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Beckman Scholars Program

A generous grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation supporting undergraduate research in the sciences allows Davidson to name four exceptional undergraduate researchers as Beckman Scholars in 2016-2019. Davidson’s first two Beckman Scholars were awarded in spring 2016, a third scholar in 2017, and a fourth will be announced in spring 2018 for support beginning in summer 2018. Successful applicants will have the highest combination of demonstrated interest in and aptitude for honors-level research, capacity for further study in the sciences, dedication, reliability, GPA, and communication skills. Top candidates may be invited to interview with the selection committee, which includes Barbara Lom, biology chair; Cindy Hauser, chemistry chair; Verna Case, associate dean for teaching, learning, and research; and Patricia Hoke, director of corporate and foundation relations.

Beckman Scholars receive:

  • $18.2K in research stipends ($6.8K/summer x 2 summers + $4.6K/academic year; note that academic year support may influence financial aid)
  • $2.8K budget for supplies and/or travel related to the scientific reach
  • Travel support to attend the Beckman symposium each summer in Irvine, Calif.


  • Firm commitment to pursue a STEM major 
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Firm commitment to conduct mentored scientific research, fueled by authentic, intellectual curiosity and an abiding desire to produce publishable results
  • Firm commitment to conduct research in the same Davidson lab for two consecutive summers (full-time) as well as during the intervening academic year. Students planning to study off-campus in the academic year between the two summers are not eligible.
  • Willingness to present research results on campus and at appropriate local, regional, and/or national scientific meetings
  • Willingness to attend Beckman’s annual summer research symposium in Irvine, Calif. in early August
  • Willingness to mentor other student researchers
  • Conscientious participation in both mentor-student and student-cohort meetings as well as program assessment activities


To apply to be a Beckman Scholar beginning in summer 2018, send a single email (no attachments) to Barbara Lom ( by 5 p.m., on Friday, January 26, 2018, containing the following:

  1. A compelling statement describing why you want to become a Beckman Scholar (1-2 paragraphs)
  2. A detailed statement describing your research interests and professional aspirations (2-4 paragraphs)
  3. The name of the specific faculty mentor on the list below with whom you have discussed a potential research project that is appropriate for at least two summers and one academic year of work
  4. A short statement confirming that you grant permission to the selection committee to request your transcript from the registrar’s office as part of the review process
  5. The names of two Davidson science faculty members (one can be the requested mentor) who are willing to serve as references and describe your potential as a research scientist to the selection committee (note that letters of recommendation are not required)

Research Mentors

Karen Bernd (Biology)
Malcolm Campbell (Biology/Genomics)
Karen Hales (Biology)
Cindy Hauser (Chemistry
Laurie Heyer (Math/Genomics)
Barbara Lom (Biology/Neuroscience)
Jeff Myers (Chemistry)
Julio Ramirez (Psychology/Neuroscience)
Sophia Sarafova (Biology)
Kevin Smith (Biology/Environmental Studies)
Mark Smith (Psychology/Neuroscience)
Nicole Snyder (Chemistry)
Mark Stanback (Biology)
Erland Stevens (Chemistry)