1. Online application
  2. Two letters of recommendation - At least 1 from a professor
    (can be a previous institution if you are a transfer student)
  3. Resume or CV 
  4. One cumulative unofficial transcript from all attended colleges
  5. One Research Proposal (timeline, brief literature review, & methods)
  6. Three application statements:
    • Personal Statement: Please describe how your personal background has helped shape your decision to obtain a graduate degree. This may include any obstacles you have encountered through your journey. (600 word max).

    • Statement of Purpose: Why do you want to continue research through this program and how will it aid in your goals for graduate studies, and ultimately your future occupation or profession? (600 word max).

    • Supplemental Question: Briefly explain your research community, mentor relationship, or challenges you encountered in your previous research experience. (600 word max).


Scholars in the SOAR Program have separate training and assignments from the new scholars in SURI. These include but not limited to:

  • Final versions of graduate school application statements (other SURI scholars submit drafts by the end of summer)
  • Predoctoral fellowship statements (encouragement to submit in Fall)
  • Grant process development (preparing for careers in academia)
  • Draft manuscript of research paper
  • Additional workshops intended to build on previous research experience 


Summer 2024 Application is Closed


Undocumented students are eligible for this program. 

Want to learn more?

Interested in learning more about the program that’s right for you? Check out our programs page or schedule an appointment with one of our UROC Coordinators:

Aliyah McGuire: Schedule an Appointment