The 23-year-old is expected to arrive in Edinburgh later this month, after progressing through the rugby ranks in New Zealand.
Edinburgh Rugby head coach Alan Solomons said: “[Sam] has played most of his rugby in Canterbury and has proved himself to be a solid young 12 in the ITM Cup.
“He’s played in the rugby hotbed of Canterbury and has been on the cusp of Super Rugby in arguably the best breeding ground in the world.
“This opportunity is really an extended trial for him to prove he’s capable of adding value to our squad longer term, while adding to an area in which we currently lack a little depth.”
Beard moved to Christchurch from Timaru to pursue a career in rugby,winning the championship with Burnside before being called up to the provincial Canterbury B team.
He was brought into the Crusader Knights squad - the development team of the Super Rugby giants - after an impressive season with the B team.
Bay of Plenty then signed up the youngster before an approach from Edinburgh.
Beard told Edinburgh Rugby’s official website: “This is a very exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the club and the rugby culture.
“I’ve only heard great things about the city and am looking forward to working hard to improve my game and further my rugby career.
“I consider myself a ball running midfielder that plays an attacking style of footy, but I’ll look to do my best in offering whatever and wherever I can to benefit the side.
“Getting the chance to run out on Murrayfield Stadium will definitely be a career highlight for me.”