Beckman Scholars Program

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Students

 Beckman Scholars, Catherine Weibel, Amanda Warner, Randall Eck, and Jamie Takashima, attend the Beckman Symposium in Irvine, CA.

About

The Beckman Scholars Program, funded by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, helps stimulate, encourage, and support research activities by exceptionally talented, full-time undergraduate students who are pursuing their studies at accredited four-year colleges and universities in the United States. The Beckman Scholarship is a prestigious one, providing a total student stipend of $18,200 plus $2,800 for research supplies and travel support over the course of the 15-month experience. Two Beckman Scholars will be selected annually.

The UArizona Beckman Scholars Program gives undergraduates funding and support to conduct in-depth research with one of 12 stellar mentors in UArizona’s College of Science on a full-time basis for two consecutive summers, and part-time during the intervening academic year. UArizona Beckman Scholars work on a project of interest in their selected mentor’s lab, engage in professional development activities, such as leading undergraduates in small group discussions, inviting and hosting an eminent scientist to give a seminar at UArizona, meeting with Beckman Mentors, and serving as student leaders within the Undergraduate Biology Research Program, etc.

UArizona Beckman Mentors

Dr. Craig Aspinwall

Dr. Tim Bolger

Dr. Ross Buchan

Dr. Pascale Charest

Dr. Matthew Cordes

Dr. Katrina Dlugosch

Dr. Ryan Gutenkunst

Dr. Nancy Horton

Dr. Michael Marty

Dr. Joanna Masel

Dr. Lisa Nagy

Dr. Andrew Paek

Eligibility

To apply to UArizona’s Beckman Scholars Program, you must:

  • Be a University of Arizona full-time undergraduate student majoring in any biological or chemical science, intending to pursue an advanced science degree or other scientific pursuits.
  • Be a sophomore or junior, at the time of application, graduating in May 2024 or later.
  • Be in good academic standing.
  • Be a U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident, or hold DACA recipient status.
  • Be willing and able to devote two consecutive summers (full-time for a minimum of 10 weeks) and the intervening academic year (part-time) to working on a research project.
  • Be willing and able to participate in the annual Beckman Symposium, held in Irvine, CA, for both summers. If in-person, travel and hotel accommodations will be provided.
  • Be willing and able to serve as a summer workshop leader and peer facilitator for Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) participants and engage in the professional development activities associated with this program.

Application Process

Students interested in the Beckman Scholars Program must submit the following application materials to Jennifer Cubeta in the UBRP Office, Life Sciences South #227, or via email at cubeta@arizona.edu by 12:00 P.M. on Wednesday, January 25th, 2023:

  • A complete 2023 Beckman Scholars Application Cover Page.
  • A one-page personal statement describing your career goals and reasons for applying to be a Beckman Scholar.
  • A one-page description of your previous research experience. Previous research experience is not required to apply.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended.
  • One letter of recommendation from a UArizona math or science professor.
  • Your Spring 2023 course schedule, indicating times available for an interview.
  • Three-page, single spaced, 11 pt. font with 1” margins, research proposal based on the selected article prompt below.

For the research proposal, applicants will select ONE of the following articles and write a three-page, single spaced, sample research proposal on the related prompt. This research proposal is NOT a proposal for the research you would be doing with a Beckman Mentor; rather this is an exercise to demonstrate your knowledge and ability to think creatively in terms of scientific research.

  • "Researchers construct most complex, complete synthetic microbiome" by Rebecca McClellan on September 7th, 2022 (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/09/220907093400.htm) Prompt: Recent research has shown that the gut microbiome may play a larger role in human health than previously expected, and we are moving closer to successfully modeling the human microbiome. Propose program of study which explores a specific facet of microbiome function or composition in relation to human health or microbiome-based therapeutics.
  • "Making stable molecules reactive with light" by Anders Törneholm published in Science Daily on September 2nd, 2022 (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/09/220902090634.htm). Prompt: Aromatic compounds are typically stable, though recent work has demonstrated a potential way to activate these molecules. Propose a development or an application for human health or technology using the advancement described in the article.

A typical proposal of this type has several pieces:

  • Very brief introduction/specific aims.
  • Background and significance.
  • Elaborate upon the problem you have chosen, explain current approaches to solve the problem (why you chose your approach versus other approaches).
  • Describe specific aims and lay out experimental details/problems/solutions that elaborate on your aims. Clearly describe the logic behind your experiments and consider possible pitfalls.
  • Potential problems & solutions.
  • Make sure to cite all relevant background articles that form the basis for your proposal and any figures that you use.

It is highly recommended that you submit an outline or draft of your research proposal prior to winter break in order to obtain feedback from UArizona Beckman Scholars and/or Mentors before you submit your final application. Please contact Jennifer Cubeta at cubeta@arizona.edu to arrange for feedback.

Beckman Scholar Selection

A committee will review students’ application packets and evaluate the creativity/merit of their research proposals; the most highly qualified applicants will be invited for an interview with the selection committee in mid-February. At the interview, applicants will give a 10-minute presentation on their proposal to the selection committee. All applicants will be notified of their acceptance or rejection for the UArizona Beckman Scholarship by early-March 2022.

Questions?

Please contact Jennifer Cubeta at cubeta@arizona.edu.