Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS)

Nature of Research/Program Description: 

Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) provides a comprehensive summer research training program for students who plan to pursue a career in atmospheric or a related science. Each summer, SOARS protégés spend ten weeks conducting original research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) or at laboratories of other SOARS sponsors. By the end of the summer, protégés will prepare scientific papers and present their research at a colloquium. Most research sites are in Colorado and surrounding states.

SOARS protégés can participate for up to four summers so that they can explore the breadth of geoscience and transition smoothly into graduate school.

For an example of past research topics, please check out the Earth, Wind, Sea and Sky publication.

SOARS invites students from many disciplines--including meteorology, chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, ecology, and the social sciences--to apply their expertise to understanding the Earth’s Atmosphere. 

See the NCAR database entry for more programs.


To help protégés succeed academically and professionally, SOARS offers each protégé up to five mentors: a research mentor, a writing mentor, a computing mentor, a coach, and a peer mentor. Research shows that this comprehensive, multi-dimensional mentoring is a key contributor to the continued success of SOARS protégés.

SOARS is a diverse group of students and mentors who learn together. Our protégés form professional and personal relationships, and learn the leadership and communication skills to keep those relationships strong. They are encouraged to grow not only as researchers, but as scientific leaders who can see science as an opportunity to contribute to a better world.

Contact: Laura Allen, Program Coordinator

Keywords: atmospheric research; science; summer; scientific paper; colloquium; research mentor; writing; computing; coach; peer mentor

Location Details: 
Mainly in Colorado and surrounding states, but other states may have projects.
Targeted Students/ Eligibity Requirements: 

General requirements:

  • Have completed the equivalent of two years of college
  • Have at least one semester of undergraduate studies remaining after the initial summer program
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Have a major in atmospheric science or a related field such as the geosciences, biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, meteorology, oceanography, physics, or social science;
  • Have U.S.-citizen or permanent-resident status

Additional factors:

SOARS seeks to involve students from groups that are historically under-represented in the sciences, including Black or African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino, female, first-generation college students and students with disabilities. SOARS welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students; students who have experienced, and worked to overcome, educational or economic disadvantage and/or have personal or family circumstances that may complicate their continued progress in research careers.

Program Time Period: 
Time Period Details: 
End of May and continues through mid-August. Students may participate for up to four years.
Application Deadline: 
February 1
Laura Allen
Contact Title: 
Program Coordinator
Contact Email:
Applied Physics
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Cognitive Science
Computer Engineering
Computer Science
Earth Sciences
Ecology and Evolution
Education and Teaching
Electrical Engineering
Environmental Studies
Latin American and Latino Studies
Physics (Astrophysics)
Robotics Engineering
Additional information: 
Including meteorology, chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, ecology, and the social sciences