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About the ACS Committee on Project SEED

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, Don Warner:

On behalf of members of the ACS Committee on Project SEED: Welcome!

ACS staff and Project SEED Committee members have put this manual together to make your first year in the committee as smooth as possible. In it 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.

The mission of Project SEED is to ensure that students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds have opportunities to experience the challenges and rewards of chemically related sciences. Project SEED celebrated its 50th year in 2018. Over its half century existence, Project SEED has grown into a prominent national program that serves more than 400 students at over 100 institutions each year! The committee also offers an array of college scholarships for SEED students. Since its inception, SEED mentors have worked with more than 10,000 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.

You have joined the committee at a particularly interesting time as we seek to enact the goals and strategies developed as part of our 2019 strategic plan. The committee is actively seeking opportunities to update how we define our eligibility requirements since a one-size-fits-all definition of “economically disadvantaged” is no longer appropriate. For example, it is reasonable to argue that certain parts of the United States have much higher costs of living than others. Also, it has become increasingly clear that many coordinators of Project SEED sites find it increasingly difficult to recruit both research mentors and high school participants. We have recently increased the summer stipend offered to students, which we anticipate will help address one of these issues, but we need to find creative solutions to encourage more scientists to serve as mentors to the high school research participants. I am confident that this year’s committee will be able to put forth several viable solutions to address these problems.

During the next year, the SEED committee will continue its implementation of the strategic plan. 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 in order 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 been fortunate to have an increase in awareness amongst 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!