ACS Petroleum Research Fund

PRF logo

The Petroleum Research Fund is an endowed fund, managed by the American Chemical Society that supports fundamental research directly related to petroleum or fossil fuels at nonprofit institutions (generally colleges and universities) in the United States and other countries.

ACS Petroleum Research Fund (ACS PRF) grants are intended as seed money, to enable an investigator to initiate a new research direction. The investigator should not have published or received financial support from another funding agency for the proposed research. Also, proposals that the ACS PRF Committee feels are a logical extension of an investigator’s previous research may be denied as “not a new direction.”

Since the first ACS PRF grants were approved in 1953, several grant programs have evolved to serve segments of the scientific community, including “new investigator” grants and grants to support researchers in departments that do not award doctoral degrees.

Scope of the Fund

Proposals must be for fundamental research in “the petroleum field,” which is defined in our founding document as “petroleum, natural gas, coal, shale, tar sands and like materials.” Fundamental research encompasses the properties of these materials, whereas the petroleum industry undertakes “applied research,” which is outside the scope of ACS PRF. See our list of Research Topics that are supported and not supported by ACS PRF.


Changes to PRF Proposal Submission and Reviewer Response Processes

The Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) Grant Program has recently implemented a new information system. This has resulted in new processes for proposal submission and reviewer response to review requests. The required information for proposal submission remains the same but the process is different.

View a webinar on the new system and proposal submission processes held on Thurs., Jan. 21, 1:00 PM EST.  Use Passcode:  6N^F6a$g

Proposal Submission

At this time we are not accepting proposals for the ND, DNI, UR, and UNI grant programs.  The next submission window will be from Monday, September 20, 2021 to Friday, October 15, 2021 and the submitted proposals will be considered at the May 2022 ACS PRF Committee Meeting.

Proposal submission information and registration links.

Proposal Submission FAQ



Celebrating 65 Years of Awarding Research Grants

Recipients of PRF Grants were invited to share their PRF stories

In celebration of 65 years of Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) Grants, the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) has published a special open access virtual issue.  This issue is a retrospective featuring articles recently published in JACS by established chemists who have at some point in their career received PRF funding.  

Webinar Recording Grant Talks

View a recorded presentation by four professors from PUIs (primarily undergraduate institutions) who have been successful in obtaining research grants. The presenters  discuss the nature of their research and provide tips on achieving funding success. This event was co-sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).  

Grantees in the News

ACS PRF grantees receive award recognition for their significant contributions to science.