Graduate Fellows Program

Graduate Fellows Program

The Beckman Institute Graduate Fellows Program offers University of Illinois graduate students at the M.A., M.S., or Ph.D. level the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research at the institute. This program is supported by funding from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

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Applications for Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowships will open in January 2022.

General guidelines

Applicant must be a University of Illinois graduate student engaged in thesis research at the M.A., M.S., or Ph.D. level. Each applicant must submit a proposal for an interdisciplinary research project to be pursued during the time of the appointment.

The project must involve active participation by at least two University of Illinois faculty members, with at least one being a Beckman Institute faculty member who carries out their research at Beckman. Proposals involving more than one Beckman faculty member  — in particular those involving faculty from different research groups — will be given preference. Proposed research must be performed mainly at the Beckman Institute.

Applications will be evaluated in terms of quality of proposed work, likelihood that work will lead to important new results in science and engineering, and relevance of proposed project to Beckman Institute research. Those selected for this program will be hired as graduate research assistants.

Application requirements

  1. Fill out application form
    Applicants must fill out the online application form (University of Illinois NetID and password are required). The form also allows for the electronic submission of supporting documents, including your curriculum vitae and research project proposal.
  2. Curriculum vitae
    A current curriculum vitae must be submitted as an Adobe PDF file using the upload form mentioned above.
  3. Research project
    A description of the proposed research project to be pursued, if you are selected as a Beckman Institute Graduate Fellow. This section should not exceed three single spaced pages. The description must include up to six references to relevant literature and needs to make a clear case regarding how the proposed research will foster interdisciplinary research. The research plan must be submitted as an Adobe PDF file using the upload form mentioned above.
  4. Letters of recommendation
    In addition to the above materials, two letters of recommendation from faculty members need to be submitted as Adobe PDF files, via e-mail to If necessary, letters of recommendation will also be accepted when sent under separate cover to the address below. No faxed copies of the recommendation letters will be accepted. These need to be received by the application deadline.

Two of the faculty must co-supervise the research. By supporting this application, the two faculty sponsors are agreeing to provide the incidental funding necessary to accomplish their research project.

These items must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. CST on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Late or multiple submissions will not be accepted.


Students selected for this program will be hired as graduate research assistants. The assistantship is an 11-month, 50% appointment with the pay rate of the graduate student’s home department. Up to $2,000 will also be provided to each awardee for approved conference travel.


Thank you for your interest in the Beckman Institute Graduate Fellows competition. Email us If you still have questions after reading through this page.