Information for New Members

The ACS Committee on Project SEED sets policy for all Project SEED programs, including review of Project SEED I and II program applications for student research projects, funding decisions, review of Project SEED college scholarship applications, and nominations for ChemLuminary Awards and Fellow nominations associated with Project SEED.

From the Project SEED Committee Chair, Bryan Boudouris:

On behalf of the current membership of the Committee on Project SEED and ACS staff, welcome to the team! We are extremely grateful for your service to this committee and for the passion and enthusiasm you bring to a program that impacts so many young scholars year after year.

This year marks the start of the 54th year of the Project SEED Program, a prominent national effort that usually serves 400+ students at nearly 100 institutions across the nation each year. Since its inception, SEED mentors have worked with more than 11,000 students. The program also offers an array of one-time and renewable college scholarships for SEED students. Based on feedback from scores of these students, the committee and staff know how critically important SEED has been to so many lives and careers.

As with so many aspects of all of our professional and personal lives, the global pandemic has impacted—and may continue to impact—the Project SEED Program. The Project SEED Committee and the dedicated ACS staff put together amazing virtual programs in 2020 and 2021 for 291 and 346 student participants, respectively. Despite the uncertainty associated with the current state of the pandemic, we will push forward with our committee mission to ensure the quality, sustainability, and growth of the Project SEED programs in 2022 with your input and guidance. While we hope to have most portions of the program hosted in the traditional, in-person manner for Summer 2022, the Project SEED Committee and staff are working on multiple plans to be able to accommodate the needs of early career scientists as more information becomes available regarding the global pandemic and to expand our footprint across the nation based on the lessons learned regarding virtual interactions during the previous two summers.

This manual will help to make your first year in the committee as smooth as possible, even in the face of additional challenges present due to the pandemic. In this manual, you will find a description of the activities our committee oversees, the committee structure (including a description of each subcommittee), the committee’s strategic plan, and how the committee fits into the ACS governance structure. Please note that the typical timeframe on the committee is 1-2 years as an associate, and up to 2, 3-year terms as a member. While ACS bylaws require that only full members of the committee cast ballots on any official votes, all committee members are encouraged to voice their opinions and provide their votes during the straw polls that are usually taken prior to any major official vote. This horizontal committee structure and atmosphere of collegiality and inclusiveness is the guiding principle behind all committee actions; however, if you have any questions or concerns on the operational aspects of the committee, please let me know.

You have joined the committee at a particularly interesting time, as we continue work on the 2019 strategic plan. Initially, many of these targets were set to be enacted in 2020-21, but the timing of some of the tactics were either delayed or canceled with the shift to a virtual program. Thus, there are many opportunities to bring forward new ideas from incoming committee members that will have true impact, and I am confident that this year’s committee will be able to put forth several viable solutions to fully implement our strategic plan in a successful manner. In fact, you may have already been contacted by a subcommittee chair to attend a virtual meeting of your subcommittee, and if you have not, I anticipate that this will occur soon. I highly encourage you to participate actively in these meetings as our four subcommittees are where great Project SEED ideas nucleate and grow. It is wonderful to be a part of these efforts from the beginning!

To be prepared to make an immediate impact, I encourage you to read the plan and the strategies and tasks that we will undertake this year. Particularly, we will focus efforts to increase the number of participating students and mentors and increase awareness of the program. Additionally, we will continue to update Project SEED’s online platform to ease the administration burden of our wonderful ACS staff, as well as make it easier for students, coordinators, and mentors to participate in the program. Project SEED has benefited from increased promotion to ACS members over the past few years. Thus, the Project SEED committee is perfectly positioned to translate this increased exposure to achieving our goals. To that end, we welcome you aboard and look forward to your active participation as we move forward at a rapid clip!