ACS PRF Salesforce Proposal Submission Help

ACS PRF Proposal Submission Procedures

To ensure a response to any questions you may have regarding proposal submission, please send an email to .  A complete proposal consists of the following material, submitted through the PRF Salesforce Community Portal  (ND, DNI, UR, or UNI) for proposals at

  1. Web-Submitted Information:  The following information is entered as part of your online application, on the proposal submission website: Signature pages, budget and budget justification; education and experience; current and pending research support; publications and presentations: safety statement; suggested reviewers; collaborations, abstract and technical proposal.  There are limits to the amount of text that can be entered into application form fields.  List your information from most recent to oldest in the appropriate text field on the form.   For overflow, create a separate file that will contain additional content by section (e.g., Education and Experience, Publications and Presentations, etc.) and upload it as a pdf using the “All Other Documents” document type.  The [Upload Files] button is located at the top of the screen.  You will upload the technical proposal and signature page as separate documents.   All other content will need to be submitted in this single, all other document.
  2. Signed Pages:  A cover page and a budget page are generated from the information entered by the applicant for signatures of the Principal Investigator and the Institutional Representative.  Electronic signatures are processed using DocuSign.  After all information including validated budget has been entered, a menu option {1. Send for Signature - DocuSign} (See Item 4, Figure 1) is selected from the pull-down menu on the upper right-side (See Item 2, Figure 1) of the application detail screen  to initiate the DocuSign process.   If the proposal is funded, the budget will  become the approved grant budget. Any revisions to the approved budget require prior approval of PRF.
  3. Technical Proposal:  The technical proposal is submitted as a single PDF file, including the scientific text of the narrative, references cited, figures, and tables. The text body may not exceed 4,000 words, double-spaced, in 12-point font (Times Roman, Arial, or Courier), with 1-inch margins, with a word count entered at the end of the proposal narrative. The word count does not include the 250-word abstract, figures, and references.

Submission Deadlines

All proposals must be received, in complete and final form, by the stipulated deadline as posted on the PRF website.  After DocuSign electronic signatures have been completed and the application validated, the application must be submitted using the {3. Submit Application} option on the pull-down menu (See Figure 1, Item #6) before the deadline.  No late submissions, additions, or document substitutions are allowed after the deadline.

PRF Salesforce Portal - Proposal Submission - Application Pull-Down Menus
Figure 1. Proposal Submission - Pull-Down Menu Options

ACS PRF Online Proposal Application Process Overview

The ACS PRF online proposal system is a customized version of the Salesforce Community Portal and known as the PRF Portal.  Applicants with approved portal credentials (No. 1 Below) can access and submit applications.

The process for submission of an application for a Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) Grant requires:

1.  An American Chemical Society (ACS) Network User ID:  You can obtain one for free by visiting the registration site.   View online help for registration here.  You do not need to be an ACS member to obtain a User ID.  If you have an ACS Network User ID or need to register for one, you should verify that you can logon well in advance of the submission deadline since this system is not administered by PRF (See Figure 2).  After your registration is approved, you will be able to access the PRF Portal.

2.  Entry of most application information directly into a web form:  It is highly recommended that you collect this information in a document that you can easily copy from and paste into the web form.  You will need the following:

a.    Contact Information for:

i.    Principal Investigator
ii.    Grant Officer and Institutional Endorsing Official (if applicable)
iii.    Co-Principal Investigator (if applicable)
iv.    Suggested Reviewers (6)

b.    Title of Proposed Research

c.    Abstract:  The abstract must be 250 words or less.  The abstract must also be part of the uploaded technical proposal PDF (See Item 4).

d.    Petroleum Relevance Statement

e.    Requested Start Date: For proposals submitted in February/March 2023 proposal submission window (considered at the PRF Committee Meeting in October 2023) , January 1, 2024 is the earliest start date.  

f.    Institutional Reference Number:  If provided by your grants office.  This is for your use only.  Enter "NA" or "N/A" if you do not have one.

g.    Resubmission (only): if research topic was previously submitted to PRF, reviewed and denied, a statement of modifications/changes is required.

h.    Demographic Information for PI and Co-PI

i.    Budget Amount by Year and Justification: Budget years are created by clicking the [New] button on the Budget Section Header located at the bottom of the application form.  Amounts for approved budget categories for each grant year will be validated on saving.  Each budget period must end on August 31 and be at least twelve months in duration.  A starting date earlier than September 1 will result in a first budget period (year) longer than twelve months.  Fringe benefits should be included with salaries and stipends.  A validated budget is included with the DocuSign Electronic Signature transmission (See Figure 3).  As budget is entered, a summary of the budget can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the {View Budget} menu option (See Figure 1, Item #3).

j.    Education and Experience: Provide information on the following:

i.     All academic degrees, when and where received
ii.    Ph.D. thesis title and supervisor
iii.    List postdoctoral appointment(s) and supervisor(s), if appropriate
iv.    List current and previous positions, in chronological order
v.    Significant honors and awards
vi.    and other pertinent biographical information

k.    Current and Pending Research Support:

i.    List any active research grants or other current financial support received for research. Give titles, amounts (annual direct costs; if more than one PI, indicate only your share of the granted amount), sources, time periods of awards, and relationship to this proposal. Indicate “none” if applicable.
ii.    List any other research grant applications pending. Give titles, amounts requested (annual direct costs), sources, and relationship to this proposal. Indicate “none” if applicable.
iii.    Describe any start-up support or funding.  Indicate “none” if applicable.

l.    Publications: List all research publications and presentations. Include titles, co-authors, and literature references.

m.    Safety: Principal Investigators must describe any significant risks or hazards that may be encountered in the proposed work, and how these risks or hazards would be mitigated.

n.    Suggested Reviewers:  Names of 6 suggested reviewers that are entered by clicking the [Add Suggested Reviewers] button at the top right corner of the application form.  Entered reviewers will be displayed in a separate section at the bottom of the application form.  Former mentors, colleagues and individuals from institutions that the PI is or has been associated with are not eligible to be reviewers.  Further, a PI may not suggest a reviewer whom the PI has suggested to PRF in the last 4 years.

o.    Collaborations: If you will be collaborating with other scientists in the performance of the research described in this proposal, identify the collaborators and briefly indicate the nature of the collaboration.  If any of these collaborators are current ACS PRF grantees or applicants, discuss the relationship between this proposal and the collaborator’s ACS PRF project. A letter from the collaborator(s), confirming the extent and nature of the collaboration, should be added to the application.

3.  Signature Sheet and Budget:  After entering budget and other application information, a Signature Sheet is processed via DocuSign from the system using an option {1. Send for Signature - DocuSign} on a pull-down menu (See Figure 1, Item #4) located on the upper right of the application detail screen.  The signatures of the PI and an authorized official of your institution--and Co-PI if applicable--are required on the Signature Sheet. The institutional official is not the Department Chair, but the person who is authorized to commit the PI’s institution to performing the proposed research.  The DocuSign status is displayed at the top of application form (See Figure 1, Item #7) and must be completed in order to submit the application.

4.  Technical Proposal: The technical proposal is uploaded as a separate PDF using the [Upload Files] button located at the top right corner of the application form..  The proposal should not be longer than 4,000 words, double-spaced in 12-point font. The word count is entered at the end of the proposal narrative. Proposals that exceed this limitation will not be considered. Word count doesn’t include 250-word Abstract, Figure and Table captions, or References Cited.

5.  For ND and UR Proposals (only): A statement (no longer than 1 page) of how the proposed research is significantly different from the PI’s previous research and represents a new research direction for the PI must be included.

6.  For UR (only): An educational impact statement is needed and data regarding the undergraduates pursing advanced degrees.  Use a table to indicate the number of undergraduate majors that have completed work in your department, and have received bachelor’s degrees, in each of the last seven years. Please indicate how many of these students went on to graduate study and which institutions they entered.


ACS network id registration
Figure 2. ACS Network ID Registration

Budget Category Entry By Budget Period/Grant Year
Figure 3. Budget Category Entry By Budget Period/Grant Year