Principal Investigator Development in Sustainability Grant

Grant at a Glance

Recipient Faculty
Category Sustainability,  Green Chemistry,  Research
DeadlineNovember 15, 2022


This award will provide early or mid-career investigators (Associate+) to spend 3-6 months in the laboratory in 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, and 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 the 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

The application portal will open in spring 2023.


5:00 PM ET, November 15, 2023


The award is intended for faculty in PhD-granting institutions who have a sabbatical planned in the upcoming year. The faculty must have already identified opportunities for a sabbatical position in an institution other than their own, where they expect to receive training and experience in a new field or research direction, which will allow them to pursue interdisciplinary research directly related to green and sustainable chemistry. Awardees must agree to:

  • Participate in a teacher-training workshop in green chemistry
  • Commit to teaching either one Green Chemistry course (undergraduate or graduate level), or incorporating green chemistry curricula into another course. 

Applicant Criteria:

Applicants must:

  1. Currently hold a faculty position at a US PhD-granting institution of higher education
  2. Have a sabbatical planned (not necessarily approved) that will start within the next 12-18 months
  3. 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
  4. Candidates may submit only one application per cycle, with a maximum of 2 total submissions.

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 applicant and applications related to green and sustainable chemistry.
  • Evidence of dedication and passion to teaching, with emphasis on green and sustainable chemistry

Budget Considerations

The funds must be budgeted for travel, accommodation and laboratory supplies/chemicals and 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 includes secretarial and/or administrative salaries. Funds may not be used to support laboratory technicians, contractors, consultants, or visiting faculty.

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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