Year 3: Scholar Elizabeth Elliott (Mentor Robin Cooper): Beckman Scholars Program: Scholars United by Chemistry: Cultivating Excellence through Science Stewardship (SUCCESS)

Grants and Contracts Details


Scholars United by Chemistry: Cultivating Excellence through Science Stewardship (SUCCESS) Principal Investigator Chad M. Risko Department of Chemistry & Center for Applied Energy Research University of Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky 40506 Program 2022 Beckman Scholars Program The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation The University of Kentucky (UK) Department of Chemistry proposes to refine and resubmit the UK Beckman Scholars Program entitled Scholars United by Chemistry: Cultivating Excellence through Science Stewardship (SUCCESS). The participation of undergraduate scholars in research is central to UK’s mission, and our scholars’ contributions and distinction in these endeavors is a significant reason why UK is a beacon for higher education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. UK has made significant investments across our research enterprise to enable undergraduate research participation and achievement, and SUCCESS will provide a unique opportunity to bridge these activities to enhance excellence. SUCCESS will be driven by the ethic of stewardship, wherein Faculty Mentors will cultivate both the professional and personal development of the Scholar to enable them to become future scientific leaders. A highly multidisciplinary program, SUCCESS is built on the cornerstone of chemistry as the central science that unites UK’s seven core research areas. SUCCESS holds a significant capacity for substantial undergraduate achievement by combining our incredible undergraduate scholars with outstanding research mentors in UK’s areas of research excellence. SUCCESS Faculty Mentors will be recruited from across the comprehensive UK research portfolio to provide Scholars with vigorous and stimulating research opportunities that underscore the foundational role of chemistry within UK’s research strengths. Criteria for Faculty Mentor recruitment will include research expertise, leadership at UK and in their respective scientific fields, and past and current funding levels. While we seek Faculty Mentors with diversity in their research areas and career stages, the most significant selection criterion will be an unwavering passion for undergraduate research mentoring, education, and stewardship. SUCCESS mentors should engage in highly collaborative, cutting-edge research, and be award-winning mentors and teachers. Each mentor will agree to ensure that SUCCESS Scholars are immersed in a diverse training experience at the forefront of science, and that the Scholars will build a professional and personal development portfolio that will propel them forward to meet their educational and professional goals. We note that in the previous submission of SUCCESS, mentors were housed in the Colleges of Agriculture, Food, & Environment (CAFE), Arts & Sciences (A&S), Engineering (CoE), and Medicine (CoM), and were prominent members or leaders of nationally-recognized UK research centers, including the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA), the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC), the Gluck Equine Research Center (GERC), and the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits (JBIKS). As with SUCCESS Faculty Mentors, SUCCESS Scholars will be recruited to ensure inclusive excellence. Faculty Mentors will play a key role in this process, recruiting students that are already in their laboratories and classes. However, we realize that many UK undergraduates may not be involved in laboratory research, so we will partner with organizations across campus to actively seek out and recruit potential Scholars. People, Units, and Organizations will that we will partner with include: Chairs and Directors of Undergraduate Studies of participating Departments; UK Office for Undergraduate Research; Kentucky/West Virginia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP); UK First Generation Student Advising; UK undergraduate-led associations that attract STEM majors, including the UK Society for Promotion of Undergraduate Research (UK SPUR), ChemCats (student-affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society), Alpha Chi Sigma (student-affiliate chapter of a chemistry professional fraternity), IAmAWomanInSTEM (faculty-mentored program for female undergraduate students), STEMCats (HHMI-funded program), and NeuroCATS (undergraduate neuroscience outreach club). 1 Presentations will also be made to large-enrollment undergraduate STEM courses to make students aware of SUCCESS at the earliest stages of their academic careers. While the Beckman Scholars program is a research-focused program, there is emphasis on training the next generation of scientific leaders. SUCCESS will develop the whole researcher by requiring both professional and personal training inside and beyond the laboratory. The training and activities will engage the Scholars in the multifaceted roles that scientists play and develop skills that will facilitate the Scholar’s growth as a future scientific leader in their field of study. SUCCESS will partner with units across campus to provide activities that may include: the creation and refinement of individual development plans (IDP); field- specific research training, including hypothesis and experiment design, experimental techniques, data analysis, and scientific verbal and written communication skills; responsible conduct of research (RCR) training; discussions on professional writing & grantsmanship; community service beyond the laboratory; and participation in the SUCCESS Roundtable series that will include conversations with leaders on topics such as research ethics, laboratory safety, teaching and mentoring, entrepreneurship, management, diversity and inclusion, and service learning. SUCCESS will be evaluated by the professional trajectories of both Scholars and Faculty Mentors, and not solely by the number of publications, grants, and proposals that arise during the program. The programmatic distinction of SUCCESS within UK lies in the capacity to leverage UK’s greatest assets from our core research areas, a laser focus on the Scholars holistic growth inside and outside of the laboratory, and assessment metrics to enable robust evaluation of our program. Building on the exemplar scholar–mentor model of the Beckman Scholar Program, SUCCESS will strategically align UK’s outstanding scholars, gifted research mentors, strongest research assets, and undergraduate-research programs to ultimately grow exceptional scientific leaders. 2
Effective start/end date5/15/248/13/25


  • Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.