Summer Opportunities in Agricultural Research and the Environment (SOARE) formerly SROP

Summer Opportunities in Agricultural Research and the Environment (SOARE) formerly SROP

The Summer Opportunities in Agricultural and the Environment (SOARE) is a partnership between the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) Dean’s Office, AGNR Academic Programs, and The UMD Graduate School. Project SOARE is a gateway to graduate education. The goal of the program is 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 an 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. 

Students participating in the SOARE 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-week period, 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 discipline.

For more about SOARE, go to 

Program Dates

Monday, May 25- Saturday, July 31. The program runs 10 weeks, from May 25- July 31, 2020.  Students are required to arrive on campus on Monday, May 25 for the mandatory program orientation. All participants must live on campus and remain on campus for the entire 10 weeks.  No program leave will be permitted.

Stipend & Financial Support

The typical stipend amount is $3,000 stipend.  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.  

Participating Academic Departments

  • 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
  • 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
  • Entomology
  • Food Science
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Nutritional Science
  • 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
  • Cell Biology
  • Poultry Health Management
  • Immunology

Participant Eligibility

Applicants must meet ALL of the following requirements

  • Be enrolled full-time at an accredited four-year institution of higher education
  • Have junior or senior status by Fall 2020
  • 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 or related STEM field
  • Have a career goal that includes graduate-level education
  • Demonstrate an interest in pursuing graduate study in agricultural, environmental, natural resources, food science, nutritional science 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. 

Application Requirements

  • Statement of purpose: Approximately 1-2 double-spaced pages that include academic and career goals, research interests, and explains why you desire to participate in SOARE. 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.
  • Current résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) 
  • Answer all supplemental questions
  • Letters of recommendation from two faculty members 
  • Unofficial transcripts of all undergraduate work including grades for fall 2019. If you have attended multiple colleges or universities, submit copies of transcripts from each institution.
  • Photograph (for the opening program)
  • Completed application & supplemental materials due February 1, 2020.

Apply Now!