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CONTACT: Janet Basu, News Service (415) 723-7582

New Beckman Scholars Program to support research by five Stanford undergraduates

Four Stanford undergraduates and a transfer student from a community college will receive substantial support for research in chemistry and the biological sciences under a new nationwide program announced by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

The students will be among 73 undergraduates from 20 colleges and universities nationwide to receive $11,000 support for research projects to be carried out over two summers and an additional $3,600 for up to 10 hours a week of research during the intervening academic year. They will present their findings at an annual symposium.

The first Stanford awards will be granted during the current Spring Quarter, according to biological sciences Professor Craig Heller, who will administer the program for Stanford.

In a letter to the recipient colleges, L. Donald Shields, chair of the Beckman Scholars Advisory Panel, wrote, "To the Foundation's knowledge, [such] sustained, in-depth undergraduate research experiences and comprehensive faculty mentoring . . . are not offered by any other program in the country in terms of program scope, content and level of scholarship awards."

Shields said that the program's purpose is to boost awareness of the importance of quality undergraduate research opportunities at universities and colleges. "The Foundation believes these experiences will significantly advance the education, research training and personal development of these student participants ­ young people who have the potential to achieve excellence in their academic fields as well as become outstanding leaders in their careers and impressions," Shields wrote.

Among the 20 institutions chosen for Beckman Scholar awards, six are in California. In addition to Stanford, they are Caltech, California State University-Los Angeles, Occidental College, San Francisco State University and the University of California-Berkeley.


By Janet Basu

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