The UAB Beckman Scholars Program is for exceptional students in the biological, chemical, and biomedical sciences. The program will provide the scholars with rigorous research training through intensive faculty mentoring. The scholars will also participate in a distinctive enrichment program that develops the skills needed for them to become future leaders in science. Beckman Scholars will participate in high-impact research and engage in a long-term, intensive collaboration with their faculty mentor while learning how to conduct independent research in a nurturing environment.

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation has invited UAB to submit an application for a 2017 Beckman Scholars Program Award.  The Beckman Scholars Program application is limited submission, by invitation only.  UAB has successfully applied for a Beckman Scholars grant previously and Dr. Mike Sloane, Director of the University Honors Program, will again serve as Principal Investigator on UAB's application (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Phone (205) 934-8733)

  • Eligibility
    Undergraduate biology, biomedical engineering, or chemistry majors with an overall GPA of 3.5 or above and who have completed at least one semester of undergraduate research are eligible to apply. Applicants must be US citizens or Permanent residents.

    Selection
    The UAB Beckman Scholars Steering Committee comprised of Dr. Robert Thacker (Interim Chair, Biology), Dr. Graves (Chair, Chemistry) Dr. Wick (Chair, BME), Dr. Tucker (Director, S&THP), and Dr. Sloane (Director, UHP) will screen the initial applications and identify a pool of 5 to 10 finalists to be invited for an interview. An applicant must have his/her potential Beckman faculty mentor submit a letter of support unless the faculty member has already provided one of the original references. Each finalist will give a 10-minute presentation (no PowerPoint allowed) to the committee on his/her research topic, indicating the scope and nature of the proposed research project and its overall significance. The Steering Committee and invited potential faculty mentors will have a 10-minute opportunity to question the applicant on any aspect of his/her application. Selection will be based on the evaluation of each applicant's written materials and oral skills as demonstrated in the interview. Particular attention will be paid to the candidate's intellectual capabilities, written and oral communication skills, and potential for a leadership role in a science-related career or profession. One Beckman Scholar will be named in mid to late April.

  • Each UAB Beckman Scholar will pursue an independent research project, under the auspices of an approved mentor. The amount of funding for the 2017 Beckman Scholars Program is $26,000; $21,000 specifically for the Scholar and $5,000 for the Scholar’s Mentor. All expenditures must be directly related to the Scholar’s Beckman research experience. The funding is broken down as follows:

    Student Stipend $18,200; per student distributed as follows:
    First summer: $6,800
    Academic Year: $4,600
    Second summer: $6,800

    Scientific Supply and Travel $2,800; per student, distributed as needed to support current research activities.
    Beckman Symposium:

    • Each Beckman Scholar may be invited to attend the annual Beckman Symposium in each of the two summers of their award term; a formal notification and invitation to be provided.
  • All materials must be received by April 6th at 5 p.m.
    Electronic copies can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please put ‘Beckman Application’ in subject line.
    Hard copies of application materials can be submitted to: Dr. Mike Sloane, UAB Beckman Scholars Program.

    Physical Address:
    Spencer Honors House,
    1190 Tenth Avenue South,
    Birmingham, AL 35294

    Mailing Address: HOH,
    1720 2nd Ave South,
    Birmingham, AL 35294-4450

    Make sure you review the research descriptions of the 15 Beckman Scholar mentors (see Faculty Mentors tab) and contact your potential Beckman research mentor to discuss potential research projects.

    Application Materials

    • Completed Beckman Scholars Application Form
    • A current UAB transcript (Unofficial)
    • Resumè with complete information on educational background, honors and awards, all previous research experiences (with dates, mentors etc.), presentations, and publications
    • Career Goals: A one-page written statement of your educational and long-term plans for pursuing research in the natural sciences (12-point font, 1” margins)
    • Plan of Beckman Research Project: A two-page research proposal that includes background information on the project and a concise, but well-defined research project plan (consult with your proposed mentor)
    • Two recommendation letters from faculty researchers: Letters of recommendation can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or faxed to (205) 975-5493
  • Summer One
    Laboratory Research: Beckman scholars will devote 40 hours/week for ten weeks during the summer semester. Thirty five hours will be based on laboratory research. Beckman Scholars will have individual weekly meetings with their mentors and will participate in regular lab meetings and journal clubs. Beckman Scholars will attend colloquia appropriate to their area of research interest.

    Beckman scholars may enroll in a summer GRE preparation class offered by the McNair Scholars Program. Scholars will also have ongoing access to workshops provided by the Graduate School on ‘Scientific Writing’ & ‘Preparing for Graduate School.’

    Beckman scholars working with neurobiology faculty will participate in weekly meetings of the Summer Program in Neurobiology (SPIN) program directed by Drs. Linda & Jacques Wadiche. During these meetings SPIN mentors discuss their research and career path. Weekly luncheon discussion meetings focus on various topics in neuroscience and graduate programs.

    Beckman scholars will have an individual meeting with the Director of Post Baccalaureate Fellowships regarding national awards and scholarships and where appropriate, with the Director of UAB’s MSTP program (MD/PhD).

    Beckman scholars will attend, along with a Beckman Mentor, the Beckman Scholars Annual Research Symposium at the Beckman Center of the National Academies in Irvine, California.

    Fall Semester
    Laboratory Research: Beckman Scholars must work 10 hours per week in the laboratory on their Beckman research project during the fall semester and will register for the equivalent number of credit hours using the appropriate departmental research course options. Beckman Scholars will continue to have individual weekly meetings with their mentors and will participate in regular lab meetings and journal clubs. Beckman Scholars will attend colloquia appropriate to their area of research interest.

    Beckman Scholars will enroll in a 1 credit hour interdisciplinary seminar, STH 395 Honors Proposal Seminar, led by S&THP Director Dr. Tucker and Assoc. Directors, Dr. March (Chemistry) and Dr. Eberhardt (BME). This seminar provides excellent exposure to analyzing primary literature and developing expertise in research design. The product of this seminar is a written NSF or NIH style research proposal, which is presented in oral and written form.

    Spring Semester
    Laboratory Research: Beckman Scholars must work 10 hours per week in the laboratory on their Beckman research project during the fall semester and will register for the equivalent number of credit hours using the appropriate departmental research course options. Beckman Scholars will continue to have individual weekly meetings with their mentors and will participate in regular lab meetings and journal clubs. Beckman Scholars will attend colloquia appropriate to their area of research interest.

    Scholars will enroll in STH 400 Honors Thesis Seminar, an interdisciplinary seminar, which focuses on writing and presenting the thesis research.

    UAB Beckman Scholars will present their research at the annual UAB Spring EXPO. Scholars will be invited to present research at the annual University of Alabama System Honors Research Conference and at regional and national conferences for undergraduates. Scholars will have full and free access to a poster printer and supplies.

    UAB Beckman Scholars will speak at the Beckman Scholars Research Symposium. An annual Beckman Scholars Symposium will be held in May at which Beckman Scholars will present their research from the previous year. A keynote speaker will anchor the event to be held in the Spencer Honors House.

    UAB Beckman Scholars will be hosted by the UAB President. Senior Beckman Scholars will be a guest at the annual luncheon at the President’s residence for recipients of national honors and will also be individually recognized at the UAB Honors Convocation in May.

    Summer Two
    Laboratory Research: Beckman scholars will devote 40 hours/week for ten weeks during the summer semester. Thirty five hours will be based on laboratory research. Beckman Scholars will have individual weekly meetings with their mentors and will participate in regular lab meetings and journal clubs. Beckman Scholars will attend colloquia appropriate to their area of research interest.

    Beckman scholars will be expected to prepare a manuscript for submission to a professional journal.

    UAB Beckman Scholars will present their research at the annual UAB Summer EXPO.

    UAB Beckman Scholars will give a presentation at the Beckman Scholars Annual Research Symposium at the Beckman Center of the National Academies in Irvine, California in August.

    UAB Beckman Scholars will receive special invitations to meet with distinguished visiting scholars who deliver various endowed lectureships at UAB.

    To enhance their scientific communication skills, UAB Beckman Scholars are encouraged to take a specific section of CM101 Public Speaking, which the S&THP has arranged to focus on scientific communication.

    Beckman Scholars will enroll in a one credit-hour seminar series in their home department. Options include: BY 499 Biology Seminar Series, CH 491 Chemistry Seminar, BME 401 Undergraduate BME Seminar, and NBL/PY 401 Colloquium in Basic, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience. They will also be strongly encouraged to attend their departmental colloquia.


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