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The Beckman Young Investigator (BYI) Program provides research support to the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of their academic careers in the chemical and life sciences, particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.

Hear from the BYI Program Officer on the application process and FAQs:

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 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.

Early Tenure-Track

The BYI program is open to those within the first three 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 2021 program must start after 8/6/2017 AND before 8/6/2020.

US Citizenship

Candidates must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States at the time of application. Persons who have applied for permanent residency but have not received their government documentation by the time of application are not eligible. Applicants with conditional residency who have received Form I-797 are eligible to apply.

External Funding

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 (such as NIH K99/R00) are not counted toward this total.

Clinical Research

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.

Time Frame

Applicants must have no more than 10 years post terminal degree; and no more than 5 years’ experience in a non-tenure track or industry position.

Repeat Applications

No individual may apply for a Beckman Young Investigator award more than two times (includes submitting a Letter of Intent).

Institutional Requirements

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.

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 – September 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:

  1. Review the above eligibility and program guidelines to determine if you are eligible to apply.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 in-person interviews to make a final selection decision for the BYI awards. You will be notified if you are invited to an interview.

Incomplete applications and/or materials received after any deadline during the application process will be eliminated from the competition.

Prior to the application deadline, the following documents will be required through the application portal:

  1. PI profile including scanned copies of documentation of Citizenship/Permanent Residency
  2. 1,200 word Proposal
  3. Biosketch (template provided in application)
  4. Research Support Form (template provided in application)
  5. Institutional endorsements from the Chief Academic Officer and Dean (or similarly authorized signatories). Please note, these are electronic signatures and not Letters of Recommendation.

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:

  1. Chief Academic Officer (President, Chancellor, Provost) or similarly authorized signatory, and
  2. Dean of the College/School/Division for the participating Academic Unit or similarly authorized signatory

How do I obtain Institutional Endorsements?

  1. On the application dashboard, the tasks are titled “BYI Institutional Endorsement 1: Chief Academic Officer” and “Institutional Endorsement 2: Dean”
  2. Instructions can be found in the task titled "BYI Institutional Endorsement Instructions"
  3. Endorsers will receive an email from noreply@smapply.io 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 noreply@smapply.io 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:

    1. Endorser has reviewed the applicant’s LOI materials to be submitted to the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation for the 2021 Program Award
    2. All parties agree to the terms of the Beckman Young Investigator Program as stated in the Guidelines
    3. The Institution continues ongoing current support levels of the applicant