ACS Bridge Project

The ACS Bridge Project’s mission is to strengthen the chemical sciences in the United States by increasing the number of students from underrepresented groups who receive doctoral degrees.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is one of five leading scientific societies that have formed the Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN) to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in graduate studies in the physical sciences.

IGEN Vision: "To achieve equity for underrepresented groups in doctoral degree attainment in physical sciences." (Equity in Graduate Education Resource Center)

To help diversify the graduate student population in the chemical sciences, ACS established the ACS Bridge Project. The ACS Bridge Project consists of multiple components:


Now Accepting Bridge Site Proposals - Due September 1


ACS Bridge Fellows Spotlight

Jairo Villalona

As is the case for so many students, Jairo Villalona’s love of chemistry was sparked by passionate, engaging high school teachers. Although the transition to grad school wasn’t easy, Villalona has been on a mission to continue advanced studies in chemistry, and he credits the ACS Bridge Program for helping him achieve his goals. Read more.

Thomas Pho

Thomas Pho didn’t start his college career knowing he would be pursuing a Ph.D. in the chemical sciences at Georgia Tech, but he is now on his way to a doctorate in chemical and biomolecular engineering. Pho is one of 30 students who credits his success with the graduate school application process to the ACS Bridge Program. Read more.

youth holding a pipette and beaker

The Bridge Project has the following goals:

  • Increase, within 10 years, the fraction of chemical science PhDs awarded to students from underrepresented groups to match the fraction of chemical science Bachelor’s degrees granted to these groups
  • Develop, evaluate, and document a sustainable model bridging experiences that improve the access to and culture of graduate education for all students, with emphasis on those underrepresented in doctoral programs in chemical sciences
  • Promote and disseminate successful program components to the chemical science community
  • Provide professional development guidance to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars underrepresented in the chemical sciences 

Did You Know?  

In an era of phenomenal discoveries in chemical sciences and related fields, our nation is faced with the challenge of producing a generation of diverse scientific leaders who can tackle 21st-century challenges. Underrepresented (UR) students now make up a third of the college-age U.S. citizens, yet they earn about 18% of U.S. chemical science Bachelor’s degrees and about 11% of chemistry PhDs.  Graduation data shows that the current paradigm of moving students from undergraduate to graduate education fails to include many.

genentech and igen logo

The ACS Bridge Project is generously supported by the US National Science Foundation through grant NSF-1834545 and by the Genentech Foundation. The ACS Bridge Project is in collaboration with the Inclusive Graduate Education Network. Bridge Travel Awards are partially supported by PPG Industries Foundation.