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  • West Virginia University selected to host Beckman Scholars Program, receiving $156,000 in funding for student research

West Virginia University selected to host Beckman Scholars Program, receiving $156,000 in funding for student research

West Virginia University selected to host Beckman Scholars Program, receiving $156,000 in funding for student research

MORGANTOWN, W. Va.— Over the next three years, six WVU undergraduate student researchers will have the opportunity to conduct funded research thanks to the Beckman Scholars Program, which will provide up to $156,000 in funding and leadership development. Students should apply by March 2 at 11:59 p.m. and can learn more about the program and how to apply on the WVU Beckman Scholars Program website.  

West Virginia University is among 12 top research universities across the United States selected for the 2020 Beckman Scholars Program by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.  

“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.  

Students chosen for this selective program will be exceptionally talented undergraduate student researchers who will become the nation’s future scientific leaders and innovators.  

As a research-focused land-grant institution, WVU prioritizes fostering high-impact learning experiences for undergraduate student researchers, with students able to start research as early as their first semester through the Research Apprenticeship Program.  

“As one of only 131 doctoral universities from across the U.S. designated as R1, West Virginia University must lead in training the next generation of innovators and scientific leaders. The Beckman Scholars Program will complement institutional efforts and will be the pinnacle and most prestigious of WVU’s available undergraduate research opportunities,” said Michelle Richards-Babb, director of the WVU Office of Undergraduate Research. “It is an exciting time for WVU students who want to engage in research.”  

In the 15-month program, students will conduct paid full-time research for two consecutive summers, continuing their research part-time 10 hours per week during the academic year. Up to three students may be selected each summer for the next three years, for a total of up to six student researchers over the course of the program. Student researchers will also receive mentoring and leadership development training throughout the program, and opportunities to act as leaders in WVU’s undergraduate research community.  

The Beckman Scholars Program provides $26,000 in financial support for student research. Each Beckman Scholar will receive a $18,200 stipend for their research work, as well as $2,800 for research supplies or travel. Faculty mentors will receive a $5,000 stipend.  

Students can apply now through March 2, 2020. Qualified students will be freshmen, sophomores or juniors majoring in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, chemical or biomedical engineering or medical sciences with a 3.5 minimum GPA. Students should be planning to pursue advanced degrees (PhD, MD, MD/PhD) or other scientific pursuits, and to act as leaders and innovators in the scientific and research communities.  

Students should also be intending to pursue an independent research project under one of 13 WVU Beckman Faculty Mentors, who are:

  • Sadie Bergeron, assistant professor, Biology,
  • Andrew Dacks, associate professor, Biology,
  • Kevin Daly, professor, Biology, Eberly College,
  • Cerasela Zoica Dinu, professor, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering,
  • Jennifer Gallagher, associate professor, Biology,
  • Lisa Holland, professor, Chemistry,
  • Jessica Hoover, associate professor, Chemistry,
  • David Klinke, associate professor, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering,
  • Justin Legleiter, associate professor, Chemistry,
  • Blake Mertz, associate professor, Chemistry,
  • Daniel Panaccione, Davis-Michael Professor, Division of Plant and Soil Sciences,
  • Brian Popp, associate professor, Chemistry, and
  • Janet Tou, professor, Human Nutrition & Foods

Interested students should speak with one of the above faculty, as an endorsement letter from a faculty mentor is one of the application requirements. Students can learn more on the WVU Beckman Scholars Program website.  

The Office of Undergraduate Research connects students and faculty to provide opportunities for students to engage in scholarly inquiry and creative endeavors. Students who are interested in research can visit the website or email undergradresearch@mail.wvu.edu.  

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

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Contact: Michelle Richards-Babb Office of Undergraduate Research Director 304-293-9354; mrichar2@wvu.edu