Student Opportunities for Academic Research (SOAR)

Global Health

Jacqueline M. Achkar, M.D., M.S., FIDSA
Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases


Dr. Achkar is a physician scientist with national and international collaborations in countries such as South Africa, Panama, and Brazil. Her translational research program is focused on the identification of tuberculosis biomarkers in the context of clinical presentations. Dr. Achkar has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Research Methods, extensive global health experience, has personally traveled to over 40 countries, and speaks four languages. Further information about her can be found under her Einstein Faculty profile 


The SOAR global health concentration area will provide Einstein students with the opportunity to learn and practice research skills related to global health projects. Some of these projects will involve work oversees; other projects can be worked on from Einstein. This concentration area will involve a broad spectrum of research opportunities in the fields of clinical, translational, or basic science research, and will also include other opportunities such as global health related ethics projects. Students can choose to work with Dr. Achkar or one of the many other Einstein/Montefiore faculty members who are involved in Global Health Research projects. To get an idea of the spectrum of research projects Einstein/Montefiore faculty members are involved in, students can check out Einstein’s Global Health Center at website.


  • Allow students to focus in depth on a global health related research project.
  • Give students the opportunity to develop research questions and objectives related to global health problems.
  • Provide mentored support to develop and expand students’ research skills.
  • Teach students to become familiar with the tools needed for their project (and research projects in general), such as database management, statistical analysis, learning to review the literature, handling and building a reference software program.
  • Broaden students’ perspectives to health care related issues in less developed settings.
  • Give students the opportunity to a) understand the limitations of working in a foreign country, and b) develop alternative strategies to overcome such limitations.

Structure and Expectations 

Incoming students interested in the SOAR concentration area of Global Health will meet with the Concentration Director Dr. Achkar to discuss project/mentor options and goals related to global health projects.

During the summer after their first year, students are expected to begin work on their global health project under the guidance of their project mentor. If oversees travel is involved, this first summer will be spent on site in the setting the project mentor is involved in.

Although students’ research time is limited during their second year and, more so, in their third year, it is desirable that they continue staying connected with their mentor.

During their dedicated research time in their fourth year, students will complete their projects with oversees travel as needed. They will become more familiar with additional tools needed for their project and working with their mentor and research team, learn more about database management, statistical analysis, review of literature, handling a reference software, etc. They will prepare a scholarly paper/manuscript suitable for publication, and are expected to present an abstract/poster at a local, national or international meeting.

At the completion of their SOAR project in Global Health students will have learned how to develop a research question and proposal, be aware of the limitations in less developed settings, perform research in the field of their project, analyze data, master research related software programs, critically review the literature, and write a manuscript for publication.

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