School of Medicine

SOAR Travel Awards


Medical Student Research Travel Fund Application Information


The Office of Student Opportunities for Advancement in Research (SOAR) is extremely pleased to announce the availability of research travel funds for students pursuing their M.D. at Baylor College of Medicine in the School of Medicine. The purpose of this Medical Student Research Travel Fund is for medical students to present their research findings 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. 
  • Students should submit the application a minimum of six weeks prior to the conference/meeting date.
  • Students must be selected to present research findings at the conference/meeting. 
  • Students must be the first author and presenter of the paper/poster/abstract that clearly describes research findings.
  • 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.
  • Students must not be on “at risk” or Probation academic status.
  • Students must be currently enrolled in the School of Medicine to receive the funding (e.g. not graduated).
  • Students 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.

How to Apply

Students must apply to the Medical Student Travel Fund online by completing their information and providing the required application materials. Complete applications can be submitted at any time during the academic year.

Required Application Materials

  • Students must provide their contact information, including name, address, phone number, email, and class year.
  • Student must provide their research mentor contact information, including name department, email, and project start day.
  • Students must facilitate information about the conference, including conference name, day, and location. 
  • Students must provide their abstract title and body, including author list. 
  • Students must provide the following documents: Clerkship Letter, proof of NICER form or enrollment in special research elective, mentor letter of support, and proof of abstract accepted for presentation. The mentor letter should certify the participation of the student in the submitted research and support the student’s research presentation and SOAR travel award application. 
  • Students must provide the anticipated travel costs.
  • Students must acknowledge the read and meet of the eligibility criteria.  

Expectation of Students

  • Students are expected to follow the School of Medicine Academic Attendance and Absence Policy.
  • Students and/or mentors will need to contribute to their travel costs as it is unlikely the travel funds will cover all costs. Consult the Conference Cost Saving Tips at the bottom of this page to learn more about funding sources.
  • 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 within 45 days of the travel date or reimbursement requests will be denied.

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.
  • 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.
  • The SOAR committee will review student applications on a monthly basis. SOAR committee meetings are typically held the third week of the month, and notifications will be sent to the applicants by the fourth week of the month.
  • A complete application submitted on or before the second Monday of the month will be evaluated by the SOAR Committee on the third week of the month. Applications submitted after the second Monday of the month will be evaluated the month following after the month of submission.  
  • 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.