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Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry

  • Description

    The Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry provides financial support to full-time graduate students conducting research in green chemistry. The funds may be used for any purpose, including conference travel, professional development, and living expenses, while the recipient is in graduate school. Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship awardees receive a one-time payment of $5,000. The Fellowship is non-renewable.

  • Eligibility

    The Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry is open to full-time graduate students across the globe who are currently conducting research in green chemistry.  Applicants must have at least one full year of study remaining in their graduate program.  Recipients must present their research at the annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, where the award will be formally presented.

    The 25th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference will be held June 14-16, 2021, in Reston, VA.

  • Application

    The deadline for submitting applications to the Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry is 5:00 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) Friday, October 9, 2020.  Please send your application as a single pdf file to with “Chang Fellowship Application” in the subject line.

    Award Scope and Objectives

    Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances.  Green chemistry encompasses all aspects and types of chemical processes, including synthesis, catalysis, analysis, monitoring, and separations, and reaction conditions that reduce impacts on human health and the environment relative to the current state of the art.  Research being conducted by applicants to the Chang Fellowship must address one of the following focus areas:

    1. The use of greener synthetic pathways. This focus area involves designing and implementing a novel, greener pathway for a chemical product.  Examples include synthetic pathways that:

    • Use feedstocks that are of lower inherent hazard to humans or the environment, and/or that are renewable (e.g., biomass, natural oils).
    • Use novel reagents or catalysts, especially those that use earth-abundant metals, organocatalysts, biocatalysts, and microorganisms.  Precious metal (i.e., Pt, Pd, Ru, Rh, Ag, Os, Ir, Au) containing catalysts at concentrations greater than 10 ppm are strongly discouraged unless these are heterogeneous and greater than 95% recyclable.
    • Are natural processes, such as fermentation, or use biomimetic processes.
    • Are mass and energy efficient and step-economical.

    2. The use of greener reaction conditions. This focus area involves improving conditions other than the overall design or redesign of a synthesis. Greener analytical methods often fall within this focus area. Examples include reaction conditions that:

    • Replace hazardous chemicals (starting materials, reagents, etc.) and solvents with chemicals and solvents that have a lower impact on human health and the environment.
    • Use solventless reaction conditions and solid-state reactions.
    • Use novel processing methods that prevent pollution at its source.
    • Eliminate energy- or material-intensive separation and purification steps.
    • Improve energy efficiency, including reactions running closer to ambient (T and P) conditions.

    3. The design of greener chemicals. This focus area involves designing and implementing chemical products that are less hazardous than the products or technologies they replace. Examples include chemical products that are:

    • Less hazardous (environmental, health and safety) than current products.
    • Inherently safer with regard to accident potential.
    • Recyclable or biodegradable after use.
    • Safer for the environment (e.g., do not deplete ozone or form smog).

    Application Instructions

    Applications should be submitted as a single PDF file with at least one-inch margins and a minimum 11-point font size.  The application should include the following:

    • A CV or résumé.
    • A maximum five-page description of the green chemistry research, addressing one or more of the focus areas described in the award scope and objectives section.  This description should include a title and abstract of the research.  Where applicable, applicants should specifically address the potential human health and/or environmental benefits of the research, as well as the innovation and scientific merit of the project.  A discussion of impacts across the lifecycle should be included if such data are available.
    • A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s advisor.


    The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® will convene an independent panel of judges to review the applications.  The judging panel may request verification of any activities described or claims made in applications that are selected as finalists.  The judges will select the students whose projects best meet the selection criteria for the award.

    Selection Criteria

    Selection of the Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry recipients is primarily based upon the research being conducted by the applicant.  The research should be innovative and of scientific merit and must meet the scope and objectives of the award, addressing at least one of the focus areas.  Additional weight will be given to the strength of the letter of recommendation from the applicant’s advisor and the CV/résumé.

    Please contact the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® at if you have questions about the Fellowship or the application process.

  • Establishment & Support

    The Heh-Won Chang Fellowship was established in 2019 in honor of composites research expert, Dr. Heh-Won Chang. Born in 1939, Heh-Won Chang earned a B.S. in chemistry at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, in 1961. He then moved to the U.S. to earn an M.S. in 1969 and a Ph.D. in 1971, both in physical chemistry from Kansas State University.

    After serving as an instructor and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rochester and the University of Toronto, he joined Bendix Research Laboratories in Southfield, Michigan, conducting research on carbon-carbon composites for aircraft brakes. In 1980, he transferred to the Bendix Advanced Technology Center in Columbia, Maryland, researching the physical properties of polymers and continuous fiber composites. For the last ten years of his career, Chang was a manager for Allied-Signal’s Spectra composite business. He and his team developed more than 50 applications for customers across 15 countries.

    Chang is credited with numerous papers in publications including the Journal of the American Chemical Society and the Journal of Chemical Physics, and he presented his research at many industry conferences.
    He died in 1994, but his memory lives on in the green chemistry award bearing his name, the Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry, which was established in 2019 by his wife, Cecilia P. Chang.

  • Past Recipients


    Heather LeClerc, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA
    Research Focus: Hydrothermal liquefaction to produce bio-crude from municipal food waste.

    Nakisha Mark, University of the West Indies, Trinidad
    Research Focus: The conversion of furfural into biofuels using nanocatalysts comprised of earth-abundant metals.

  • Contact

    Questions about the Heh-Won Chang Fellowship should be directed to the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®. Email (preferred) or, telephone +1 (202) 872-6102.