ACS Petroleum Research Fund

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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.

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 21, 2020 to Friday, October 16, 2020 and the submitted proposals will be considered at the May 2021 ACS PRF Committee Meeting. 

Webinar April 28th 2:00 PM ET

The ACS Office of Research Grants and the Council for Undergraduate Research invite you to participate in a webinar entitled “Writing Grant Proposals and PRF Funding Opportunities for PUIs” on Tuesday April 28 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. The webinar will cover basic grant writing tips, the proposal evaluation process and highlight PRF funding opportunities directed specifically to primarily undergraduate institutions. The webinar is recommended both for professors who are seeking funding for research programs and institution grant officers. Webinar Registration

Grantees in the News

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