Support of Academic Research

Falk College Office of Research Development Support of Academic Research Sessions

Support of Academic Research (SOAR) sessions provide peer mentorship and support for work in progress. SOAR sessions allow colleagues to give and receive constructive feedback on in-development, planned, or ongoing research projects, with an emphasis on proposals for extramural sponsored projects. SOAR Sessions work best when a committed group of colleagues attends regularly, but guests are always welcome. Regular attendees benefit as much as those receiving feedback.

Usually, SOAR Sessions focus on one project per meeting, though it may be possible to do a themed session (e.g, responding to reviewer feedback, developing specific aims). The proposal can be at any stage of development. Presenters must be genuinely interested in receiving input from peers and should expect a good deal of interaction and input. It can be useful to present when you are:

  • first brainstorming ideas or developing a research proposal
  • exploring next steps based on preliminary data
  • articulating specific aims or approach
  • identifying possible challenges and ways to address them
  • responding to reviewer feedback for a resubmission

To get the most out of a SOAR Session, the presenter(s) should:

  • share materials one week before the meeting
  • indicate the type of feedback they would like
  • give a brief introduction to the current state of the proposal (aiming for 5 minutes or less).The presenter(s) should not have a formal presentation, but focus on providing a framework for the current state of the work so that attendees can provide feedback.

Presenter(s) must be Falk faculty and the lead researcher of the project presented (e.g., PI), though collaborating colleagues can be invited and included.

Presentation of grant proposals is generally restricted to external opportunities only. Faculty that want feedback on internal SU sponsorship opportunities should reach out to their mentors/network or contact The Falk College Office of Research Development for additional suggestions.