Newswise — Undergraduate students interested in pursuing in-depth scientific research have an exceptional opportunity to do so through the Beckman Scholars Program at Northwestern University.

Northwestern is one of 11 institutions selected by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation to benefit from the 2017 scholars program.

“Northwestern has programs that can really support broad engagement in undergraduate research, but what Beckman offers is the opportunity to launch a career,” said Peter Civetta, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at Northwestern.

The Beckman foundation provides undergraduates at the selected universities with grants designed to promote scientific discoveries and foster invention of methods, instruments and materials to open new avenues of study.

Over three years, the Beckman Scholars Program will fund a total of six students, who will be selected by a Northwestern faculty review committee. Two students a year will each receive a grant of $26,000 for 15 months of research.

“A program like this is going to provide them with resources and knowledge and experience; it’s going to set them up to do really great things with support from Northwestern,” Civetta said.

The program also helps the University identify potential leaders in their fields.  

A stellar alumnus of the program, Chad A. Mirkin, the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology, will co-lead the program with Civetta.

Mirkin was the 1992 recipient of the Beckman Young Investigator Award.

Each scholar will be guided by one of the Beckman Scholars Program mentors, who are 13 Northwestern faculty members from the Weinberg College, McCormick School of Engineering and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The program also involves support service workshops to help the student scholars develop verbal and oral communication skills.

“It’s not enough to be really smart about something,” Civetta said. “You have to be able to communicate effectively to someone who may not know what you’re talking about.”

Interested students must apply by Feb. 24 through the Office of Undergraduate Research.

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is an independent, nonprofit foundation established in 1977 by Dr. Arnold and Mabel Beckman.