Deadline: TBA- February 2020 at 5pm. Late applications will not be considered.

Eligibility requirements:

  • majoring in chemistry, BBMB, biology, or be pre-health with a minimum 3.5 GPA
  • Intention to pursue an advanced science degree or other scientific pursuits
  • Undergraduate student (30 credits completed)
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Commitment of one of ten approved Faculty Mentors (see below)

Award summary and conditions: Whitman received a 2019 Beckman Scholars Program award. The Beckman Scholars Program is sponsored by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation to provide an in-depth, sustained undergraduate research experience for exceptionally talented, full-time undergraduate students at accredited US four-year colleges and universities. The Program supports research for four students (1 or 2 each year) and their pre-approved faculty Mentor (see below) over two consecutive summers and one academic year. Students may also be invited to attend the Annual Beckman Symposium. Beckman Scholars receive stipends of $6,800 each summer (400 hrs) and $4,600 for 10 hours/week during the school year. Beckman Scholars also receive up to $2,800 for supplies and research to support current research activities.

Beckman Scholars will take a leadership role in developing professional development opportunities for the summer student research community at Whitman. These opportunities, which will be available to the entire cohort of summer research students, include:

Research Seminar Program: Each summer, Beckman Scholar(s) will help organize and coordinate a seminar series, which will include presentations by external research scientists as well as the Beckman Scholars themselves. This will help them develop their professional communication and scientific networking skills.

Summer Science Cafes: Each summer, Beckman Scholar(s) will help organize weekly informal presentations (journal clubs, resume writing, interview skills, etc) by fellow students, staff, and faculty. These gatherings will build community, develop professional and interpersonal skills, and foster peer mentoring/learning among the cohort of summer research students.

Beckman Faculty Mentors:

  • Dr. Nate Boland Chemistry
    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.
  • Dr. Brit Moss Biology & BBMB
    Research Areas - cell signaling, synthetic biology, biochemistry, molecular biology
    Research Summary - I investigate the molecular machinery that plant cells employ to receive and react to hormone signals.
  • Dr. Arielle Cooley Biology
    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.
  • Dr. Michael Coronado Biology
    Research Areas - cardiac physiology, exercise physiology, mitochondrial biology
    Research Summary - My lab seeks to understand how the heart makes energy during exercise and how diseases (e.g., ischemia, Parkinson's Disease) disrupt these energy-making processes.
  • Dr. Marion Götz Chemistry
    Research Areas - organic synthesis, drug design, enzyme inhibition
    Research Summary - In my research lab, we develop small molecule inhibitors for proteolytic enzymes as potential treatments for a variety of diseases.
  • Dr. Doug Juers Physics & BBMB
    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.
  • Dr. Mark Juhasz Chemistry
    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.

Unavailable 2019-2020

  • Dr. Leena Knight Biology
  • Dr. Kate Jackson Biology
  • Dr. Tim Machonkin Chemistry

Application process: online HERE

Beckman faculty will review all applications and select the top 3-5 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 by February 8.

Panel interviews will occur the week of February 26. 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.

Application requirements:

  • Transcript(s) - unofficial is acceptable
  • Commitment to...
    • conduct research Summer 2019 and 2020 (40 hours/week for 10 weeks). (Note: students graduating in 2020 are eligible to apply as long as they are committed to full-time participation in Summer 2020, immediately following graduation.)
    • conduct research during the 2019-2020 school year (10 hours/week).
    • develop professional development opportunities for the Whitman summer student research community.
    • attend the research ethics seminar from 4-7 pm on April 8th
    • attend Beckman Symposium (if invited) in summer.
    • maintain a 3.5 GPA.
  • 2 References
  • Personal statement (1 page)

Faculty Representative: Please contact one of the mentors listed above.

Announcement date: New awards are announced in early March.