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Showcase of Osprey Advancements in Research and Scholarship (SOARS)

 SOARS Branding Sculpture

What is SOARS?

SOARS is an annual interdisciplinary conference in which UNF undergraduate and graduate students from all colleges showcase their research or creative projects to the public. In both its in-person and virtual modes, SOARS is a welcoming environment in which students can hone their research synopsis and presentation skills by demonstrating their work and interacting with peers, faculty, and various interested attendees. Student research projects may be in varying stages of development when they are exhibited at SOARS; projects well underway but not yet completed are always welcome. 

A prize for Undergraduate Researcher of the Year is awarded annually during SOARS. The award is intended to recognize an undergraduate researcher deemed to have been particularly outstanding in terms of dedication, persistence, work ethic, enthusiasm, and passion for research. The recipient of this award is a role model for other undergraduate student researchers. Students nominated as Undergraduate Researcher of the Year will be notified by email. Nominees will be asked to submit a two- three-page essay highlighting their research experiences, and a single-page essay describing the philosophies, qualities, and praxes which have made them a successful undergraduate researcher.

A prize for Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year is also awarded annually during SOARS. This award recognizes the most outstanding faculty member among many who have excelled in supporting, encouraging, and guiding their undergraduate student researchers. The recipient of the Mentor of the Year award exemplifies UNF's values in terms of teaching, researching, and service. Faculty members will be notified by email if they have been nominated as Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year. Nominees will be asked to submit an abbreviated CV highlighting their mentoring experiences (approximately 3 pages), and a single-page essay describing the philosophies, qualities, and praxes which have made them successful research mentors.

We encourage everyone from across the university, the broader Jacksonville community, and beyond to participate in the SOARS 2021 Virtual Conference on April 7, 2021

SOARS 2021: Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Like SOARS 2020, this year's showcase will be a robust virtual conference, in which student research and creative projects are exhibited on a sophisticated website. Projects will be displayed as posters with supplementary audio files and audio transcripts, wherein students describe the research or creative project in their own voices. In place of or in addition to the audio presentation, student researchers are encouraged to prepare a video presentation, recorded on YouTube or Vimeo. The video link will be embedded on the student project's individual web page. 


Would you like to see some poster and audio/video presentation examples? Check out the SOARS 2020 Virtual Conference website!

Important dates for SOARS 2021

Tuesday, December 1, 2020: The SOARS 2021 submission portal will open -- please watch the OUR website for details


Monday, January 4, 2021: Nomination portals for the Undergraduate Researcher of the Year AND Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year will open


Monday, March 1, 2021: Nomination portals for Undergraduate Researcher AND Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year will close


Monday, March 22, 2021: SOARS 2021 submission portal will close


Wednesday, April 7, 2021: SOARS 2021 Virtual Conference website will go live

What SOARS 2021 participants should do right now 

  • Mark your calendars with the important dates shown above
  • Identify a faculty mentor in your particular field and Zoom with them to chat about getting involved in research -- alternatively -- begin or continue working on your research project under the oversight of your faculty mentor
  • Begin planning and outlining your research poster (PowerPoint, 48" wide by 36" high) — we hope it will be viewed by a very wide audience!
  • Begin thinking about how you will prepare and record your research presentation in audio and/or video format
  • Keep watching this web page for updates