Beckman Scholar Selection Process & Eligibility


Selection Process

Each spring semester, eligible students are invited to apply for the Beckman Scholars program. The extensive online application consists of a personal data page, 3 one-page essays (Essay A, Essay B, and Essay C), a one page bibliography  for Essay B,  a one page short story (following a prompt), an unofficial transcript, and a recommendation form. The essays, bibliography, short story, and transcript should all be combined and uploaded as a single PDF into the application portal. 

This year the application will open on Monday January 18, 2021.  Your application is due at 5 pm on Tuesday February 23, 2021.

Reference form guidelines: 

The Beckman  Scholars Program application requires a reference to be submitted on your behalf. The reference is a brief form, rather than a recommendation letter. Please provide the name and email address of the TAMU faculty or staff member who will be providing your reference. An email immediately be sent to the email address provided, so please ensure that you enter the correct TAMU email address.

You are welcome to use a professor, research advisor, student organization advisor, employer/manager, Teaching Assistan, PI, or another mentor who can speak to your academic and/or leadership abilities. THE PERSON WRITING THE RECOMMENDATION FORM MUST HAVE A UIN AND NET-ID. THEY MUST BE CURRENTLY EMPLOYED BY TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY - COLLEGE STATION. GRADUATE STUDENTS ARE ACCEPTABLE REFERENCE FORM WRITERS IF THEY HAVE INSTRUCTED YOU AS A TEACHING ASSISTANT OR MENTORED YOU IN A RESEARCH CONTEXT. A TEXAS A&M UNDERGRADUATE IS NOT ABLE TO WRITE A REFERENCE FORM FOR YOU UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. 

You are responsible for ensuring that your reference is submitted by February 25, 2021 at 5pm. Any application not supported by a reference will not be considered. 


Additional application guidelines: 
 
  • Your Essay A, Essay B, Essay C, and Short Story each must be formatted in the following way before being combined as a single PDF: one page, single spaced, and Times New Roman, 12 point font size. You must also include a works cited formatted in the style of your choice for your Essay B. 
  • Your essays, bibliography, story and transcript should be combined into one PDF and uploaded into the portal. 
  • All documents must be PDF files and will not be uploaded if they are not.
  • If you have not saved the previous sections, please click the Previous button and do so before exiting the application.
Application is located at: http://launchportal.tamu.edu/ 

Essay A: Who Are You? Do not include your name in your response.
 
Essay B: Describe a problem or a need in society that you would like to address in your life after college and present possible solutions. Define the magnitude of this problem with data, statistics and quotes from authorities.
 
Essay C: The Dunning-Kruger effect describes someone with little knowledge or ability in a specific area who thinks they are much more knowledgeable or skilled than they are.  For example a chemist who presumes to give expert advice on marine conservation biology, or a surgeon who presumes to give expert advice on pandemic policy. Social media has exacerbated this problem as has the rising equivalence of opinion and expertise in the public eye.

Choose one of the following issues and whether you are Pro or Con. Give us a persuasive argument for your point of view, then identify a Dunning-Kruger argument that supports your side (via social media, news websites, etc), and tell us why the argument is Dunning-Kruger.
 
  1. Climate change is real.
  2. Vaccinations are not harmful.
  3. Nuclear power is safe.
 
Story: Write a short story using the following first and last sentences
 
First Sentence: “The bubbles tickled my nose.”
 
Last Sentence: “And that’s how I started Cirque de Soleil.”
 
Transcript: Download a copy of your unofficial transcript and combined it with all of your documents (Essays, Short Story, Bibliography.


Eligibility

To be invited to apply for the Beckman Scholars program, students must
  1. Be a US Citizen or Permanent resident.
  2. Be majoring in Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering with an intent to major in Biomedical Engineering, Genetics, Microbiology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Physics, or Zoology.
  3. Be a second semester Freshman at Texas A&M University-College Station
  4. Have established a cumulative GPR of 3.5 or better
  5. Be willing to make a substantial commitment to undergraduate research starting the summer after their freshmen year until graduation with a Bachelor's degree.
Criteria

The Beckman selection committee looks for candidates who demonstrate‚Äč‚Äč:
  • intellectual curiosity and adaptability
  • a depth of critical thinking and self-awareness
  • poise, maturity, and professionalism
  • the ability to engage in rigorous conversation
  • a sincere interest in and curiosity about research (prior research experience is NOT required)
Timeline
  • Applications will open January 18, 2021.
  • Application deadline is February 23, 2021 at 5pm. 
  • Reference form must be submitted by February 25, 2021 at 5:00pm CST. 
  • Semi-finalists are notified in mid-late March.
  • Interviews: April 5-9, 2021.
  • Final Decisions: Sent out by May 10, 2021.