School of Medicine

SOAR Travel Awards


Medical Student Research Travel Fund Application Information


Baylor College of Medicine School of Medicine students pursuing their M.D. are encouraged to do research and present their scholarly work at conferences. Students who are conducting research with the guidance of their faculty mentors are expected to be provided support in order to attend meetings where their work is presented. In cases where mentors or student organizations don't have sufficient resources to cover expenses, students apply for assistance from the Office of Student Opportunities for Advancement in Research (SOAR).


Eligibility Criteria

  • Students must have a completed NICER form or be registered in a special research elective before initiating any research activity/project. A special research elective requires documentation of enrollment.
  • The student must submit the application a minimum of six weeks prior to the conference/meeting date (including a letter of acceptance or invitation to participate in meeting/conference).
  • The conference/meeting must take place in the Continental United States.
  • The research being presented must have been conducted while the student was in medical school under the guidance of a BCM faculty member from BCM or one of its affiliated institutions.
  • The student must be the first author on the paper/poster/abstract.
  • The student must not be on “at risk” or Probation academic status.
  • The student must be currently enrolled in the SOM to receive the funding (e.g. not graduated).
  • The student must not be on leave of absence at the time of application for any reason.
  • This award is not intended to support dual degree students who performed research as part of their dual degree training, including for dual degrees.
  • Students must have receipts and must submit all receipts within 45 days of the travel date or reimbursement requests will be denied.

Expectation of Students

  • Students are expected to follow the SOM Academic Attendance and Absence Policy.
  • Students will need to contribute to their travel costs as it is unlikely the travel funds will cover all costs.
  • Students must notify SOAR as soon as possible if they decide not to travel or if the travel is cancelled.
  • Students must provide receipts for reimbursement.

Funding Availability and Notification

  • Funding is available for a maximum of one trip per student per academic year (July 1 – June 30), not to exceed $500.
  • The SOAR committee will review student applications on a monthly basis; funding will be awarded based on the information in the application as well as available funds.
  • The allocation of funds for SOAR travel is subject to limitations, and the availability of awards is contingent upon the available budget. Although all applications are welcome, in cases where funds are scarce, priority may be given to projects that concentrate on basic, clinical, and translational research, rather than case reports or retrospective chart reviews.
  • Committee meetings are typically held the third week of the month.
  • Funds are awarded after travel has occurred.
  • Only one award per presentation (i.e. if co-presenting, only one student is eligible).

What is eligible for reimbursement?

  • Conference registration
  • Airline/mileage
  • Hotel expense (a maximum of two nights)
  • Meals will not be reimbursed
  • Journal publication costs are not reimbursable
  • Poster printing is not supported, however you may helpful information in the Conference Cost Saving Tips section.

Conference Cost Savings Tips


SOAR Travel Awards are intended to be supplemental, and many conferences will cost more than the maximum award amount of $500. Some approaches to reducing costs include:

  • Look for student/trainee conference registration rates; these are often a fraction of the full/member cost.
  • Consider joining a professional society, typically as a student/trainee member, if the member conference registration rates and membership fee are less than the cost of a non-member conference registration.