The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation: Grants for STEM Education

OVERVIEW: The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation only supports science— primarily life science and chemistry—with support for education and research. Its research programs fund undergraduate work and early-career scientists working on innovative, unfunded projects.

IP TAKE: This foundation funds early-career researchers with innovative ideas. Its criteria are highly selective, but it is worth the time for undergraduate students, doctoral candidates, or early-career faculty.

PROFILE: The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation was founded in 1977 by Arnold Beckman, analytical chemist and Inventors Hall of Fame inductee, and his wife, Mabel. The foundation seeks to “promote scientific discoveries” and to “foster the invention of methods, instruments, and materials that will open up new avenues of research.” It focuses on early-career researchers and student researchers, with an underlying requirement that funded programs involve new or unfunded avenues of research. It has four grantmaking programs: Beckman Scholars, Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows, Beckman Young Investigators, and Beckman-Argyros Award in Vision Research.

The first program, Beckman Scholars, is an undergraduate scholarship program that selects promising young individuals for annual awards. Scholarships last two summers and one academic year and allow undergraduates to pursue research in chemistry, biochemistry, and biological and medical sciences with in-depth faculty mentoring. Past recipients can be found here.

The second major program is the Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows award. This award supports a 3-year postdoctoral project for early-career academics whose projects show promise for major breakthroughs in their research fields, which again are loosely defined as life sciences and chemical sciences. Applicants must have been in their tenure track for no more than three years. Past recipients can be found here.

Faculty members selected for the Young Investigators Program must work in the “chemical and life sciences,” and should have projects that have the potential to “foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.” The grants provide support for early-career faculty. To qualify, projects must be a “truly high-risk” new direction in research, and the applicant cannot have received a “major award from another institution.” Past grantees can be found here.

Finally, the Beckman-Argyros Award in Vision Research is intended “to reward individuals who make significant transformative breakthroughs in vision research.” Unlike Beckman's other programs, this award is given to only one individual per year who must be nominated by a mentor or colleague.  Past recipients can be found here.

This funder prioritizes driven, innovative scholar-researchers in the early stages of their STEM-related career.


  • Anne Hultgren, Executive Director and CEO

  • Catrina Bryant, Program Manager

  • Nicole Patras, Program Administrator, Beckman Young Investigators

  • Kaerie Ray, Program Administrator, Beckman Scholars