Summer Opportunities in Anatomy Research



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SOAR 2022

May 10 – July 15, 2022


Center for Anatomical Sciences

University of North Texas Health Science Center

Fort Worth, Texas


SOAR Online Application Form

(Application can be previewed Here)

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
Read the AAA Innovations Project Update for SOAR
Read the Proceedings of SOAR 2021 (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.
  • Attend the 2022 annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • 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.


Travel and Housing 

Travel to UNTHSC and housing near campus are provided free of charge for SOAR interns.


Student requirements:

  • Undergraduate enrollment in Fall 2022 (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

Applications must be submitted through the  SOAR Online Application Portal. You can preview the application HERE.

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.



The 2022-2023 SOAR programs are funded by the National Science Foundation (REU – Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program)

The 2019-2021 SOAR programs were funded by the American Association for Anatomy Innovations Program.
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This page was last modified on March 22, 2022