University of Pittsburgh
April 2, 1998


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, April 3 -- The University of Pittsburgh has been chosen

as one of only twenty elite universities nationally to receive a 1998-1999 Beckman Scholars Program Award to help fund outstanding undergraduate research in biology, chemistry and engineering.

Chosen from a list of 172 institutions identified by the Beckman program as having a significant commitment towards undergraduate research, Pitt and the other 19 schools will receive funds to help more than 70 undergraduate students per year. The award provides nearly $15,000 per student for two full-time summer research sessions and for part-time research during one standard academic year. Students will work directly with faculty mentors.

"The Beckman award recognizes Pitt's leadership role in undergraduate science education," said David Burgess, Department of Biological Sciences chair and Beckman Award Program Director at Pitt. "This acknowledges our continuing efforts to involve undergraduates in hands-on research in biology, chemistry and engineering sciences. It speaks directly to the quality of both our students and faculty in science and engineering."

Funded by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, the Beckman Scholars Program is committed to undergraduate students. "The program can provide unique opportunities for excellence through sustained, in-depth, faculty mentored undergraduate laboratory research experiences for a group of our nation's most talented and most gifted chemistry and biological sciences undergraduates," said L. Donald Shields, chairman of the Beckman Scholars advisory panel.

Using an exhaustive selection process the Beckman Scholars advisory panel selected 50 finalist institutions and evaluated each in areas such as: historical and current commitment to quality undergraduate research programs; record of student admissions to quality graduate and professional schools; record of producing Ph.D. and M.D. graduates; scholarly accomplishments and educational background of faculty; and experience of faculty as undergraduate research mentors.

Some of the institutions selected by the Beckman Foundation Board of Directors to receive Beckman Scholars Awards include: the University of Pittsburgh, California Institute of Technology, California State University, Los Angeles, Carleton College, Carnegie Mellon University, The College of William and Mary, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Penn State University, Stanford University, and the University of California, Berkeley.