Summer Opportunities in Anatomy Research



Soar Circle Logo Option 3

SOAR 2021

May 12 – July 16, 2021


Center for Anatomical Sciences

University of North Texas Health Science Center

Fort Worth, Texas

Application Deadline: March 1, 2021

The SOAR (Summer Opportunities in Anatomy Research) program at the University of North Texas Health Science Center provides undergraduate students the opportunity to gain research, education, and outreach experience in the anatomical sciences.


Read the AAA Innovations Grant Report for SOAR 2019

Read the AAA Innovations Project Update for SOAR 2019


Read the Proceedings of SOAR 2021 (virtual conference abstracts)




As a SOAR student, you will:

  • Complete a 10-week research internship with a faculty mentor.
  • Receive a stipend of approximately $4,000.
  • Develop a research poster to be presented at the 2021 annual meeting of the American Association for Anatomy.
  • Explore graduate training opportunities.
  • Develop scientific communication skills.
  • Engage in science outreach activities.


Current SOAR research mentors

  • Lauren Gonzales, PhD: Biological anthropology, primate evolution, brain and sensory anatomy, field paleontology.
  • Matthew Kesterke, PhD:  Skeletal biology, human variation, craniofacial growth and development, biomechanics, paleopathology.
  • Scott Maddux, PhD: Biological anthropology, human evolution and variation, craniofacial and respiratory anatomy, thermoregulation and climatic adaptation.
  • Rachel Menegaz, PhD: Craniofacial biomechanics, TMJ kinematics, impacts of diet on growth, function, and evolution of masticatory tissues.
  • Emma Handler, PhD: Anatomy education, andragogical methods, biological anthropology, dental development and anatomy.


Housing and Covid-19 Information

Housing is provided for on-campus interns. Hybrid and virtual internship options are also available during summer 2021 due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.


Student requirements:

  • Undergraduate enrollment in Fall 2021 (junior or senior preferred)
  • 18+ years old
  • 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA.
  • US citizenship or permanent residency.
  • Intention of pursuing a research-based graduate degree (traditional MS/PhD,  or dual clinical/research degree such as DO/PhD, MD/PhD, DPT/PhD, etc.) and future career in the anatomical sciences (anatomy, biology, anthropology, paleontology, etc.).  Students looking to attend professional school programs (e.g. DO, MD, DDS, PA, PT, RN) are encouraged to apply for other summer internship opportunities at UNTHSC.
  • Students from underrepresented populations are encouraged to apply.


Apply Online

The online SOAR application portal is now open. You can preview the application HERE.  Applications are due March 1, 2021.


For more information about the SOAR program, please email the SOAR program director, Dr. Rachel Menegaz, at

For information about other undergraduate internship opportunities at UNTHSC, see the Undergraduate Summer Research Internships run by the Center for Diversity and International Programs.


FundingAaalogo 21978

The SOAR Program is funded by the American Association for Anatomy Innovation Program.





This page was last modified on October 18, 2021