The AASM Foundation’s vision for society and the field of sleep medicine is to create Healthier Lives through better Sleep. A goal of the AASM Foundation is to grow and support the pipeline of sleep scientists by investing in the research careers of new investigators.

The AASM Foundation is launching a new program in 2020, the Sleep Research Program for Advancing Careers (SOAR), aimed at increasing the number of early-career investigators who successfully apply for external sleep research funding.

What is the SOAR program?

The goal of the AASM Foundation SOAR is to launch the research careers of sleep and circadian investigators. By the end of the 10-month SOAR, early-career investigators will have the skills and resources necessary to successfully apply for a National Institutes of Health (NIH), Veteran Affairs (VA), AASM Foundation career development grant, or equivalent award.

Who are the SOAR Fellows?

The SOAR program will launch in August 2020 with a cohort of up to 5 SOAR Fellows. Selected SOAR Fellows are early-career investigators (MD, DO, PhD or other similar degree) who will be applying for their first federal or foundation career development grant.

The SOAR will reimburse fellows for the travel expenses associated with a mid-year grant writing retreat and the annual SLEEP meeting. It will also provide discretionary funds, requested at the time of application, to be used towards activities and/or training for developing and submitting a competitive application to the funding agency of their choice (e.g. abstract poster costs, application costs, career development or research training).

How does the SOAR Mentor Pool work?

Mentors who agree to participate in the SOAR Mentor Pool will have a profile set-up with their shortened biosketch, research interests and expertise, and mentoring experience. This profile will be publicly available to increase the number of applications and interest of potential SOAR Fellows.

Selected SOAR Fellows will be able to view your mentor profile and select the top 3 mentors they would like to work with for the duration of the program. This will occur in August 2020.

You will be notified when you have been matched to a SOAR Fellow, at which time you can decide 1) if the match is a good fit for you and 2) if you can commit the time to mentoring for the duration of the program.

Who is eligible to participate in the SOAR Mentor Pool?

The following individuals are eligible to serve as SOAR mentors:

  1. Individuals who have applied and successfully secured a career development grant.
  2. Individuals who have current research funding.

As a SOAR Mentor, what are the expectations?

SOAR Mentors who are matched with a SOAR Fellow will meet with the SOAR Fellow on a regular basis for the duration of the program. There will be an in-person meeting at the mid-year retreat and at SLEEP 2021.

The following are the expectations of SOAR Mentors:

  • Assist in the overall development of the mentee’s research idea and project
  • Provide timely feedback to mentees on their research progress via email
  • Meet with mentee at least twice yearly to review research grant documents (video, phone or in-person)
  • Create a timeline for preparing documents for a grant submission
  • Track mentee’s metrics and compile report 4 times a year of mentee progress for review by the AASM Research Fellowship Committee
  • Provide overall research and career advice/guidance as needed
  • Complete program feedback requests in a timely fashion
  • Attend mid-year grant writing retreat (travel expenses paid by the AASM Foundation)

As a SOAR Mentor, will I be provided a stipend?

If matched to a SOAR Fellow, the program will provide a stipend to mentors of $2,500 to be given at the end of the program. This stipend is to ensure mentors are held to high standards in their activities with SOAR Fellows, including time spent completing paperwork and hours spent with Fellows. The SOAR will also reimburse the mentor’s travel expenses associated with a mid-year grant writing retreat. Up to 5 mentors will be supported for the first year of the SOAR.

I am interested in participating in the SOAR Mentor Pool! How do I sign up?

To participate in the SOAR Mentor Pool, complete the online form.

If you have questions, contact the AASM Foundation National Office at