The University of California, Davis has received a prestigious 2012 Beckman Scholars Award. The Beckman Scholars Program stimulates, encourages and supports research activities in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, or the biological and medical sciences by exceptionally talented undergraduate students. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, the student’s research will result in publishable results. The Beckman Scholars Program will position UC Davis undergraduates to emerge as leaders in the sciences through intensive research experience and career mentoring. UC Davis was one of only 11 universities chosen to receive this award in 2012.
Angelique Louie, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Beckman Scholars Program Director at UC Davis, announced that The Arnold and Mabel Beckman foundation awarded UC Davis 3 years of funding to support up to 6 students (2 per year), to do research for 2 summers and the academic year in between. Each student receives $6,000 per summer, and $4,000 for the academic year. Each student also receives $2,450 to pay for supplies and travel to meetings over the duration of their tenure. Professor Louie says, “It is a quite prestigious and lucrative award for the students.”
The Beckman Scholars Program will target students who perform at the highest scholastic levels. The program provides an incentive to pursue research and offers exposure to all aspects of research, including laboratory experiments, writing, grant applications, public speaking and peer review. Two or three scholars per year will be selected, and will interview with their desired mentors for placement. Fourteen well-funded and highly published professors from Chemistry, Microbiology, Plant Biology, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, with strong track records of mentoring undergraduates in the lab, will serve as mentors to the Beckman Scholars. Scholars will work full time during the summers and 10-20 hours a week during the school year.
The Beckman Scholars will present their work at weekly meetings with their research group, and monthly meetings with other Scholars. Scholars will also present at the annual Undergraduate Research Conference in the spring, at the summer Beckman Scholars meeting, at a national meeting of their choice, and, at the end of their appointment, in a public presentation open to the entire campus. Scholars will prepare a “TED” style talk on their research topic that they will record for YouTube, iTunes University, or TED distribution. A media lab (under the direction of Dr. Louie in the Biomedical Engineering Department) equipped with Mac computers loaded with FinalCutPro software, SLR digital cameras and camcorders, boom microphones and other accessories will help the Scholars prepare these talks. Scholars will attend workshops on graduate school, ethics, and professional development topics, as well as have many informal opportunities to meet with the mentors. Finally, Beckman Scholars will prepare an application for the NSF and NIH predoctoral fellowship programs that will undergo several rounds of peer review by other Beckman Scholars.
The Beckman Scholars Program is designed to cultivate all the knowledge, skills, and experiences a student needs to succeed at a science or engineering career. Professor Louie says, “A positive research experience will have a life-altering influence on future career decisions. We are strongly committed to nurturing the Scholars towards a lifelong research career.”
For more information, please click on this link to the Undergraduate Research Center.