What is it?
Brigham Young University is one of 11 universities named in 2017 to host a Beckman Scholars Program from 2017-2020. The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation supports the Beckman Scholars Program.
"The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation established by Dr. and Mrs. Beckman in 1977. The mission of the foundation is to make grants to non-profit research institutions to promote research in chemistry and the life sciences, broadly interpreted, and particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments, and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science."
Beckman Scholars conduct laboratory research for two summers and one academic year (16 consecutive months). Students receive stipends of $6,800 each summer and $4,600 for the academic year. Five Scholars will be supported in 2017-2020. A travel stipend is also provided for the scholar and mentor. Some funding is also available for supplies to facilitate the scholar's research.
The overarching goal of the BYU Beckman Scholars program will be to give our best undergraduate researchers an opportunity to preform high impact research with our most accomplished faculty mentors, propelling the students toward exceptional scientific careers.
There will be two more awards for the 2019-2020 cycle. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM on March 31, 2019.
Beckman Scholars must:
- Undergraduate Student
- Greater than or equal to 3.5 GPA
- Sponsorship from eligible faculty member
- US citizen or permanent resident
- Full-time commitment to research during the summer (40 hours per week)
- Commitment to research during academic year (10-20 hours per week)
- Commitment to complete their project and present it at the Beckman Scholars Symposium, a national scientific meeting, and at the BYU Student Research Conference.
- Commitment to be a full-time student at BYU-Provo for the entire duration of the scholarship (Ineligible if planning on a study abroad during that time)
As of the application deadline, first/second/third year students are eligible. The basic criteria is that a Scholar must complete the contiguous 16 month Scholar tenure from May to the following August. Students anticipating a graduation date next year, for example, are eligible provided they commit to completing their research during the summer following graduation. All Scholars present posters at the annual Beckman Scholars Symposium in August of their second summer. There are no exceptions to these policies.
- The minimum time commitment is 40 hours per week during the summers, and 10 hours per week during the academic year. Beckman Scholars remain eligible for URA and ORCA awards during the academic year so that they can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year.
- The summer commitment must be contiguous – all travel must be completed before or after Beckman Scholar tenure.
- Scholars are required to travel to the Beckman Foundation for the annual Beckman Scholar Symposium held each August. The Beckman Foundation handles arrangements and reimbursement for this event.
- Scholars, with guidance from their Mentor, will develop a high-quality, focused research problem that will ultimately lead to publication.
- Scholars are expected to develop into peer role models for others interested in scientific research careers. This includes being competitive for, and applying to, national awards, and continuing this track into graduate school (PhD) or MD/PhD programs.
- Scholars should not take courses, including standardized test prep courses, during the summers.
If you are interested in learning more about the Beckman Scholars Program or have application questions, please contact Dr. Ken Christensen.
A Beckman Scholars application will contain the following elements:
- A one-page (approximately 250 words) personal statement that describes: (a) any mentoring that you have previously received, (b) how you feel that you will benefit from the mentoring received as a Beckman Scholar, and (c) why you feel you will become a leader in chemistry, life sciences, or related field.
- A two-page, single spaced research grant proposal outlining the project you would like to do.
- An official or unofficial transcript
- Two faculty endorsements/letters of recommendation: one must be from one of the 12 approved Beckman mentors (link to mentor page) and the other from another faculty member familiar with you or your work.
Four to six finalists will be selected by a faculty review committee for interviews to be conducted in early April. Two winners will be named by the end of the semester.