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Student Outreach and Research Fellowship (SOAR)

The SOAR Fellowship is a donor-funded educational program of the Balkan International Pediatric Glaucoma Center at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. This highly competitive program allows medical students and ophthalmologists with interests in pediatric eye disease to gain additional research experience. This full-time program provides a year of focused research experience complementing a world class medical education training.

The program focuses on principles of research from exposure to international programs for blindness prevention, ocular genetics, community outreach, and gaining knowledge in biostatistics and manuscript writing. This offers a chance to complete multiple hands-on research projects from start to finish, present at conferences, and submit multiple abstracts under the guidance and supervision of Bascom Palmer faculty.  National and international conferences will help develop soft skills in networking and communication. Internal meetings will allow SOAR Fellows to gain project management experience as coordinators of their projects, with guidance every step of the way. A stipend is offered to offset living expenses. 


The one-year SOAR Fellowship provides opportunities for medical students, ophthalmologists, and researchers to collaborate and foster a passion for vision research. Candidates with limited research experience are encouraged to apply, and applications from across the United States and around the world will be considered. There are no citizenship requirements. Should you require visa sponsorship, please allow up to 6 months for processing.

Stipend and Benefits

SOAR is a learning opportunity that provides a reasonable stipend (for University of Miami Medical Students) or salary (for external candidates). The stipend/salary is offered to offset living expenses:

  • Stipend $35,000
  • Salary $41,000
  • Travel sponsorship is provided for all accepted peer-reviewed published abstracts at national and international conferences
  • Travel as a part of international outreach research projects is funded

Application Process

Up to 4 fellowship positions are available per year. Each applicant must provide:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Cover Letter
  • One letter of recommendation


  • Satisfactory completion of the curriculum as set forth by the Directors of the Balkan Center
  • Quarterly evaluations with mentors and program manager
  • Regular attendance at specified seminars, professional development, and informational sessions
  • Publication of at least one (1) research document

Upon completion of the Fellowship, scholars will receive a Director’s Certificate of Distinction.  Click here for more information about the SOAR Fellowship.  


Eleonore Savatovsky, MD, PhD
SOAR Fellows Program Director