The AASM Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2022-2023 Sleep Research Program for Advancing Careers (SOAR), aimed at increasing the number of early-career investigators who successfully apply for external sleep research funding. By the end of the program, fellows of SOAR will have the skills and resources necessary to successfully apply for a National Institutes of Health, Veteran Affairs or AASM Foundation career development grant, or an equivalent award.
The SOAR program will launch in August 2022 with the third cohort of SOAR Fellows and run through June 2023.
What is the SOAR program?
The program will match each SOAR Fellow with a SOAR Mentor, who will serve as their grantmaking mentor for the duration of the program. SOAR Fellows will be provided the following:
- Grant Writing Lectures
Monthly interactive lectures are focused on various aspects of preparing a grant application. The topics and schedule for the lectures can be found in the 2022-2023 Sleep Research Program for Advancing Careers Curriculum.
- Discretionary Funds
Discretionary funds of up to $3,000 to be used towards activities and/or training for developing and submitting a competitive application to the funding agency of their choice. Examples of activities covered by the discretionary funds include registration for professional conferences or workshops, and associated travel; poster costs for accepted abstracts at a professional conference; coursework related to research career development; publication fees associated with submitting papers to a journal.
- Travel Scholarships
A travel scholarship for the SOAR Grant Writing Retreat in Miami, FL, which will provide SOAR Fellows 1:1 in-person time with their SOAR Mentor, protected writing time, and networking opportunities with fellow peers and senior sleep researchers. Additionally, a travel scholarship for SLEEP 2023 in Indianapolis, IN will be provided to SOAR Fellows, which will include complimentary registration.
Who are the SOAR Mentors?
SOAR Mentors are successful mid-career/senior sleep investigators who currently have external research funding. They will serve as grantsmanship mentors.
Once a SOAR Fellow is successfully matched with a SOAR Mentor, the AASM Foundation will facilitate an introduction and the fellow-mentor dyads will work together to set a timeline, milestones and communication preferences for follow-up related to the SOAR Fellow’s target career development grant.
Who is eligible to apply for the SOAR program?
Eligible applicants should be early-career investigators (MD, DO, PhD or other similar degree) who will be applying for their career development grant. This includes physicians and researchers who are within 10 years of completing their training or are currently clinical fellows or post-doctoral fellows. Successful applicants will be selected based on their contribution to science, research goals, career plan, and mentoring needs.
What are the expectations for SOAR Fellows?
SOAR Fellows and Mentors will meet on a regular basis for the duration of the program. There will also be an in-person meeting at the mid-year retreat and at SLEEP 2023.
The SOAR Fellows are expected to:
- Submit an application for an NIH, VA or AASM Foundation career development grant, or an equivalent award, within one year of ending of the program.
- Submit an abstract to the annual SLEEP meeting during the SOAR year.
- Develop research skills to prepare specific grant sections, including a refined specific aims page and research plan, and refined research ideas through webinars and one-on-one interactions with mentor.
- Create career development plans and individual training goals with short-term and long-term academic goals. Begin to develop a research personal brand.
- Complete program evaluation and feedback surveys as well as annual follow-up evaluations when requested.
- Volunteer to participate in committees that expose fellows to the grant, abstract, or manuscript review process. This includes committees of the AASM Foundation, Sleep Research Society, annual SLEEP meeting, Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, journal Sleep or other similar activities.
I am interested in applying for the SOAR program! Where can I apply?
To apply for the SOAR program, you can find links to the application overview and the online application portal on the AASM Foundation website at https://foundation.aasm.org/soar. Applications are due on March 21, 2022.
If you have questions regarding the SOAR program, contact the AASM Foundation National Office at email@example.com.