Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation: Grants for STEM Higher Education

OVERVIEW: The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation seeks to move the field of chemistry forward. Its grants acknowledge individuals who have contributed to increasing diversity in the field and support early-career faculty, undergraduate students, mentorships, research, and accomplished chemists.

IP TAKE: Unlike many higher education STEM funders, Dreyfus prioritizes more than just research. Potential awardees should also be able to demonstrate their teaching effectiveness and/or a willingness to mentor undergraduates.

PROFILE: Created in 1946 by Camille Dreyfus to honor the memory of his brother Henry, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation “became a memorial to both men” after Camille’s death in 1956. The foundation seeks “to advance the science of chemistry, chemical engineering and related sciences as a means of improving human relations and circumstances throughout the world.” It supports STEM higher education through several targeted programs and initiatives.

Two of the foundation’s more prominent awards target “teacher-scholars” and “young faculty.” The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award is a $75,000 unrestricted research grant for an early-stage professor in a department with a doctoral program who has a proven track record as both an educator and a researcher. The Henry Dreyfus Award uses similar criteria, but is a $60,000 grant that supports professors working in departments that do not grant Ph.D.s. This second award emphasizes teaching and “accomplishment in scholarly research with undergraduates” more than the Camille award. In both cases, potential awardees are nominated by their institutions, and only one nomination can be submitted annually per institution.

An uncommon grant Dreyfus offers is the Jean Dreyfus Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions. This $18,500 award funds a grant to bring “a leading researcher to a primarily undergraduate institution to give at least two lectures in the chemical sciences” and “substantively interact with undergraduate students and a broad range of faculty.” Some of the funds also “support two undergraduates in summer research” who “are expected to work with mentors in contemporary chemistry.”

On a more significant scale, there is also the Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences, a $250,000 award given every two years that “recognizes an individual for exceptional and original research in a selected area of chemistry that has advanced the field in a major way.” Although it always falls under the chemistry banner, the specific topic for which the award is given changes each year that the prize is awarded. That said, the nominating process is quite open: anyone can nominate a candidate, the award recipient can be from within or outside of the U.S., there are no restraints on the number of nominees coming from the same institution, and “institutional approval" of the nomination is not needed.

Finally, the Dreyfus Foundation has also established two awards intended to increase both gender and socioeconomic diversity in the field of chemistry. Both are administered by the American Chemical Society. The first of these, the ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, acknowledges those “who have stimulated or fostered the interest of women in chemistry, promoting their professional development as chemists or chemical engineers.” The award gives $5,000 to the awardee and $10,000 to an eligible nonprofit of his or her choice “to strengthen its activities in meeting the objectives of the award.” Awardees in this case “may come from any professional setting,” academic or otherwise. Along similar lines, the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences is structured nearly identically, except that it is given to those who encourage “underrepresented” students “to elect careers in the chemical sciences and engineering.”

Each award program has its own application process and deadline, so grantseekers should review each award for specifics.


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