Photo credit: FJ Gaylor Collection/University of Arizona RedBar
Photo credit: FJ Gaylor Collection/University of Arizona RedBar

Grant From Beckman Foundation to Support UA's Future Leaders in Science, Medicine

The Beckman Scholars Program will provide financial support for promising undergraduate researchers and their mentors in the areas of chemistry, biochemistry and the biological and medical sciences.
March 28, 2014

University of Arizona undergraduates who are considered future leaders in science and medicine will receive financial support through a grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, which has selected the UA as a partner institution.

The University was named a partner institution in 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2011 and, over those years, has been able to support nearly two dozen UA students as Beckman Foundation scholars. 

"This is a very prestigious award to have – a highly coveted award, and it will support them very handsomely," said Carol Bender, a University Distinguished Outreach Professor and a professor of practice in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

The $156,000 grant from the Beckman Foundation will support six students and includes, for the first time, funding for each student's mentor. Each mentor will receive $5,000 as compensation for their time and effort working with the Beckman Scholars.

"The support for students and their mentors is significant," said John Enemark, a Regents Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Biochemistry. 

As part of the scholarship program, the students will be mentored through research projects, collaborating with faculty members in the UA College of Science, and have opportunities to both publish and present their research at conferences.

Beckman Scholars also will serve as peer mentors to those involved in the Undergraduate Biology Research Program, serving a special role during the program's ethics retreat.

In selecting institutions, the Beckman Foundation considers each college or university's record of success in supporting undergraduate researchers. The foundation also considers the contributions of each institution's alumni.

UA alumni previously named Beckman Scholars include: Dr. Shameema Sikder, the Wilmer Eye Institute - Bethesda medical director and an assistant professor of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University; Nichole Danzl, a postdoctoral fellow at the Columbia University Medical Center; and Kvar Black, a postdoctoral research associate at Washington University's Optical Radiology Labs.

"The foundation expects that these students will be leaders in science and in medicine; that they will be productive. The Beckman Foundation wants to see that we've received awards and that our students have published and also received grants and fellowships," Bender said.

"They want to see that we have, indeed, produced leaders as a result of the funding," she said, "We have certainly done that."