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Undergraduate science mentoring to continue with Beckman Foundation support

March 26, 2007

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation has renewed its Beckman Scholars Program at the University of Chicago, one of 14 institutions selected for a 2007-2010 Beckman Program Award.

Established in 1997, the Beckman Scholars Program aims to develop in second- and third-year students critical-thinking skills that will benefit them in their graduate and post-graduate studies. The University received its first Beckman Award in 2004.

The Program in the Molecular Sciences at the University will provide six outstanding undergraduate students concentrating in chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology with funding to pursue independent research in laboratories with faculty mentors.

One to three students will be selected annually to receive an award of nearly $20,000 to work in a lab over three years—two summers and during the academic year in between. Instead of assisting faculty mentors with research, Beckman scholars will work in collaboration with their mentors to design their own projects in the manner of thesis students.

The program also provides role models for participating students in the undergraduate College. Beckman scholars interact with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and distinguished faculty members of the University.

“The Beckman Scholars Program in Molecular Sciences is an outstanding example of the kind of mentoring and training programs that Chicago has tried to provide to our best undergraduate sciences students over the decades,” said John Boyer, Dean of the College and the Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor in History and the College.

“Our faculty encourage the creativity and innovation of our College students, and they also provide them with compelling role models to emulate later in their careers.”

The Beckman Foundation was founded in 1977 and awards grants to non-profit research institutions to support innovations in chemistry and the life sciences. — Written by Lien Payne

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Last modified at 11:09 AM CST on Monday, July 23, 2007

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