Conducted in the spring semester, the competition is open to biology and chemistry majors in their sophomore and junior years. The applicant must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and submit five copies of the following:
- a cover sheet/application (one with original signatures from the faculty research mentor and the applicant)
- an up-to-date transcript of the applicant's complete undergraduate record
- an essay of 1000–1500 words describing the applicant's research experience, if applicable; how this award would benefit the applicant's current and long-term goals in scientific research; and anticipated research plans and objectives as a Beckman Scholar.
One copy of the following should be included in the application package (each sealed in a signed envelope):
- a letter of recommendation (and commitment) from the applicant's faculty research mentor
- a letter of recommendation from another individual familiar with the applicant's academic/scientific achievements
- additional letters of reference (optional)
A selection committee, chaired by the Dean for Educational Policy and comprised of faculty from the departments of Chemistry and Biology, will interview the finalists and choose the recipients. One to two Beckman Scholars are designated annually.