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Beckman Application Process

Applying to be a Beckman Scholar is a multi-step process that includes selecting a faculty mentor whose research you'd like to be a part of, completing the application and participating in an interview process. 

To be eligible for the Beckman Scholars Program, students must:

  • be majoring in chemistry, BBMB, biology or be pre-health with a minimum 3.5 GPA
  • have an intention to pursue an advanced science degree or other scientific pursuits
  • be an undergraduate student (30 credits completed)
  • be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • have commitment from one of 10 approved faculty mentors

Application process: Review the list of Beckman faculty mentors and contact those whose work most interests you to learn about possible research opportunities. You will need to select one of the mentors in your application, so it is important that you have a conversation with them so you can articulate your interest in their work in your personal statement.

Fill out the online application.

Application requirements:
  • Transcript(s) - unofficial is acceptable
  • Two references (letter writers should submit directly to gotzmg@whitman.edu)
  • One-page personal statement
  • Commitment to...
    • conduct research Summer 2021 and 2022 (40 hours/week for 10 weeks). (Note: students graduating in 2022 are eligible to apply as long as they are committed to full-time participation in Summer 2022, immediately following graduation.)
    • develop professional development opportunities for the Whitman summer student research community.
    • attend the research ethics seminar(date TBD).
    • attend Beckman Symposium (if invited) in summer.
    • maintain a 3.5 GPA.

Selection and interviews: Application Deadline: January 22, 2021. After the application deadline, Beckman faculty mentors will review all applications and select the top three to five students for a panel interview. Finalists will be selected based on academic qualifications, enthusiasm for research and quality of previous laboratory work. Finalists will be notified one week after the interview process.

Panel interviews will occur the week of Feb. 8, 2021. Finalist interviews will assess two qualities: ability to interpret and communicate scientific knowledge, and potential for long-term success in research or medicine. Finalists will be given a short research article related to your chosen research. For the interview, finalists will prepare a 10-minute oral chalk-talk summary of the article. The interview panel will assess the quality of the presentation, professionalism, and ability to answer challenging scientific questions. The panel will also ask questions about the candidate's academic performance and activities, reasons for applying to the Beckman Scholars Program, and what they hope to achieve in the next five years as a result of being a Beckman Scholar.

New Beckman Scholars will be selected mid-February. 

Beckman Faculty Mentors

  • Nate Boland, chemistry, bolandne@whitman.edu
    Research Areas - environmental chemistry, coordination chemistry, reaction mechanisms
    Research Summary - My group studies reaction mechanisms that are important to metal ion transport and bioavailability in the environment
  • Arielle Cooley, biology, cooleya@whitman.edu
    Research Areas - molecular biology, plant biology, evolutionary genetics
    Research Summary - My lab investigates the genetic mechanisms responsible for the evolution of flower color diversity in the monkeyflower genus Mimulus
  • Doug Juers, physics and BBMB, juersdh@whitman.edu
    Research Areas - structural biology, biophysics, protein structure & function
    Research Summary - I investigate how changes in temperature and solvent affect the conformations of proteins and protein crystals, using X-ray crystallography and other biophysical techniques.
  • Mark Juhasz, chemistry, juhaszma@whitman.edu
    Research areas - synthetic organic and inorganic chemistry
    Research Summary - My group develops efficient synthetic methods for transforming boron clusters into new drugs and advanced materials.
  • Tim Machonkin, chemistry, machonte@whitman.edu
    Research areas - bioinorganic chemistry
    Research Summary - My group studies ring cleaving dioxygenase enzymes involved in pollutant degradation in bacteria.

Unavailable 2020-2021

  • Michael Coronado, biology
  • Marion Götz, chemistry
  • Leena Knight, biology
  • Kate Jackson, biology
  • Britney Moss, biology, BBMB

If you have questions about Beckman Scholars program or the application process that is not covered on this website, please contact one of the Beckman faculty mentors.

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