Application Process

Students currently in their sophomore or junior year are eligible to apply. Please note that the Beckman Foundation requires that all scholars must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Prior to submitting an application, students should identify a mentor from the list of participating faculty with whom there is mutual interest in pursuing a research project. Applicants will be assessed on student aptitude and academic success in the sciences, interest in research, and both oral and written communication. Previous research experience is not required, but may be considered an asset. The student application consists of the following:

  1. An application letter (< 1,000 words) in which the student discusses her/his scientific interests, relevant previous coursework and research experience, career goals, and passion for research. Students should also articulate how the extended research time-frame supported by the award, as well as the additional enrichment opportunities of the Beckman Scholars Program, will enhance their career goals. Students must clearly state their commitment to completion of all components of the program.
  2. A written summary of a current paper relevant to the proposed research topic. In conjunction with their proposed mentor, applicants should select a research paper within their field of interest and provide a summary of the work (< 1,000 words). The review should summarize the main points, describe the importance to the field, and suggest future studies. This part of the application will allow the Selection Committee to gauge the scientific understanding and writing skills of the applicant.
  3. A current academic transcript (unofficial is acceptable).
  4. Two confidential letters of recommendation, one from the faculty research mentor and the other from another Macalester faculty member.

All written application materials are due by Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, and final selections of scholars will be completed by mid-February. Send items # 1–3 as a single PDF to Patty Byrne Pfalz ().

The top applicants will be chosen for an interview, during which applicants will be asked to explain their proposed research in a way accessible to non-specialists and to reiterate their motivation to pursue a career in science. Although we do not require a formal research proposal for the application, this component of the interview process will require that potential scholars are familiar with the research they plan to undertake. The Selection Committee will assess the ability of the applicant to talk about science clearly and engagingly and will evaluate personal qualities such as enthusiasm and perseverance.