The Beckman Scholars Program is a unique opportunity for exceptional transfer students. This 15-month mentored research program seeks applications from students who intend to pursue graduate studies in Chemistry, Biology, or Biomedical Sciences. Beckman Scholars are matched with top faculty researchers and will receive $21,000 to support their research over two summers plus one academic year. Chelsea Bujak and Allison Kaatz are this year’s Beckman Scholars!

Chelsea Bujak

Chelsea Bujak is a junior studying Biology. Her faculty advisor will be Dr. Matthew Chapman. After graduating, Chelsea intends to pursue an MD-PhD program in either neurology, virology, or oncology.

Chelsea applied for the Beckman Scholars Program because she wanted to hone her skills in a research-driven environment in order to broaden her knowledge of the scientific world. She believes this amazing opportunity will better prepare her for her career goals and guide her to the future she wants to build. The application and nomination process itself has taught her much about the importance of doing proper research for applications, as well as the approach to gaining research experience.

When asked what she would say to other transfer students considering this opportunity, Chelsea states, “As a transfer student, it is easy to feel lost in the sea of exceptional peers here at U-M, but being nominated as a Beckman Scholar has given me the confidence I need to know that I am in the right place. I would tell future applicants to be authentic and don’t doubt yourself. For the transfer students applying for this award, know you are here for a reason, and even though it may be difficult at times, there is a community waiting for you here.”

Chelsea would like to thank her mom, dad, and brothers for their endless love and support, and her grandmother, who has always been and continues to be her inspiration.

Allison Kaatz

Allison Kaatz is a Sophomore studying Chemistry. In the future, she hopes to obtain a PhD or PhD/MD in order to do research full-time.

She applied for Beckman in order to gain more research experience before going to graduate school, and hopes that the program will give her a better understanding of what full-time research looks like. As a first generation student, she notes that she did not have people in her life to talk to about graduate school and intends to use this opportunity to ask many questions and learn as much as she can. 

Allison was an intern at the Argonne National Laboratory last summer, which gave her many insights about what it means to be a full-time scientist. She appreciated the experience from this 10-week program and is excited to begin the Beckman Scholars Program.

Her advice for other students considering the program is to, “always apply, even if you aren’t sure you will get the position. If it is something that you want and are willing to work for it, then you should go after it!”Allison would like to thank her Professors at Aquinas College: Elizabeth Jensen and Jennifer Hess. She states that both have helped her gain opportunities that she did not know were possible. She is honored by their continued support even during her transition to the University of Michigan. Allison would also like to thank her mother for encouraging her to go after her goals in life.