Carnegie Mellon University
January 16, 2020

Carnegie Mellon Chosen to Host Beckman Scholars Program

The program will provide exceptional undergraduate students with mentoring in scientific research and entrepreneurship

By Jocelyn Duffy

Jocelyn Duffy
  • Associate Dean for Communications, MCS
  • 412-268-9982

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation has selected Carnegie Mellon University as a recipient of a 2020 Beckman Scholars Program Award. 

"We are excited to announce our 2020 Beckman Scholars Program award winners, representing a range of universities from across the country, and including past awardees and new institutions joining the program this year. The next cohort of Beckman Scholars will start their research projects this summer, and we can't wait to meet them at our upcoming annual Beckman Symposium," said Anne Hultgren, executive director of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

Carnegie Mellon was one of 12 universities chosen this year by the foundation to host a Beckman Scholars Program. Exceptional undergraduates from the departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry will be eligible for the program. The Scholars will participate in a 15-month mentored research experience where they will learn from some of the university’s top researchers.

The Carnegie Mellon Beckman Scholars Program also will provide students with mentoring from Carnegie Mellon alumni who are successful entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurship component will expose students to the business side of science and teach them how to present their work for funding and commercialization.

“Carnegie Mellon has long been a leader in undergraduate research. We find that what our students learn in the lab is more than just science. They learn about critical thinking and teamwork,” said Bruce Armitage, professor of chemistry. “Combining the research experience with exposure to entrepreneurship will uniquely prepare our Beckman Scholars for their future as 21st century scientists working in both academia and industry.”

Carnegie Mellon University and its Mellon College of Science have a strong history of providing meaningful research experiences for undergraduate students. In the departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry, approximately 90% of undergraduates participate in research. Many conduct their own experiments, co-author papers published in peer-reviewed journals and present at scientific conferences.

In addition, the interdisciplinary foundation of Carnegie Mellon supports students who want to explore research topics that span the university’s departments and colleges. Students conduct research through the university’s many interdisciplinary centers and are often mentored by faculty from departments other than their home department.

Carnegie Mellon is also well known for its leadership in entrepreneurship. Since 2008, 293 startup companies have formed from the university and 83% of those are still in business. Scholars will have access to entrepreneurial resources through the university’s Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship and Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation.

Sophomores and juniors from the departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry will be able to apply for the program beginning in the spring of 2020. One to three Scholars will be selected in each of the next three years. The Scholars will have the opportunity to choose a mentor from 15 distinguished members of the Carnegie Mellon faculty, whose research spans biological sciences, chemistry, computational biology and biomedical engineering. Mentors include: Bruce Armitage, Stefan Bernhard, Mark Bier, Marcel Bruchez, Jonathan Jarvik, Tomasz Kowaleski, Danith Ly, Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Jonathan Minden, Robert Murphy, Kevin Noonan, Stefanie Sydlik, Newell Washburn, Kathryn Whitehead and David Yaron.

Beckman Scholars will receive $21,000 in funding for a stipend, supplies and travel over the course of the 15-month program.

Founded in 1977 by Dr. Arnold O. and Mabel Beckman, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation supports leading edge research in the fields of chemistry and the life sciences.