OVERVIEW: The American Chemical Society (ACS) is one of the leading professional societies for chemists in the United States. It funds fellowships, scholarships, professional development opportunities, and research support across numerous career stages and sub-disciplines.
IP TAKE: ACS awards are all over the map in every sense of the phrase—geographically, in dollar amount, and in target group and recipient. ACS seeks grantseekers working in the field of chemistry from high school through the post-doctorate level.
PROFILE: Founded in 1876, the American Chemical Society (ACS) holds a congressional charter and is the largest scientific society in the world. It seeks “to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people” and “to improve people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.” As with any professional society, ACS prioritizes a number of funding areas—public education and advocacy, peer-reviewed journals and other publications, member career development and networking, job fairs, and other activities.
ACS divides its funding into separate programs including Grants, Awards, Scholarships, and ACS Fellows. Each of these funding areas is, in turn, subdivided into a number of sub-areas.
Its Grants program funds research, education, and community projects through research grants, fellowships, community recognition grants, and education grants. ACS provides millions of dollars annually in research funding across a range of chemistry-related disciplines.
There are four types of research grands funded by ACS:
- Petroleum Research Fund prioritizes studies directly related to petroleum and fossil fuels. ACS intends for these grants to help investigators “initiate a new research direction.”
- TEVA Pharmaceutical Scholars funds investigators in the organic and medicinal chemistry fields.
- Herman Frasch Foundation Grants program funds nonprofits studying agricultural chemistry.
- Green Chemistry Grants seek to advance research in the field.
The ACS Public Policy Fellowship “places one fellow in the ACS Office of Public Affairs (OPA) for one to two years,” where they engage, educate, and advocate to public decision makers. Its Congressional Fellowship program is jointly administered with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and places fellows in the Congressional office of their choice. According to the ACS’ website, fellows work as legislative assistants, “advising on a range of science policy issues and interacting with constituents.”
The society’s Community Recognition program offers three grants:
- ACS Community Recognition Grants are modest awards that fund community level projects and programs that “advance the public’s understanding of chemistry.”
- Corporation Associates Local Section & International Chapter Grants fund ACS Local Sections and International chapters.
- Corporation Associates Seed Grant is a modest award of around $5,000 dedicated to education in chemical sciences, advancing public knowledge of the chemical industry, and enhancing safety and professionalism within the industry.
The Irving S. Sigal Postdoctoral Fellowship, is a two year program that funds PhD candidates who will “pursue research at the chemistry and biology interface.” Fellows received $55,000 per year from ACS.
Finally, ACS’ Education Grants target high school students and educators to enhance chemistry classroom learning, professional development, and support ChemClub community activities. A small travel grant is also available to ACS student chapters.
Grant amounts and deadlines vary by program. Grantseekers should check the ACS website for information on past grantees and how to apply.
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