UMKC supports academic researchers through SOAR.

Supporting Our Academic Researchers (SOAR) is a comprehensive program developed in collaboration with the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFE) Research and Creativity pillar. This initiative aims to revolutionize professional learning and cultural change for researchers at UMKC.

One of the standout features of SOAR is its holistic framework based on the matrix mentoring model from the University of Utah CATS program. This model encompasses five levels of mentorship: self, peer, staff, senior, and discipline, which work in synergy to create an inclusive and supportive environment that manifests institutional collaboration and empowers academic researchers. 

By providing researchers with comprehensive support and mentorship across various levels, SOAR aims to foster a culture that values collaboration, growth, and success. The progression from professional learning to feedback to culture change highlights the dynamic nature and transformative impact of this program. 

a graphic showing the progression of SOAR from professional learning to feedback to culture change

The success of the CATS program in UofU’s academic health centers speaks volumes about its effectiveness in retention and sustainability. With 92% of participants receiving extramural awards, 99% remaining in academic medicine, and 95% staying at the University of Utah, it's clear that CATS has had a profound impact on faculty mentors. Moreover, CATS has made significant strides in the inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities.

With SOAR’s integration of this proven mentoring model, UMKC's research community holds great promise as an empowering and inclusive environment that fosters excellence by providing unparalleled support, guidance, and opportunities for growth.

a graphic of a matrix with 4 quadrants senior, discipline, peer, and staff. A box with the word self is in the middle.

Faculty Writing Initiative

For faculty wanting dedicated time and space to write, the Faculty Writing Initiative convenes faculty to write independently, together. FWI is designed to support faculty in achieving their academic and creative goals through work on writing projects of any kind—including grant proposals and research articles. Faculty across all ranks, including non-tenure track, participate either fall or spring semester.

Art of Grantsmanship

As the entry point for SOAR, Art of Grantsmanship is an eight (8) week, asynchronous course that focuses on all aspects of grants from locating requests for proposals to theories of change to writing engaging proposals offered each fall.


Large-scale Interdisciplinary Grant Proposal Development Workshop

As level two of SOAR, the Large-scale Grant Proposal Development Workshop is an eight-session workshop series for faculty interested in applying for large grants (four sessions in the fall and four session in the spring).


Faculty Grant Mentors

As the third level of SOAR, faculty with grant experience mentor their faculty colleagues pursuing a grant in the same or related competition. Each faculty grant mentor receives a stipend of $500 to meet with faculty at least four times and review and make suggestions on project description narrative at least once.

Formal Internal Proposal Review

As part of the third level of SOAR, faculty assist with ad hoc grant proposal reviews with the goal of supporting highly competitive grant proposals. Each review panelist is compensated $500. 

Share Proposals and View Examples

As part of SOAR, faculty are asking to see examples of proposals or templates for supplementary documents. ORD set up a secure Box digital repository for sharing and viewing proposals. The repository is only as good as what the research community shares.

ORD Grant Application Repository