ACS PRF Annual Report 2019

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 2019 PRF External Review.  Due to the terms of the trust that funds the grants, the research must be in fundamental petroleum science.

During 2019 an External Review Panel examined the policies, activities and operation of PRF and affirmed the PRF policies and procedures with only a few modest suggestions for improvement. These suggestions are under review by the ACS Committee on PRF.  In 2019, PRF awarded 177 research grants totaling $17.73 million.  This included 89 starter grants for new faculty in the first three years of their first tenure-track appointment, and 88 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 1000 undergraduates and graduate students, and nearly 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.

Nancy J. Jensen, Ph.D.
Program Administrator
ACS Petroleum Research Fund