ACS PRF Annual Report 2018
Program Administrator's Comments
The ACS Board Standing Committee on the Petroleum Research Fund views PRF grants as seed money grants for principal investigators (PIs) who are beginning their independent careers or established researchers who desire to take their research in a significantly new direction. The intent is that PRF grants will enable investigators to obtain the “proof-of-concept” data set, which is required for proposals to other agencies that provide continuation research support. This policy has been constant since the first PRF grants were awarded, and was re-emphasized by the 2007 PRF External Review. Due to the terms of the trust that funds the grants, the research must be in fundamental petroleum science.
Several changes have been implemented in the Annual Report this year. The first was modification of the process of submitting technical reports. This year reports were submitted in PDF form and the PDF files were compiled to form the Annual Report. This means that the technical reports are reproduced in the Annual Report exactly as the PIs submitted them. This eliminated technical problems generated by the previous system’s inadequacies in transposing scientific characters and notation. Secondly, the featured investigator and featured reports sections are not included this year. We believe that highlighting funded work is important, but readership of these features has been quite modest. Accordingly, we are currently exploring ways to highlight funded research that will reach a wider audience.
In 2018, PRF awarded 175 research grants totaling $17.5 million. This included 90 starter grants for new faculty in the first three years of their first tenure-track appointment, and 85 grants to established investigators for projects that are new directions in their research. This report includes a listing of these research projects, along with progress reports from principal investigators summarizing their PRF-supported projects, which involved more than 1100 undergraduates and graduate students, and over 100 post-doctoral fellows.
We invite you to read the technical reports about the innovative research conducted by these principal investigators and their students throughout the United States and other countries. Also included on this report website is an overview of the Petroleum Research Fund with a brief history, grant types, summary data on the number of active grants per year for the past ten years, and a listing of PRF Committee members during the period of this Annual Report.
On behalf of the PRF Committee members and the staff of the Office of Research Grants, we would like to thank all the external reviewers for their hard work and time in composing peer reviews, which facilitate both the PRF grant decision-making process and provide valuable feedback for researchers as they develop new programs.
Thank you for your interest in the ACS Petroleum Research Fund.
J. Jensen, Ph.D.
ACS Petroleum Research Fund