Beckman Scholars Program

Funding Agency:
Beckman (Arnold and Mabel) Foundation

The purpose of the Beckman Scholars Program is to help 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 located in the United States of America. These research activities shall be centered in either chemistry, biochemistry, the biological and medical sciences or some interdisciplinary combination of these subjects. Candidates for the Beckman Scholars Award must be full-time students throughout the duration of the award.

The research activities performed by Beckman Scholars shall be conducted under the guidance of a full-time, approved faculty member at the college or university receiving an award. Research activities must be performed part-time (ten hours per week) during one academic year, and full-time over two summers (ten 40-hour weeks each summer) immediately before and after the academic year research experience.

Students will be named as Beckman Scholars in the spring of their freshman through junior years at their university or college. Once selected to be a Beckman Scholar, a student will retain the funding as long as he/she continues to excel academically and his/her research work shows satisfactory progress. Beckman Scholar funds provided to any one student may not exceed two summers and one academic year. Beckman Scholar summer funds may extend through the summer following graduation..

Beckman Scholar awards are institutional (university or college) awards. Each year, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation will select a variety of universities and colleges to be invited to submit applications for the Beckman Scholars Program.
An invited university/college will be eligible for one institutional Beckman Scholar Award, which must be used over a three-year period. Each Beckman Scholar Award may fund up to six Beckman Scholars (with funding for student and mentor stipends and travel funds and research supplies) extending over two summers and one academic year. The number of awards allocated to an institution is determined by the institution’s Carnegie Classification, with awards distributed as follows:

Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity (R1) will be eligible to receive up to six Beckman Scholar Awards; awards must be awarded over a three-year period with at least ONE award per year awarded and a maximum of three awards in any one of these three years.
• Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity (R2) will be eligible to receive up to five Beckman Scholar Awards; awards must be awarded over a three-year period with at least ONE award per year awarded and a maximum of three awards in any one of these three years.
• Doctoral Universities: Moderate Research Activity (R3), Master’s Colleges & Universities: Larger Programs (M1), Medium Programs (M2), Small Programs (M3), and Baccalaureate Colleges: Arts & Sciences Focus (B1), Diverse Fields (B2) will be eligible to receive up to four Beckman Scholar Awards; awards must be awarded over a three-year period with at least ONE award per year awarded and a maximum of two awards in any one of these three years.

The 2022 Beckman Scholar Awardee institutions will select their scholars in early 2022 and begin their first award term in the summer of 2022, followed by a second award term beginning in the summer of 2023, and a third award term in the summer of 2024. Institutions receiving the 2022 Beckman Scholars Award will not be considered for new application invitations until the 2025 program.

Each institution may submit one application for consideration for an award.


  • Duke Internal Deadline: April 2, 2021
  • Sponsor Deadline: June 15, 2021

​Letter of Invitation

Agency Website

Amount Description

Each Beckman Scholar will pursue an independent research project, under the auspices of an approved mentor. The amount of funding for the 2022 Beckman Scholars Program is $26,000; $21,000 specifically for the Scholar and $5,000 for the Scholar’s Mentor.

The following provides a breakdown of each Beckman Scholar award:

  • Student Stipend $18,200; per student, distributed as follows:

    • First summer - $6,800
    • Academic Year - $4,600
    • Second summer - $6,800

• Scientific Supply and Travel $2,800; per student, distributed as needed to support current research activities.

  • Beckman Symposium:

    • Each Beckman Scholar may be invited to attend the annual Beckman Symposium in each of the two summers of their award term; a formal notification and invitation to be provided.
  • Mentor Stipend $5,000; distributed as needed during the associated Scholar’s award term to support the following, but not limited to:

    • Scholar Mentorship Plan (SMP) - Mentor to develop & support the SMP,
    • Outlining the Scholar/Mentor relationship,
    • Detailing the collaboration between scholar, mentor & mentor’s lab,
    • Defining the expectations of the Beckman Scholar, including but not limited to: • Attendance at outside presentations/scientific symposia with the Mentor
    • Pursuit of increased undergraduate journal publication rates by the Scholar & Mentor
    • Outlining the anticipated results of the Scholar’s research
    • Mentor Travel - to support attendance with Scholar at outside scientific symposia
    • Scientific Supplies - related to the Scholar’s research
    • Publication Fees - for publishing in undergraduate and peer reviewed publications related to Scholar’s Research

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation does not provide for overhead or for indirect costs. Institutions may not fund additional or “matching” Beckman Scholars.

Funding Type


Duke Awardees

2008 - 2009 Beckman Scholars
Tessa Carducci
Title of Research: Characterization of Metal Ion Binding to Amiloid-ß and α-Synuclein

Zachary Perret
Title of Research: Computer-Based Modeling of Shaped Pulses in Scattering Media

2007 - 2008 Beckman Scholars
Syrone Liu
Title of Research: Electrohydrodynamic Processing of Functional Biomedical Scaffolds

Daniel Yang
Title of Research: Development of Metal complexes as Photo-Triggered Chemotherapy Agents

2006 - 2007 Beckman Scholars
William B. Hudson
Title of Research: Olefins using Nitrogen Heterocyclic Carbenes (NHCs)

Arnav Mehta
Title of Research: Selective Transport of Iron using Host-Guest Recognition of Ferrioxamine B

2004 - 2005 Beckman Scholars
Jennifer Chien
Title of Research: GFP Fusion Protein Dynamics in Drosophila Embryos and Cultured Cells

Jacqueline Ou
Title of Research: Identification of Cases of Horizontal Gene Transfer from Prokaryoites to Eukaryotes: jA Comparative Genomics Approach

2003 - 2004 Beckman Scholars
Laura de Marchena
Title of Research: Gs-Gi Switching in G-Protein Coupled Receptors

Victor Gonzalez
Title of Research: Isolation and Characterization of a Transducing Bacteriophage of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

2002 - 2003 Beckman Scholars
Yelena Burtseva
Title of Research: Through Genetic Manipulations of Drosophila

Heidi Hullinger
Title of Research: Identification of Possible Link Between the Human NAD Kinase Gene and Neurodegenerative Disease

2000 - 2001 Beckman Scholars
Jason Donald
Title of Research: Computational Study of a Molybdenum-Containing Enzyme

Justin Odegaard
Title of Research: Transforming MutS into a Mismatch-Specific Endonuclease Using 5-Amino-Orthophenanthroline

Juliet Pulliam
Title of Research: Application of Projection Matrices to a Wild Baboon Population in Amboseli National Park

John Wiemann
Title of Research: The Role of RhoA in Wound Healing




Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke (1), anyone wishing to pursue this opportunity should submit the materials outlined below as one PDF.  With the information received, the Office of Foundation relations will assist in coordinating Duke’s institutional approach.

One paragraph faculty Bio, if interested in potentially serving as PI or co-PI.  

Statement of interest (maximum two pages).  Include the following three sections in the statement.

1. Scholar Recruitment and Selection (Section I):

  • Briefly describe a proposed scholar recruitment and selection process. This can include:

    • Beckman Scholar candidacy criteria, including research experience, distinguishing characteristics, etc.

2. Mentor Recruitment and Selection (Section II):

  • Briefly describe a proposed mentor recruitment and selection process. This can include:

    • Institutional, department promotion, etc.
    • List the qualifications of a mentor
    • Selection of the mentors
    • Describe any training provided to the mentors

3. Institutional Support (Section III):

  • Briefly describe a sustainability plan, unique to the institution’s research climate, for maintaining “Beckman-like” excellence in undergraduate research beyond the Beckman Scholars Program that includes:

    • Building on the Program proposed herein, a framework for nurturing future undergraduate researchers in chemistry, biochemistry, the biological and medical sciences, or some interdisciplinary combination of these subjects.

Briefly describe how the institution’s Beckman Scholars Program will differentiate from other institutional programs, and how its success will be measured?


Please contact Vera Luck, Director, Office of Foundation Relations ( with any questions.

Applicants will need to apply through My Research Proposal.

Instructions for creating an account (if needed) and submitting your materials:


Internal Deadline

April 2, 2021

External Deadline

June 15, 2021