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Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship

  • Description

    Each year, the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) awards one or more Dr. Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowships. The award sponsors the participation of a young international green chemistry scholar in a green chemistry technical meeting, conference or training program. The amount of the award is based on the estimated cost of travel, accommodation, and fees associated with the event, up to $2000 USD. If two Breen Fellowships are given in any one year, one of the awards will be given to an undergraduate student and the other award to a graduate or post-graduate student.

  • Eligibility

    “Young” international scholar is defined as undergraduate students and above, but below the level of Assistant Professor and within the first seven years of a professional career. Applicants residing both within the U.S. and internationally are eligible for this award.

    The travel must be to a green chemistry technical meeting, conference or training program. Students should consider attending the 25th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference, to be held June 14-16, 2021, in Reston, VA. Award funds cannot be used to attend the ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Energy.

    The applicant must demonstrate research or educational interest in green chemistry. Green chemistry for this purpose is defined as “the discovery and design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.”

    The fellow also must give an oral or poster presentation on his/her interest area during the conference as well as submit a report to ACS GCI on his/her experience after the conference in order to receive reimbursement.


  • Application


    The deadline for the Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship is 5 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) on Friday, October 9, 2020. Please send your application in a single PDF file to with “Breen Fellowship Application – [applicant’s last name]” in the subject line.

    Application Instructions

    Applications must be a single PDF file, no longer than six, 8½-by-11-inch pages, written in font no smaller than 11 point, with margins of at least 1 inch and should include the following:

    • Cover page (no more than one page) including:
      • Applicant’s name, department, institution (or company) and field of study.
      • Name of applicant’s faculty advisor (or supervisor) and contact information.
      • Name, date and location of the conference or meeting the applicant is requesting funding to attend.
      • Estimated budget for travel expenses, up to $2,000 (including conference registration fees, travel, and accommodations) to participate in the meeting. The award will be mailed as a reimbursement check after the conference takes place.  Meals/food is not a reimbursable expense.
    • Essay (no more than one page) by the applicant concerning his/her interest in green chemistry, including any previous experience with the field, how he/she will benefit from participation in the selected conference, and why he/she should be selected to receive the award.
    • A curriculum vita or résumé no more than two pages in length including:
      • Applicant’s name, department, institution (or company), and faculty advisor (or supervisor).
      • Applicant’s mailing address, telephone, and email.
      • A few sentences on the applicant’s green chemistry teaching or research interests and career plans.
      • Field of study, degrees (including month and year earned or expected), education experience, including GPA or other measure of class standing, and work experience (if any).
      • List of recent presentations and publications (if any).
    • Letter of recommendation from the applicant's faculty advisor, supervisor or department chair (no more than two pages in length). The letter may be sent separately or included with the other application materials.


    A panel of experts selected by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® will judge the applications. This panel might include members of the scientific, educational, industrial, governmental, and environmental communities.

    Notification and Award

    Notification of the award and award amount will be made on or before December 18, 2020. The award will be mailed as a reimbursement check after the conference takes place.  To receive the reimbursement, a 1-page written report and travel expense receipts will be required.

    Downloadable Application

    For a printable version of this application, please download the Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship Application.

  • Establishment & Support

    The ACS established the Dr. Joseph Breen Memorial Fund through the ACS International Endowment Fund in 2000. Dr. Joe Breen was the first director of the Green Chemistry Institute (prior to the Institute becoming part of the ACS) and was instrumental in establishing the green chemistry movement. This fund commemorates Dr. Joe Breen’s commitment and accomplishments for the advancement of green chemistry. 

  • Past Recipients

    Table of Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship Winners 2006-2019
    Year Name and Institution Research Area
    2020 Emily Chapman
    Augsburg University
    Developing a greener alternative to the Biginelli reaction using microwave irradiation and a urea catalyst.
    2020 Giulia Ischia
    University of Trento
    Thermochemical processes for the valorization of waste biomass into bio-based products, sustained completely by solar energy.
    2019 Hanno Erythropel
    Yale University

    Safer product design and green pharmaceuticals

    2019 Selene Ramer
    George Washington University

    Computational modeling for greener chemical design

    2018 Bonnie Buss
    Colorado State University

    Organic photoredox catalysts and photo-flow reactor systems

    2018 Luke Morrical
    Ohio State University

    Combating microbial contamination in food with botanical compounds and biobased polymers

    2017 Caitilín McManus
    Trinity College, Dublin

    Palladium substitution in Buchwald coupling reaction

    2017 Samantha Smith
    University of Toronto

    Design and applications of new iron-based hydrogenation catalyst

    2016 Sarah Kwan
    Yale University

    Exploring the rate of surface microbial redevelopment after cleaning in schools; DNA-sequencing and ATP analysis

    2016 John-Hanson Machado
    George Washington University

    Computational modelling of skin permeability

    2015 Lauren Grant
    University of California, Berkeley

    Transition metal homogeneous catalysis

    2015 Zachary Wickens
    California Institute of Technology

    Organic and organometallic chemistry

    2014 Jennifer Dodson
    Fedderal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Development of natural catalysts from marine polysaccharides

    2013 Julia Griffen
    University of Bath

    Sustainable synthesis of biologically active azacarbasugars via microbial arene oxidation

    2013 Michiel Dusselier
    Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

    Application of catalysis and green engineering techniques for processes towards the synthesis of biodegradable polymers

    2012 Danniebelle Haase
    University of Pennsylvania

    Organic/biological chemistry; Use of catalysts in reactions rather than stoichiometric reagents

    2012 Kadhiravan Shanmuganathan
    University of Texas, Austin

    Greener approach to fiber spinning

    2011 Henning Kayser
    Institut für Technische und Makromolekulare Chemie

    Tailor made fuels from biomass

    2011 Michelle Linder
    SUNY College at Oneonta

    Green synthesis of imines

    2010 Keary Mark Engle
    The Scripps Research Institute

    Conversion of unactivated carbon– hydrogen (C–H) bonds into carbon–carbon (C–C) bonds using operationally simple and environmentally benign reagents

    2010 Galia Maayan
    University of Florida

    Green oxidation catalysis & alternative energy

    2009 Evan Beach
    Yale University

    Sustainability and biofuels

    2009 Pete Heinzelman
    California Institute of Technology

    Enzymatic biomass conversion processes

    2008 Antonio Osario-Lozada
    The University of Iowa

    Microbial methods for the oxidation of diclofenac


    Mageswary Karpudewan
    Universiti Sains Malaysia

    Green chemistry education

    2007 Zoe Schnepp
    University of Bristol

    Bioconversion of lignin to useful chemical feedstocks

    2007 Adelina Voutchkova
    Yale University

    Green variant of the Suzuki reaction

    2006 Dara Woerdeman
    Drexel University

    Materials: Molecular to macroscopic scale

  • Contact

    Questions about the Breen Memorial Fellowship should be directed to the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®: Email; Telephone +1 (202) 872-6102.