Beckman Scholars Program


A 15-month mentored research experience for exceptional undergraduate students in chemistry, biological sciences or interdisciplinary combinations.

Students working in lab with faculty.

Program Overview

Mount Holyoke will select two undergraduates as Beckman Scholars per year for the next three years. Each Beckman Scholar will take part in a 15-month mentored research experience in chemistry, biological sciences or interdisciplinary combinations with either of the two fields. Scholars will work on a one-on-one mentored research project with the available faculty mentor in their field.

The College’s Beckman Scholars Program has been designed to emphasize equity, access and inclusion. If you identify as a student from a group that is underrepresented in STEM you are especially encouraged to apply.

Program details

Award amount: $21,000

  • Student Stipend: $18,000
    • Summer 1: $6,800
    • Academic Year: $4,600
    • Summer 1: $6,800
  • Research and Travel Funds: $2,800

Length of award: 15 Months

Scholars are funded continuously over two consecutive summers and one academic year


  • US Citizen, permanent resident, or DACA status
  • Full-time student at Mount Holyoke College
  • Intention to pursue an advanced degree or other scientific pursuits after graduation

Candidate Selection

Diversity, equity, and merit are all included equally in the selection process

Timeline and Important dates

  • Application opens: February 23, 2023
  • Application deadline: March 10, 2023
  • Interviews/lab visits with mentors: March 20–24
  • Beckman Scholars announced: Monday, April 3

Upcoming information sessions


2023—2024 Faculty Mentors

Rebeccah Lijek

Rebeccah Lijek

Lijek is a molecular biologist who investigates how interactions between microorganisms and the immune system can lead to diverse outcomes such as pathogen clearance and protection or chronic inflammation and tissue damage.

Beckman scholars working with Professor Lijek will research how the sexually transmitted bacterial pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis triggers immunopathology in the female genital tract of mice. She welcomes students interested in using molecular biology, cell culture, and mouse models to study the intersection of microbiology, immunology, and women’s health.

Essential courses: Biol-230: Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology

More about Rebeccah Lijek
Melody Su

Yun-Hsuan (Melody) Su

Su is a computer scientist with a background in medical robotics. Her work examines the interactions of robotic surgical tools and soft deformable tissue. Her focus is on computer vision, haptics, (medical) robotics, bilateral teleoperation, image segmentation and 3D reconstruction.

Beckman scholars working with Professor Su will explore methods to improve robotic teleoperation experiences by integrating computer vision and AI algorithms to provide vision-based haptic feedback.

Essential courses: Comsc-151, Comsc-205 (preferably also Comsc- 226 and/or Comsc-335, but not required)

More about Yun-Hsuan (Melody) Su
Katie Berry, Clare Booth Luce Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, has been awarded the coveted Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award for her work in developing new techniques to study the processes of biochemistry and engage students in the research.

Katie Berry

Berry is a biochemist who explores mechanisms of gene regulation involving non-coding RNAs and RNA-binding proteins. Her research uses the power of molecular genetics to discover and characterize RNA-protein interactions inside of E. coli cells.

Beckman scholars working with Professor Berry will develop and apply tools of bacterial molecular genetics to study the mechanisms of how small RNAs interact with their protein collaborators across diverse bacteria. including those that cause human disease.

Essential courses: Biol-230: Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology and Chem-202: Organic Chemistry I

More about Katie Berry
Kyle Broaders

Kyle Broaders

Broaders is an organic chemist studying and developing the synthesis of responsive polymer biomaterials. His research aims to design, prepare, and understand new materials that respond to their environment.

Beckman scholars working with Professor Broaders will use techniques from organic, polymer, and materials chemistry to make modified biomaterials that respond to the chemical and biological nature of their environment. These materials may have applications as renewable plastics or as platforms for drug delivery.

Essential courses: Chem-202: Organic Chemistry I, Chem-302: Organic Chemistry II

More about Kyle Broaders
Kathryn A. McMenimen

Katie McMenimen

McMenimen is a chemist interested in the interface of chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular neuroscience. Her research focuses on understanding protein-protein interactions, and how these interactions relate to protein folding, protein misfolding, and disease.

Beckman scholars working with Professor McMenimen will determine how the structure of heat shock proteins underlies their function by using chemical-scale studies. These may include mutational studies, developing synthetic peptides, qPCR analyses, in vitro and/or in vivo functional assays. Research students in the McMenimen lab will gain experience using many techniques to understand the interdisciplinary roles of heat shock proteins in regulating essential cellular functions.

Essential courses: Chem-202: Organic Chemistry I

More about Katie McMenimen

Happening at Mount Holyoke

The Beckman Scholars Program in the news

For the first time in its history, Mount Holyoke College has been selected as a Beckman Scholars Program awardee by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. The foundation chose the College after a rigorous application process.

Contact us

The Fellowships staff help to demystify the process of applying for merit-based fellowships.

  • Office Manager, Student Success & Advising
  • Fellowships Advisor

Next steps


Set up an appointment with Fellowships at Mount Holyoke to learn how to apply for the Beckman Scholars Program.