Beckman Young Investigator Program
Hear from the BYI Program Officer on the application process and FAQs. This video was updated for the 2021 program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 or industry position. (example, post terminal degree was received in any month of 2010, they are eligible to apply in August 2020 for the 2021 program; similarly applies for non-tenure track or industry position which occurred in 2015, they are eligible to apply in August 2020 for the 2021 program).
No individual may apply for a Beckman Young Investigator award more than two times (includes submitting a Letter of Intent).
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.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy
At the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, we acknowledge, appreciate and support the fundamental roles that diversity, equity 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 – 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:
- 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 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.
2021 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
- 1,200 word Proposal *
- 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, 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 1,200 word technical proposal:
- Do not include your name, gender, gender identifying pronouns or institutional information in the technical proposal.
- 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 2021 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