Beckman Scholars Program
Program Overview and Frequently Asked Questions
- Institutional award, limited-submission by invitation only.
- Service academies and government laboratories, such as NIH or federally funded national laboratories, are not eligible institutions.
- Institutional award spans three years. Starting with 2022 BSP program: Six Student/Mentor pairs per Institution.
- Receive $21,000 per Student/$5,000 per Mentor.
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy
At the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, we acknowledge, appreciate and support the fundamental roles that justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) have in scientific progress and innovation. We seek applicants from all backgrounds in our programs and strive to ensure a fair and equitable process for selection of awardees, recognizing that excellent science is not the exclusive endeavor of one group of people, but of all.
The Foundation evaluates all aspects of the Scholar experience in the review process.
Read our full statement here.
Recent Program and Application Updates
Recent updates to the Beckman Scholars Program and application include:
- Removal of the minimum GPA requirement for Scholar candidates
- Equal emphasis on merit, diversity, equity, and inclusion during Scholar Selection
- Scholar eligibility for undergraduate students with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient status
- Expanded college/university invitation list
- Streamlined online portal procedures to make applying easier
- Institutional reporting on student body and faculty demographics with a look at 5-year trends
- Mentor CVs that include a personal statement section
- Mentor statements that include plans for intellectual development of Scholars, a safe Scholar environment within the lab, and use of novel teaching or mentoring methods to support success for Scholars from all backgrounds
- Program proposal section prompts related to DEI and Sustainability
- Additional instructional guidance in the application portal for completing the Institutional Data Sheet as well as the Sustainability section of the proposal
- Updated Code of Conduct clause within the award terms and conditions
Each year, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation reviews information about institutions across the country and identifies colleges and universities to receive Beckman Scholars Program application invitations.
Invited institutions demonstrate a significant commitment to undergraduate research in chemistry, the biological sciences and/or interdisciplinary combinations thereof. They also show the capability to compete successfully on a national level for scientific research funds in peer-reviewed government and private foundation supported programs over previous years. Their faculties and their research facilities are judged to be of the quality necessary to support the caliber of undergraduate research program sought for Beckman Scholars.
Example factors considered in these selections include:
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Support
- NIH Academic Research Enhancement Awards (NIHE)
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Awards
- NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Awards (REU)
- Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Grants (HH)
- Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Grants "to advance the science of chemistry and the related sciences" (Dreyfus)
- Research Corporation Cottrell College Science Awards (ResC)
- American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Awards (PRF)
- Active chemistry and biological sciences participation at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) Annual Meetings
Request an Invitation
INSTITUTIONS: If you would like to supply information for consideration, submit a request letter (2 pages max., on institution letterhead, pdf attachment) via email to [email protected] discussing the institution’s qualifications related to the factors outlined above. Please also include your institution's Carnegie Classification and Federal Tax ID Number. We will use the information provided in your letter to evaluate the institution's inclusion in our next application invitation.
STUDENTS: The Beckman Scholars Program does not issue awards directly to individuals; it is an institutional award program. If you are an undergraduate student in the area of chemistry, biochemistry, biology, or other science discipline, contact your institution's department chairs or research support office for more information.
Note: We are not able to extend Beckman Scholars Program application invitations to every deserving institution that provides undergraduate research experiences for its students. The limited number of institutional awards we provide precludes us from doing this.
Neuroscience major and Beckman Scholar Devin Saenger investigates the reduction potential of the Rieske protein in Spinacia oleracea with Mentor Laura Hunsicker-Wang, PhD, at Trinity University.
"The Hunsicker-Wang Lab has done extensive research on the Rieske protein. Located in the mitochondria, the Rieske protein is critical for many metabolic functions and helps drive the electrochemical gradient necessary for ATP synthesis, providing energy for the cell. The protein's structure is highly conserved across many organisms as well, meaning that the shape of the protein stays about the same, even between bacteria and humans. The combination of the Rieske protein's biological importance and conserved structure, put simply, means that it is engineered in such a way that is worth understanding.
Historically, the Hunsicker-Wang lab’s research on the Rieske protein has been limited to only bacterial and eukaryotic systems. The purpose of my project is to expand the lab's scope to an entirely new biological system: plants! Specifically, my goal is to purify and characterize wild-type Spinacia oleracea, or spinach, Rieske. Spinach Rieske is located in the chloroplast and takes on a biological role which has some striking similarities and differences from our lab's previously researched systems. My project allows for new research on the structure and function relationships in spinach Rieske on its own, and furthermore, will allow a better understanding of eukaryotic and bacterial metabolic systems through comparison."
Logo for Poster & Slideshow Presentations
Scholars: If you are preparing a research poster or slideshow presentation and wish to include the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation logo and/or the Beckman Scholars Program logo, they are available for download in .png format below.
Honor Cords for Graduating Scholars
Beckman Scholars: If you are graduating and would like the Foundation to send you BSP Honor Cords, please email your request to [email protected]. Include your full name, current mailing address, phone number, and the date of your graduation ceremony.
Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery; while supplies last.
Undergraduate Research Week
Every April, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation celebrates Beckman Scholars and their research with an online campaign during Undergraduate Research Week. The campaign features Scholar- and Mentor-submitted content in addition to program-related content produced by the Foundation which is shared on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. To view past content, search using the following hashtags:
- 2023 Campaign: #URW2023, #BeckmanScholar, #BSPMentor, #undergraduateresearch, #BeckmanScholars
- 2022 Campaign: #URW2022, #BeckmanScholar, #BSPMentor, #undergraduateresearch, #BeckmanScholars
- 2021 Campaign: #URW2021, #BeckmanScholar, #undergraduateresearch, #BeckmanScholars
Current Beckman Scholars and BSP Mentors: We invite you to submit content for next year's celebration. Send your quotes, images, and videos to [email protected] for consideration. Some helpful tips:
- QUOTES - Quotes should be 50 words or less. Your quote can be about your Beckman-funded research, time in the lab, future career plans, experience as a Beckman Scholar or BSP Mentor, why you think undergraduate research opportunities make a difference, or a thank you to your BSP Mentor.
- IMAGES - Horizontal, color jpeg images (less than 1MB) are preferred and should be sent as email attachment(s). Include photo credit and a brief caption. Your image can be a selfie, in the lab, from your research, with your Mentor or other Beckman Scholars, or spotlight your campus.
- VIDEOS - Videos should be no more than 30 seconds long, submitted as .mp4 or .mov files. Send as an email attachment or with a download link that does not require sign-in/password. Your video can be a tour of your lab or campus, a quick introduction to you or your research, a shout out to your Mentor, words of encouragement, or a celebration of your academic accomplishments.
Recent BSP Awardees
The Foundation has a database of Awarded Scientists that is searchable by Scholar name, award program, award year, discipline, or institution. Below is a list of BSP Awardee Institutions for the most recent three years.
2023 Beckman Scholars Program Awardee Institutions
California State University, East Bay
Fort Lewis College
Louisiana State University
Mount Holyoke College
Oklahoma State University
University of California, Irvine
University of Michigan
University of Richmond
University of Rochester
Washington University in St. Louis
2022 Beckman Scholars Program Awardee Institutions
Binghamton University (SUNY Binghamton)
Indiana University (IUPUI)
Ohio State University
University of Arizona
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Kentucky
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
2021 Beckman Scholars Program Awardee Institutions
California State University, San Marcos
College of William & Mary
Georgia State University
North Carolina State University
Texas A&M University
University of Southern California
Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Overview of the Beckman Scholars Program
2009 Beckman Scholar Abigail Knight, PhD
2016 Beckman Scholar Nathanael Kazmierczak
2017 Beckman Scholar Audrey Short
Amherst College Professors Helen Leung and Mark Marshall discuss the Beckman Scholars Program
2016 Beckman Scholar Zachary Nimmo and 2017 Beckman Scholar Christopher Travis
2019 Beckman Scholar Vennela Mannava presents her research at the 2020 Beckman Symposium
2019 Beckman Scholar Catherine Weibel presents her research at the 2020 Beckman Symposium
2021 Beckman Scholar Anthea Bell takes us inside the Horch lab at Bowdoin College
2021 Beckman Scholar Connor Bowerman offers a glimpse inside the Akimov lab at Texas A&M University
2021 Beckman Scholar Christina McBride gives a tour of the Charkoudian lab at Haverford College
2022 Beckman Scholar Shruti Venkatesh offers a look inside the Bishop lab at SUNY Binghamton
2022 Beckman Scholars Emily Scheib and Liam Shanahan from The Ohio State University interview 2010 Beckman Scholar Nicholas Jarjour, PhD
2022 Beckman Scholars Emily Scheib and Liam Shanahan from The Ohio State University interview 2009 Beckman Scholar Emily Wong, PhD