Beckman Young Investigator Program
Program Overview, FAQs, and General Guidance
Program Overview: The 2024 Program Overview Webinar recording can be viewed here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
General Guidance about the BYI Letter of Intent Pre-Proposal:
Examples of Successful Pre-Proposals:
Please note that the 2024 Program pre-proposal must be no more than four pages, inclusive of figures and references.
Projects proposed for the BYI program should be truly innovative, high-risk, and show promise for contributing to significant advances in chemistry and the life sciences. They should represent a departure from current research directions rather than an extension or expansion of existing programs. Proposed research that cuts across traditional boundaries of scientific disciplines is encouraged. Proposals that open new avenues of research in chemistry and life sciences by fostering the invention of methods, instruments and materials will be given additional consideration.
- The BYI program funds promising young scientists early in their careers who have not yet received a major award from another organization. Proposals that already have substantial funding will not be considered for the BYI award (see eligibility for more information).
- Projects are normally funded for a period of four years. Grants are in the range of $600,000 ($150,000 annually) over the term of the project, contingent upon demonstrated progress after the second year of the award.
- The Foundation does not provide for overhead or for indirect costs.
The BYI program is open to those within the first four years of a tenure-track position, or an equivalent independent research appointment, at a United States academic or non-profit institution that conducts research in chemical and life sciences.
Tenure-Track dates for the 2024 program must start after 1/1/2019 AND before 8/1/2023.
Persons who have applied for permanent residency but have not received their government documentation are eligible to apply; Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States prior to the BYI Interview (late March/ early April) to remain eligible. Applicants with conditional permanent residency who have received Form I-797 are eligible to apply. See the application for more information.
Applicants can have no more than $225,000 in direct, annualized external funding grants during any BYI Program Year (Aug-July) at time of application. Start-up funds, department-wide instrumentation grants, and "Transition" grants received as a postdoc (such as NIH K99/R00) are not counted toward this total.
The Foundation does not support clinical research, clinical trials, or single-target drug discovery projects. Individuals with strictly clinical appointments are not eligible to apply.
Applicants must have no more than 10 years post-terminal degree; and no more than 5 years experience in a non-tenure track (not including postdoc position) or industry position. For example, post-terminal degrees received in any month of 2013 are eligible to apply in August 2023 for the 2024 program; similarly applies for non-tenure track or industry positions that occurred in 2018, they are eligible to apply in August 2023 for the 2024 program.
No individual may apply for a Beckman Young Investigator award more than two times (including submitting a Letter of Intent).
Government laboratories, such as NIH or federally funded national laboratories are not eligible institutions.
Institutions are not limited in the number of applicants who apply at the Letter of Intent stage.
Institutions with a currently funded BYI are eligible for award consideration.
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 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. In an effort to avoid implicit and explicit bias in our review process, the Foundation will blind all information pertaining to applicants’ name, gender, ethnicity, citizenship status and institutional information from reviewers during the Letter of Intent reviews.
Read our full statement here.
The Foundation uses a three-step application process:
Step 1: Letter of Intent
The Letter of Intent portal will generally be open for submissions in the June – August timeframe. Please check the online portal and with your Institution’s grants administration office for exact deadlines each year.
To submit a Letter of Intent:
- Review the above eligibility and program guidelines to determine if you are eligible to apply.
- Set up an account with our Online Grant System to see the full list of required documents and terms of the award from the "Apply Now" link on this page.
- Complete and submit the online application.
Step 2: Full Proposal
Based on review of the submitted Letters of Intent, the Foundation will invite some applicants to submit a Full Proposal. You will be notified if you are invited to submit a Full Proposal. Full Proposals will be submitted through the same application portal as the Letter of Intent.
Step 3: Interview
The Foundation conducts interviews to make a final selection decision for the BYI awards. You will be notified if you are invited to an interview.
2024 BYI Letter of Intent Requirements
Prior to the application deadline, the following documents will be required through the application portal:
- PI profile including scanned copies of documentation of Citizenship/Permanent Residency
- Four-page Pre-Proposal, inclusive of images and citations
- Biosketch (template provided in application)
- Research Support Form (template provided in application)
- Institutional endorsements from the Chief Academic Officer and Dean (or similarly authorized signatories). Please note that these are electronic signatures and not Letters of Recommendation.
In an effort to avoid bias in our review process, the Foundation will hide information pertaining to applicants’ name, gender, ethnicity, citizenship status, and institutional information from all reviewers.
To assist in this process, please follow the below instructions for your pre-proposal:
- Do not include your name, gender, gender-identifying pronouns, or institutional information in the technical proposal. Applicants with identifying information in the pre-proposal will not be reviewed.
- If you include references to your own publications in the technical proposal, do not use any formatting markings (asterisk, bolding, italics, etc.) to identify yourself within the list of authors.
- File Naming Convention: Title the document “Proposal” when uploading. Do not include your name or the name of your institution.
FAQ: Institutional Endorsements
What is an Institutional Endorsement?
An Institutional Endorsement is an electronic signature that is submitted through the online application. The Letter of Intent requires two Endorsements:
- Chief Academic Officer (President, Chancellor, Provost) or similarly authorized signatory, and
- Dean of the College/School/Division for the participating Academic Unit or similarly authorized signatory
How do I obtain Institutional Endorsements?
- On the application dashboard, the tasks are titled “BYI Institutional Endorsement 1: Chief Academic Officer” and “Institutional Endorsement 2: Dean”
- Instructions can be found in the task titled "BYI Institutional Endorsement Instructions"
- Endorsers will receive an email from [email protected] with instructions on how to complete
Steps to complete the application once Endorsement Requests have been sent:
Once endorsers have signed your application, you will receive an email from [email protected] alerting you. You can complete and submit your application once both endorsements are received.
How do Endorsers sign and what will they be agreeing to?
Applicants will solicit for an endorsement via the online application which will be received in the form of an email. The email will provide instructions to endorsers to create an account and sign the application electronically. Their signature signifies the following:
- Endorser has reviewed the applicant’s LOI materials to be submitted to the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation for the 2024 Program Award
- All parties agree to the terms of the Beckman Young Investigator Program as stated in the Guidelines
- The Institution continues ongoing current support levels of the applicant