Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beckman Scholars Opportunity

St. Olaf College was recently awarded a grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation to support students doing undergraduate research in biology and chemistry.  We are one of only 10 institutions nationally who received funding.  This is a very prestigious, career-enhancing opportunity for the 2-3 students who are selected as Beckman Scholars. 

In addition to summer stipends for two consecutive summers, the award includes academic year funding for 10 hours/week, supply money, and travel funding. The faculty mentors for this program are:

Doug Beussman                          chemistry
Eric Cole                                       biology
Steve Freedberg                          biology
Laura Listenberger                     biology/chemistry
John Schade                                 biology/environmental studies
Jeff Schwinefus                            chemistry
Charles Umbanhowar                 biology

Selected students must:
·            be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. 
·            commit to undergraduate research during the summers of 2013 and 2014 and 10 hours/week during the two semesters of the 2013-14 academic year.  Ideally, a current sophomore who will spend the summers before junior and senior year doing research on campus.
·            submit a research progress report at the end of each summer (by July 29, 2013)
·            travel to the annual symposium for the Beckman Scholars Program and the Beckman Young Investigators. This conference will be held July 25-27, 2013 at the Beckman Center of the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering in Irvine, California.  Expenses for attending this symposium are covered.

To apply:
Phase One:  By February 20, 2013:  submit an application form (attached) that includes a brief (one page) research proposal for a project you would like to undertake if selected as a Beckman Scholar.  We will arrange for unofficial St. Olaf transcripts for applicants.  The proposal should be written for an audience of faculty from a variety of scientific disciplines.  The Beckman Advisory Panel will review the phase one applications, and approximately four will be selected to proceed to phase two.  The students selected to compete in the second phase will be notified by February 25.

Phase Two:  Students selected for phase two will prepare a revised proposal in consultation with the proposed faculty mentor, give a short (~10 minute) presentation to the Beckman Advisory Panel, and respond to questions from the Panel in an interview format.  Revised proposals are due March 6, 2013.  Interviews and presentations will take place on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. 

Questions?  Contact Mary Walczak (, Director, Collaborative Research and Inquiry Program

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