College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
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About the Program:

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is an independent, non-profit Foundation originally established in September 1977 for the purpose of supporting basic scientific research, primarily in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry and medicine. In 1997, the Beckman Foundation initiated the Beckman Scholars Program, which recognizes outstanding undergraduate students in chemistry, biochemistry, biological and medical sciences research at select universities and colleges throughout the United States. Between 1998 and 2000, 134 students at 36 universities have received these prestigious awards. CSULB was selected last year as one of the 9 institutions nationwide to be the recipient of the prestigious 2009-2012 Beckman Scholars Program Award. 

The goal of the Beckman Scholars Program at CSULB is to advance the education, research training, and personal development of students who have the potential to achieve distinction in their academic field, as well as become outstanding leaders in their careers and professions. Support is provided for four students working toward bachelor’s degrees in chemistry, biology, or physics in the form of student stipends, laboratory supplies and funds for travel to appropriate scientific meetings. Depending on the laboratory chosen for the research experience, students will received rigorous training by faculty members in the use and applications of a variety of different techniques involved in nucleic acid research, protein biochemistry, biophysics, etc. The program will also provide counseling and career opportunities for entrance into higher degree programs in the sciences.

Advantages of the Program:

Students will have the opportunity to undertake sophisticated research in the laboratories of outstanding faculty members. Each Scholar will receive three units of credit for research that will count toward his or her degree. The Beckman Scholars will assume leadership positions in their respective labs and be in contact daily with their mentors. Career counseling, mentoring, and academic advising are day-to-day activities in labs where students become participants in an academic family. Scholars will also have complete support from the SAS Center where they can find regular advising and help in the application process to graduate programs. For those planning health professions, they will be given individual guidance and assistance in the application process from the Health Professions Office.

Support is provided in the form of stipends for two summers and one academic year, laboratory supplies, and travel to scientific meetings for presentation of results of research.

Eligibility and Terms and Conditions of Support:

Students who are enrolled for full-time study at CSULB and will have completed their sophomore year by May 2011 but not graduate before spring 2012 are eligible for consideration for the awards. Beckman Scholars must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions at the time of application. Awards are highly competitive and preference will be given to students who fulfill all eligibility criteria, have an overall GPA of 3.25 or greater, and show leadership skills and academic potential for research.

Scholars are expected to undertake up to 10 hours per week of research during two academic semesters and full-time research for 10 weeks during each of two summers. For seniors who plan to graduate in the spring semester, the second summer of research may be completed after graduation. A second year program will begin the summer of 2010, and a third year program will begin in the summer of 2011.

Scholars will also be expected to attend their department seminar series and enroll in the Readings from the Nobel Laureates course during the spring semester. All Scholars will be expected to present their research findings, either orally or in the form of posters, at appropriate forums including local, regional and national scientific meetings, symposia, and colloquia. Students are also encouraged to submit research of merit for consideration of publication in peer reviewed international scientific journals.

Each Scholar will hold a mid-semester meeting with the Selection Committee and his/her mentor to assess how independently the student is working on his/her project, the degree of progress being made, and how much the student is benefiting from and contributing to the overall program. The Scholars will submit written reports at the end of each summer and academic year.

Once selected to be a Beckman Scholar, a student will retain the scholarship as long as he/she continues to excel academically, is in good academic standing, and his/her research work shows satisfactory progress. Beckman Scholar stipends provided to any one student may not exceed two summers and one academic year.

Scholarship Award - Total of $19,300 per student

    * Academic Year: $6000

    * Each Summer: $ 4000

Travel and Supplies:

    * Academic Year $ 1,600

    * Each Summer $ 850

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics will also cover up to $800 each for the Scholar and his/her mentor to attend a national or international scientific meeting. If a student is a Beckman Scholar during his/her junior year, but not in the HHMI Honors in Biological Sciences Program or some other supported program, the Dean will fund the student during the senior year ($2,400 stipend plus $1,500 supplies) to continue research. This will also include a stipend of $3,000 for the summer after graduation or additional travel support to present a paper/poster at a major scientific meeting.

Scholars will participate in the Annual Beckman Scholars Symposium in Irvine, CA.  This is a two-day, three-evening event