SOARE at UMD
Updated on 8/10/23
The Summer Opportunities in Agricultural and the Environment (SOARE) is a partnership between the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR), The Big Ten Alliance Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), and The UMD Graduate School. SOARE is a gateway to graduate education. The program aims to increase the number of underrepresented students pursuing graduate study and research careers in agricultural, environmental, nutrition and food science, and natural resource areas of study. SOARE provides underrepresented undergraduate students with on-campus research experience to establish important relationships with faculty in their respective fields of study and to conduct graduate-level research under the supervision of a renowned AGNR faculty member. Our new summer research program, SOARE: Strategic Work in Applied Geosciences (SWAG), is geared towards undergraduates with interest in geology (i.e., mineralogy, geomorphology, petrology), earth science (i.e., geology plus chemistry, physics computations, environmental science, geography, hydrology/marine science, atmospheric science), natural resources management and soil science.
Students participating in the SOARE and SOARE: SWAG will spend ten weeks at UMD working closely with AGNR faculty members as part of their research teams. Students are expected to spend about forty hours per week working with their research teams and to be contributing members. Participants will attend weekly seminars to learn more about the graduate school experience, the graduate school application process as well as social activities during their stay. At the end of the ten weeks, students will have produced tangible results from experimental research and will report the results in a special research forum. Participants will also become acquainted with the culture of graduate school and learn what is needed and expected of them as graduate students in their respective disciplines.
SOARE and SOARE: SWAG run for ten weeks, from May 20, 2024 - July 26, 2024. Virtual orientation and training are May 20 - 24, with all participants reporting to campus on Saturday, May 25, 2024. All participants must be available for the entire ten weeks of the summer program. No program leave will be permitted.
The stipend for the SOARE program will be paying $4,500 -$6,000. All travel, room, board, excursions to Baltimore and Washington DC, and fees are paid by AGNR. We try to accommodate as best we can in arranging travel from the most convenient airport, train/bus depot, etc. to Washington Regan National or Baltimore's Thurgood Marshall Airports or Union Station. Typically flights and other travel will be covered fully (up to $500 USD). For those participants who plan to drive their own vehicle (not for drop-offs), mileage is reimbursed at the rate of approximately $0.58/mile.
- Provide rising juniors and rising seniors an opportunity to learn about graduate studies and the range of research and scholarship at the University of Maryland
- Providing laboratory experiences that enhances basic research knowledge and skills
- Providing lectures, workshops, didactic exchanges and other programming to enhance students' knowledge of the graduate application process, negotiating the academic rigors and professional and personal challenges encountered in graduate school, and developing career paths
- Provide mentoring and networking opportunities for students to advance their training
- Increase the knowledge of, and interest in, doctoral-level training in the agricultural, natural resources, and environmental sciences
- Increase the number of underrepresented students pursuing graduate study, research careers and the professoriate
Group housing will be provided on campus. All participants must live in provided housing for the duration of the program.
Agricultural and Resource Economics
Animal & Avian Sciences, Genetic and Cell Biology
Animal & Avian Sciences, Reproduction & Development
Animal & Avian Sciences, Nutrient Utilization and Metabolism
Animal & Avian Sciences, Pathobiology and Infectious Diseases
Comparative Biomedical Sciences (VMSC)
Environmental Science and Technology, Soil and Watershed Sciences
Environmental Science and Technology, Ecological Technology Design
Environmental Science and Technology, Wetland Science
Environmental Science and Technology, Ecosystem Health & Natural Resource Management
Plant Biology, Agronomy
Plant Biology, Cell Biology
Plant Biology, Molecular Physiology
Plant Biology, Molecular Physiology
Plant Biology, Pathology
Plant Biology, Ecosystems Management
Infectious and Zoonotic Diseases
Poultry Health Management
Applicants must meet ALL of the following requirements
- Be enrolled full-time at an accredited two-year or four-year institution of higher education
- Have sophomore or junior status at the time of application
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Have an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale
- Major in agricultural, environmental, natural resources, food science, nutritional science, geology, geography, or related STEM field
- Have a career goal that includes graduate-level education (not professional school e.g. veterinary, dental or medical school)
- Demonstrate an interest in pursuing graduate study (not professional schools) in agricultural, environmental, natural resources, food science, nutritional science, geoscience, or related STEM field
- Have a STEM background and have completed one of each: chemistry, biology, and calculus course
- Be enrolled in at least one semester of undergraduate study upon completion of the SOARE.
- Be available for the entire period of the program.
- Any applicant needing any academic, housing or other accommodations must notify program directors within 24 hours of accepting their offer of admission. To receive any requested and documented accommodation, students must petition Accessibility and Disability Services at https://counseling.umd.edu/ads.
The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland, College Park, provides a nationally recognized education that meshes applied learning, community engagement, professional mentorship, real-world opportunities, and supportive and diverse learning culture to ready students for sustainable and socially-minded practice. Summer Opportunities in Agricultural Research and the Environment (SOARE) is a gateway to graduate education. It provides underrepresented undergraduate students with on-campus research experience to establish important relationships with faculty in their respective fields of study and to conduct graduate-level research.
This fall and next spring, we are holding several summer research internship information sessions. We offer two summer internship programs in agriculture education, extension education, plant biology, animal and avian science, veterinary medicine, entomology, agricultural business, agricultural economics, nutritional science, food science, environmental science, earth science, geography, soil science, natural resources management, landscape architecture, and Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences. We are seeking twenty students to fill 2024 summer positions paying $4,500 -$6,000. SOARE will help you
Increase the knowledge of and interest in doctoral-level training in the agricultural, environmental, food, and nutritional sciences.
Build professional and personal networks to support students interested in joining the academic community
Create a diverse academic environment by increasing the number of traditionally underrepresented students in AGNR graduate programs and, ultimately, the professoriate.
Career panels & shuttles
Scientific research poster
Travel award to a national conference
Paid 2nd-year internship (for eligible participants)
UMD Graduate School application fee waivers
Students at two-year and four-year institutions are eligible.
Sign up for a Research Internship Session below; select the best date for you! (Click on the date below to register.)
SOARE Information Sessions
Please make sure to register for the information session via the Links Below.
- Session 1: November 1, 2023 2:00 PM
- Session 2: November 11, 2023, 11:00 AM
- Session 4: December 12, 2023, 1:00 PM
- Session 6: January 10, 2024 10:00 AM
- Session 7: February 5, 2023 5:00 PM
All applicants must submit a personal statement and a supplemental essay. Applicants are encouraged to identify one or more AGNR faculty members with whom they are interested in working and explain why they would like to work with them. Learn more about AGNR graduate programs and faculty.
- Personal statement. You must address the following statements: 600-700 word length; double-spaced, 12 font.
- Tell us about your academic and graduate education experience to date.
- Describe your academic and career aspirations.
- What are your research interests? Include the specific field of interest you will pursue in graduate school and your career goals as a scientist, and explain why you desire to participate in SOARE.
- Describe how might SOARE help you reach your educational and career goals
- Applicants are encouraged to identify two or more AGNR faculty members whose research experiences align with their interests and explain why they would like to work with them (see available faculty members in the list of participating departments).
- Supplemental essay. You must address the following statements: 600-700 word length, double-spaced; 12 font.
- Discuss how you will contribute to the diversity of the community of SOARE scholars, given this program is designed for students who are underrepresented in academia and their disciplines in graduate studies, including but not limited to those who come from educational, cultural, or geographic backgrounds that is underrepresented in graduate study in the United States of at UM.
- Specifically, address how you meet one or more of the following:
- Come from an educational, cultural, or geographic background that is underrepresented in graduate study in your discipline
- Have demonstrated a commitment to diversity in the academic, professional, or civic realm through your work experience, volunteerism, and leadership or community organizations.
- How do you plan to contribute to enhancing diversity in the agricultural sciences and in your career through your research, teaching, service, or other activities?
- Current résumé or curriculum vitae (CV)
- PDF version of your unofficial transcript reflecting all earned undergraduate credits and grades through December 2022. If you have attended multiple colleges or universities, submit copies of transcripts from each institution. All applicants must submit their most recent transcript before admission to SOARE.
- Two Letters of recommendation from faculty members
- Photograph (for the opening program). Must send upon request.
- Completed application & supplemental materials on February 10, 2023.