Beckman Scholars Program Wins Three More Years of Funding

The 2019 Beckman Scholars will be the first cohort funded with an additional academic year of support for laboratory research.


University of Chicago

Searle Chemistry Laboratory

By William Yuen Yee, Contributor

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation has allotted another three years of funding to the University of Chicago to support the Beckman Scholars Program.

Chemistry professor John Anderson, a former UChicago Beckman Scholar himself and the new Beckman Scholars Program Director, said that the annual application process is highly competitive. He estimated that during this past cycle, only 13 out of around 50 universities were selected by the Foundation for funding, adding that “this really is the most prestigious undergraduate research fellowship in the sciences.”

The Beckman Scholars Program selects two to three College undergraduates per year, who receive a total award of around $21,000 to support independent research in chemistry, biochemistry, and microbiology. Currently, participants work for two summers and one school year in the laboratory of a UChicago mentor, performing individual research and participating in the lab’s activities. They also meet weekly with other undergraduate researchers on campus.

The 2019 Beckman Scholars will be the first cohort funded with an additional academic year of support, extending their length of time to perform research, serve in the lab, and mature.

“We are looking to extend the time that our scholars are supported by the program, and also to look at ways we can enrich the scholar's experience beyond research. In particular, we are grateful for support from the College to extend the experience of our Beckman Scholars for an additional academic year,” Anderson said.

He lauded the Program’s scholars and the quality of their research. “The success of the program is really a testament to the previous scholars and mentors,” he said. “[We have] an exceptional group of scholars, mentors, and staff. It's a real pleasure to work with these people day to day and see all the incredible things they do.”