PRF Science Panels & Areas of Research Support

Petroleum and the Environment: These topics are considered under the relevant panels and fundamental areas 1-10 below. Contact or any program officer for assistance in determining the appropriate fundamental area.

PanelDiscipline and Areas of Research Support
1Synthetic Organic Chemistry:
Organic synthesis, including organic and organometallic reagents and catalysts, and asymmetric synthesis.
2Geochemistry and Biogeochemical Cycling:
Isotope, organic and sedimentary geochemistry, marine geochemistry, diagenesis, chemostratigraphy, research on atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide, CO2 capture and sequestration, sedimentary geochemistry of microplastic particles.
3Inorganic Chemistry:
Coordination and organometallic chemistry, homogeneous catalysis, small soluble clusters, new ligands, main group, transition metal, and lanthanide and actinide metal chemistry.
4Physical Organic Chemistry:
Reaction mechanisms, kinetics, photochemistry, organic radical chemistry, reactive organic species, enzymes in non-aqueous media working on petroleum molecules.
5Surface Science:
Surface phenomena and reactions, heterogeneous catalysis, and characterization of surfaces directly relevant to petroleum and petroleum products.
6Chemical Physics/Physical Chemistry:
Theoretical chemistry, quantum/statistical mechanics, and molecular dynamics; optical, laser, ultrafast, and mass spectroscopies; and gas phase reactions.
7Polymer Science:
Synthesis, characterization, and properties of polymers and organic materials derived from petroleum sources.
8Geology and Geophysics:
Stratigraphy, sedimentology, paleontology, geomorphology, structural geology, and geophysics.
9Chemical and Petroleum Engineering:
Engineering studies including process and operations control and design, fluid flow and multiphase flow dynamics, and related computations.
10Materials Science:
Synthesis, characterization, bulk properties and solid-state science of petroleum materials.

Potential Applicants are strongly encouraged  to contact a program officer prior to preparing an application to determine if their proposed research falls within the current scope of PRF funding as the research must be “fundamental”  and directly related to petroleum as determined  by ACS PRF.  

As determined by ACS PRF, the phrase "fundamental research" excludes research that aims to develop new experimental or theoretical techniques, analytical methods, and devices. It also excludes research focused on applications or patentable research and applied research topics. Further the research must be directly related to petroleum.  Examples of types of research that ACS PRF does not consider due to insufficient direct relationship to petroleum are the areas of Alternative Energy (such as batteries, fuel cells, biomass, hydrogen technologies, thermal and solar); Biosystems, Biochemistry, Biomedical/pharmaceutical; Environmental Remediation; Pollution; and Non-Petroleum Topics. As these listed areas are examples and not a comprehensive list, please contact a program officer or call 202-872-4481 to ascertain compliance of the proposed research with ACS PRF funding scope.  

Please note proposals deemed to be outside of the ACS PRF funding scope are withdrawn from consideration without review.