Students interested in the UA Beckman Scholarship must submit two items as part of the application process to the UBRP Office (Life Sciences South #348) by 4:00pm on Wednesday, February 19, 2020:
1. An Information Packet which includes the following items:
- A complete 2020 Beckman Scholars Application Cover Page, including a list of the Beckman Mentors you would like to work with in order of preference.
- 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.
- Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended.
- One letter of recommendation from a math or science professor.
- Your current course schedule indicating times available for interview.
2. Applicants will select ONE of the following selected Scientific American articles and write a five-page sample research proposal on the related prompt. This 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.
- “Drug Carrying ‘Nanoswimmers’ Could Slither Past the Brain’s Cellular Defenses” by Mo Costandi (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/drug-carrying-ldquo-nanoswimmers-rdquo-could-slither-past-the-brain-rsquo-s-cellular-defenses/), published in Scientific American, August 7, 2017. Prompt: Drug-carrying “nanoswimmers” represent a potential strategy for crossing the highly selective blood-brain barrier, a major obstacle in drug delivery to the brain. Devise or improve upon a drug-delivery strategy capable of overcoming the blood-brain barrier.
- “Darwin’s Ideas on Evolution Drive a Radical New Approach to Cancer Drug Use” by James DeGregori and Robert Gatenby (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/darwins-ideas-on-evolution-drive-a-radical-new-approach-to-cancer-drug-use/), published in Scientific American, August 1, 2019. Prompt: Propose an original model or experiment to study the dynamics of intratumor heterogeneity (as measured by specific changes in morphology or gene or mRNA or protein expression etc. ) of a lung tumor being treated with the “adaptive therapy” approach to chemotherapy.
A typical proposal of this type has several pieces:
- Very brief introduction/specific aims (1 page or less).
- Background and significance. Elaborate upon the problem you have chosen, explain current approaches to solve the problem, e.g. why you chose your approach versus other approaches (1-2 pages).
- Describe specific aims and lay out experimental details/problems/solutions that elaborate on your aims from page 1 (1-2 pages). Clearly describe the logic behind your experiments and consider possible pitfalls.
- Potential problems & solutions (0.5 page).
- Make sure to cite all relevant background articles that form the basis for your proposal and any figures that you use.
UA 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 late February 2020. 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 UA Beckman Scholarship by March 31, 2020.
Please contact Jennifer Cubeta (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Undergraduate Biology Research Office at (520) 621-9348.