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Physical Address:
Education Bldg, Room 220

Phone: 208-885-0968


Beckman Scholars Program

The U of I's current grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is coming to a close. Therefore, the U of I's Beckman Scholars Program is not accepting new applications. We hope to re-start our BSP in the near future.

In 2018, the University of Idaho was one of 12 institutions nationwide selected to receive the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation’s Beckman Scholars Program Award to support outstanding undergraduate researchers. Through its Beckman Scholars Program, UI now supports 1 - 2 exceptional undergraduates each year to conduct research in the fields of biology and/or biological engineering.

Beckman Scholars will receive:

  • Up to $21,000 over the course of two summers and an academic year;
  • Opportunities to present their research to program faculty, attend networking events with other scholars and faculty, and attend workshops related to professional development as scientists
  • All Beckman Scholars are required to present their summer research in poster format at the UI Undergraduate Research Symposium, which takes place late in the spring semester. In preparation for this event, Beckman Scholars submit an abstract summarizing the results of the research conducted during the preceding summer and academic year. Like the original proposal, the abstract should be placed in the context of some broader scientific issue, but focused on the specifics of the project and conclusions of the research, even if those are provisional or tentative. Scholars are expected to have incorporated editorial advice from their mentors before submission.

Questions about the program should be directed to Dr. David Pfeiffer, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.

2019 Student Award Winner

Jett Murray, Junior
Major: Biological Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Nathan Schiele, associate professor of biological engineering
Research Focus: Exploring B-catenin in the regulation of tenogenic stem cell differentiation

2018 Student Award Winners

Alexandra Flores, Senior
Major: Biochemistry

Faculty Mentor: Peter Fuerst, associate professor of biological sciences
Research Focus: Studying the brains of mice to look for any gene patterns with a connection to neurological disorders, specifically autism

LeeAnn Hold, Senior

Major: Biological Engineering

Faculty Mentor: Nathan Schiele, associate professor of biological engineering
Research Focus: Creating tendon from stem cells to eventually provide better motion for those with tendon injuries and immobile or near-immobile patients

All applicants must

  • be current first-year or second-year undergraduate students at the University of Idaho intending to major in or majoring in biology, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and biotechnology, medical sciences, chemistry or biological engineering. Students who are currently in their junior year but who will still be enrolled in their degree during the fall of 2021 are also eligible to apply.
  • have a cumulative GPA in all courses of at least 3.5
  • be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions
  • commit to performing undergraduate research related to their major during summer 2020 (ten 40-hour weeks), the 2020-2021 academic year (at least 10 hours per week) and summer 2021 (ten 40-hour weeks) in one of the labs of the Beckman Scholars Program faculty, which are:

    • Onesmo Balemba
    • Peter Fuerst
    • Bryn Martin
    • Tanya Miura
    • Christine Parent
    • Barrie Robison
    • Nathan Schiele
    • Deborah Stenkamp
    • Eva Top
    • Marty Frederick

Applications should consist of one PDF document including, in this order:

  • your resume, no more than 2 pages
  • a copy of your official U of I transcript, and a transcript from your previous institution if you have transferred into the University of Idaho (please make sure that these are included in the single PDF)
  • a statement (no more than 500 words) about your future research goals, your goals after graduation, and any previous research experience you may have had (no prior research experience is necessary)
  • two letters of recommendation from faculty. One must be from your proposed Mentor (These letters should be sent separately, by the faculty members, directly to Dr. David Pfeiffer at
  • the name of your preferred program faculty Mentor (from the list above), whom you have contacted and received permission from to list his or her name on your application.
  • a two-page research proposal: This will focus on a project you would like to undertake under the guidance of one of the 10 possible program faculty Mentors listed above. It is expected you will consult with the faculty Mentor as the general scope of the project is defined; however, the proposal must be written by you. The proposal should include research background, a research hypothesis, a detailed breakdown of the experiments you plan on performing, and how your results will be analyzed.

If your application is chosen, you will be invited to interview with the program Committee. The interview will consist of a 10-minute presentation by you on your proposed project followed by 10 – 15 minutes of questions and discussion.

Factors guiding the Committee’s final selection of Scholars will include each student’s academic record, written and oral communication skills, grasp of the proposed project along with the project’s merit/creativity, and the student’s potential to be an outstanding leader in science-related careers.

  • April 8, 2020, 5 p.m.: Applications submitted as a single PDF to Dr. David Pfeiffer at
  • Mid-April, 2020: Interviews with student finalists
  • Late-April, 2020: Program Committee decisions finalized
  • May 26 to July 31, 2020: First summer of research (10 weeks)

Questions about the program should be directed to Dr. David Pfeiffer (, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.


Physical Address:
Education Bldg, Room 220

Phone: 208-885-0968