William & Mary

Expectations of Beckman Scholars and Mentors

As a condition of the award, Beckman Scholars must:

  • participate in full-time research on their designated projects in the two summers designated in the award letter, as well as during the intervening academic year as part of the student's normal course of study
  • attend the summer Beckman research symposium
  • continue their research as part of the Honors program during their senior year
  • submit a final report in July before the conclusion of the grant
  • complete an appropriate service or volunteer experience

It is also expected that Beckman Scholars will become mentors of other undergraduates and participate in activities that foster the intellectual life of students in the sciences, including:

  • Organizing Academic Forums. Each Beckman Scholar will lead at least one forum during the academic year. The forum would bring together students in the broader sciences and mathematics to discuss particular topics, especially those of an interdisciplinary nature. Some sessions might be devoted to other issues of concern to students, such as applying to graduate school or medical school, accommodating study abroad with a science major, and internship opportunities. Other sessions might bring in faculty or representatives from Jefferson Laboratory, NASA, VIMS, or private industry. The Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will provide lunches or refreshments for these events.
  • Sharing Perspectives with First-Year Students. Whenever possible, Beckman Scholars must share their perspectives with other undergraduate researchers in the sciences, especially first-year students, on such things as the best practices of laboratory organization and collaboration. In particular, Beckman Scholars will be called upon to help faculty host the reception for the HHMI Freshman Research Program participants and make informal presentations about their research experiences at the College and how their opportunities have influenced their plans and career options. Also, Beckman Scholars will work with a freshman within a specific laboratory and serve as that student's mentor in their first year.
  • Other Mentoring Opportunities. Beckman Scholars will also serve as mentors for intermediate-level students in the labs of their faculty mentors. Each Scholar, working closely with her or his faculty mentor, will guide a small team of student researchers to develop a "next, best experiment," whereby students will look beyond their immediate work in the lab and develop a follow-up experiment to address subsequent issues. The team would then present the experiment to their peers. Beckman Scholars might also be called upon by their faculty mentors to assist in guiding less experienced students in understanding the context and literature for the experiment the team is conducting, thus ensuring that all members of the team are working in tandem.

Faculty Mentors of Beckman Scholars must

  • ensure that the Beckman Scholars are central to the faculty member’s research program
  • help the Beckman Scholars identify and develop service or volunteer opportunities
  • act as secondary mentors and collaborators to the research of each Scholar
  • attend the summer Beckman research symposium