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 the Project SEED ACS staff, welcome to the team! We are extremely grateful for your service to this committee, and for the passion and enthusiasm you will bring to a program that impacts so many young scholars year after year. This year marks the start of the 53rd year of the Project SEED Program, a prominent national program that 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 testimony and 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 an amazing program in 2020 for 291 student participants.  We will push forward with our committee mission to ensure the quality, sustainability, and growth of the Project SEED programs in 2021 as well, with your input and guidance.  While we hope to have at least some portions of the program hosted in the traditional, in-person manner for summer 2021, the Project SEED Committee and staff are working on multiple plans to accommodate the needs of early career scientists as more pandemic information becomes available.

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 for many of the tactics were either delayed or canceled with the shift to a virtual program.  Thus, the year’s committee goals will be to align the strategic plan to specific sub-committees and individuals, execute two virtual research pilot programs this summer, host a 2021 program (or combination of programs) that includes 450-475 students, and revisit the program mission statement.  I am confident that this year’s committee will be able to put forth several viable solutions to address these problems.

This manual will help to make your first year in the committee as smooth as possible, even in the face of additional challenges from COVID-19. In this manual, you will find a description of the SEED 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.

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, the committee will focus its 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!