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Prestigious scholarship available to KU undergraduate researchers

Friday, March 06, 2015

LAWRENCE — New scholarships for undergraduate researchers will be available through a selective designation for the University of Kansas. KU is one of 12 universities chosen as a Beckman Scholars institution.

This three-year award will fund six undergraduate Beckman Scholars at KU over two summers and one academic year. The funding will include student and mentor stipends as well as support for travel and research supplies.

The Beckman Scholars program is an opportunity for talented undergraduates to have an intensive research experience while receiving a stipend that precludes their need to hold an outside job. 

“A distinct strength of KU is our commitment to undergraduate research. The Beckman Scholars program will greatly enhance the opportunities for our undergraduate researchers,” said John Augusto, assistant vice provost of the Center for Undergraduate Research. “Students whose time for undergraduate research has been limited by the need to hold an outside job will have newfound flexibility to pursue research without worrying about financial obligations.”

Each Beckman Scholar receives $21,000 as a stipend plus travel and supply funds. In addition, the student’s mentor receives $5,000. Scholars must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, be enrolled full-time as a sophomore and have a 3.7 GPA. The call for applications for summer 2015 can be found on the KU program website. The application deadline is Monday, March 23.

Each year, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation invites research, doctoral, master’s and baccalaureate universities and colleges to submit applications for the Beckman Scholars Program. For 2015, 154 universities and colleges were invited to submit applications. Following a review of the highly competitive applications, 39 institutions were selected as finalists. From those finalists, the foundation’s board of directors granted 12 institutional awards.

KU’s successful application was a collaborative effort among faculty and staff from the Center for Undergraduate Research, KU Innovation & Collaboration, and the departments of Molecular Biosciences and Chemistry. The application team was led by David Benson, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry; Susan Egan, professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences, and Brian Laird, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. It also included Augusto with the Center for Undergraduate Research; Lynn Hancock, associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, and Rebecca Peterson, director of research collaborations at Innovation & Collaboration. In addition, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Undergraduate Biology Program and the University Honors Program will provide support for the Beckman Scholars program.

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