Committee on the Petroleum Research Fund

Who We Are


To implement the requirements of the court that established the Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) Trust to administer the dispensation of funds from the Trust.


As established in the founding documents of the PRF Trust, the funds are used to support education and fundamental research in the petroleum field.

What We Do

The Committee on the Petroleum Research Fund oversees the ACS PRF Grant Program. The principal functions of the Committee are to review research proposals and make funding recommendations and make recommendations regarding policies and procedures. The funding includes grants to professors in doctoral granting institutions and separate grant types for professors in institutions that do not have doctoral programs.

This funding has proven pivotal in many careers. Since its inception, the Trust has had NO connection to the petroleum industry and research for profit and patenting are forbidden by the terms of the Trust. 


History of the Committee

The ACS Committee on Petroleum Research was formed as a standing committee of the ACS Board of Directors in 2017.  From the inception of the Fund to that date the functions of the PRF Committee were carried out by an Advisory Board that reported to the Grants and Awards Committee of the Board of Directors. All recommendations of the Committee are subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.  As the committee is involved in making funding recommendations, the identity of the committee members is typically not publicized.

History of the Petroleum Research Fund

The Petroleum Research Fund, which has been in existence since 1944, resulted from a court settlement related to misuse of patents. Hence the basic purpose and various other stipulations derive from court documents that govern the fund to this day. Since the first grants in 1954, the Petroleum Research Fund has awarded over $700 million in research grants to professors in academic institutions. 

ACS PRF Committee Meeting

This committee meets twice a year in dedicated meetings at a different time than the national ACS meeting to evaluate submitted research proposals, make funding recommendations, and conduct a general business meeting.   

ACS Committee on Petroleum Research Fund logo


Get Involved

  • Grant Types: Information for principal investigators on grant programs and eligibility criteria.
  • Information for Applicants: If you are thinking about submitting a proposal, please read this information first. 
  • Proposal Requirements: Formats, budgets, and submissions.
  • Grantees - Manage Your Grant: Information and forms for grantees to manage PRF grant requirements.
  • Reviewers: Information for peer reviewers asked to evaluate proposals submitted to PRF. 
  • ACS PRF grantees receiving awards/ recognition for their significant contributions to science. Read more.
  • More questions on getting involved? Contact us.

Contact Us

ACS Petroleum Research Fund
Phone: (202) 872-4481 | Fax: (202) 872-6319
Or to reach specific ACS PRF Staff, visit the PRF contact page.