Principal Investigator Development in Sustainability Grant

Grant at a Glance

Recipient Faculty
Category Sustainability,  Green Chemistry,  Research
DeadlineSeptember 20, 2024


This award will provide funding to early or mid-career investigators (Associate+) to spend 6-12 months in the laboratory of a private company, a national laboratory, or an academic laboratory in a different institution, with the goal of establishing robust collaborations across industry-academia or across disciplines and taking advantage of the mentorship of a faculty member distinct from their prior mentors. 


There is ample evidence that transformative innovations relevant to sustainability require cross-disciplinary collaboration and training, as well as connections between academia and industry. Yet, once a faculty establishes a research group, it becomes challenging to change course and identify opportunities for the application of one’s research when they require knowledge in tangential or sometimes orthogonal fields, such as chemistry and toxicology, synthetic chemistry and synthetic biology, catalysis, and computational chemistry, to name a few. Furthermore, it also becomes challenging to develop robust collaborations with colleagues in industry that allow a two-way exchange of innovation gaps and innovative research products. Such pivots are challenging for multiple reasons, including the fact that faculty would be required to relocate to another facility to acquire the desired training and establish collaborations. To this end, this grant is intended to stimulate and de-risk bold, cross-disciplinary training and collaborations that result in research that is readily applied to sustainability challenges.

How to Apply

Application submission opens on July 15, 2024.

Application Portal Help


5:00 p.m. ET, September 20, 2024

Eligibility and Applicant Criteria

Candidates may submit only one application per cycle, with a maximum of 2 total submissions.

To apply, applicants must:

  • Hold a current faculty position at a U.S. Ph.D.-granting institution of higher education
  • Have a sabbatical planned (not necessarily approved) that will start within 2025
  • Have identified opportunities for a sabbatical position in a company, national lab, or institution other than your own where you will be able to receive training and experience in a new research direction that will allow you to pursue interdisciplinary research and teaching directly related to green and sustainable chemistry.

To accept the award, applicants must commit to:

  • Participate in a teacher-training workshop in green chemistry.
  • Teach either one undergraduate or graduate course in green chemistry and sustainability, or a chemistry course that explicitly incorporates green chemistry in their faculty post. 

Funding Criteria

The Award Committee makes relative rankings of proposals and recommendations for funding on the basis of the following criteria (in order of importance):

  • The relevance of the proposed research of the PI to green and sustainable chemistry.
  • Novelty, overall quality, significance, and scientific merit of the proposed research, including the extent to which it will increase basic knowledge and/or stimulate additional research.
  • Research track record of the applicant in applications related to green and sustainable chemistry.
  • Evidence of dedication and passion for teaching, with emphasis on green and sustainable chemistry.

Budget Considerations

The funds must be used in 2025 for travel, accommodation, and laboratory supplies/chemicals, and they must be clearly justified in the context of the project and the long-term career aspirations of the Principal Investigator. No overhead costs may be charged, which include secretarial and/or administrative salaries. Funds may not be used to support students, laboratory technicians, contractors, consultants, or visiting faculty. The funds are direct income to the Principal Investigator.

Guidelines for Applicants

The majority of your application will be entered directly into a web form, therefore, it is highly recommended that you collect this information in a document that you can easily copy and paste into the web form.  We do not require a budget or letters of recommendation. You will need the following:

  1. Title of Proposed Research: 250 characters maximum
  2. Abstract: The abstract must be 250 words or less. 
  3. Sustainability Teaching Plans: Provide a 200-word statement that describes your plans for teaching courses that incorporate or focus on some or all aspects of green and sustainable chemistry.
  4.  Sustainability Impact: Provide a 200-word statement that succinctly explains the impact of your research on (a) a fundamental toolset of green chemistry and (b) UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  5. Research Technical Proposal: A 2-page research statement that describes your most significant research contributions to date; (b) your research plan for your sabbatical; and (c) a statement that clearly describes how your sabbatical research and training will influence your ability to pursue new areas of research that contribute to green and sustainable chemistry. It is a single PDF file (to be uploaded as part of your application), with the text body double-spaced, in 12-point font (Times Roman, Arial, or Courier) with 1-inch margins, and pages numbered in the footer. You may include references and figures within the 2 pages. Your application will be rejected if you exceed the 2-page limit.
  6. CV: As a single PDF file to be uploaded as part of your application.

Guideline for Reviewers

View Guidelines 

Sustainable Futures Initiative Grant Program

The ACS Campaign for a Sustainable Future aims to advance chemistry innovations to address the challenges articulated in the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.   This multifaceted initiative will have a lasting impact on how we conduct research, how we teach chemistry, and how we collaborate globally.  The initiative begins with a campaign to fully engage the chemistry community in designing solutions to the grand challenges of sustainability, reimagining how we teach and practice chemistry with a sustainability focus, and raising public awareness about chemistry’s role in a sustainable future.  One of the key initiatives of the Campaign is a grant program, which aims to provide catalytic funding for early and mid-career faculty interested in developing a research and teaching portfolio that contributes directly to developing transformative chemistries that address Sustainable Development Goals.

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