Beckman Scholars Program


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


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 13 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

Dr. Daniela Zarnescu


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 2023 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) 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 Marisa Lester in the UBRP Office, Life Sciences South #225, or via email at by 12:00 PM on Monday, February 28, 2022:

  • A complete 2022 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, sent directly to Marisa Lester at, from the letter writer.
  • Your Spring 2022 course schedule, indicating times available for an interview.
  • Three-page, single spaced, 11 pt. font with 1" margins, research proposal based on the selected Scientific American article.

For the research proposal, applicants will select ONE of the following Scientific American articles and write a three-page, single spaced, 11 pt. font with 1" margins, 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.

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. Citations are not included in the three-page limit.

If you would like feedback on your application from former UArizona Beckman Scholars, please contact Marisa Lester at, at least two weeks before the application deadline.

UArizona 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-MarchAt 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 April 8, 2022.


Please contact Marisa Lester at or at (520) 621-8510.