Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry

Fellowship at a Glance

Recipient Student
Category Green Chemistry,  Research
DeadlineDecember 31, 2022


To provide financial support to full-time graduate students conducting research in green chemistry. 


The funds may be used for any purpose, including conference travel, professional development, and living expenses, while the recipient is in graduate school. Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship awardees receive a one-time payment of $5,000. The fellowship is non-renewable.


The Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry is open to full-time graduate students across the globe who are currently conducting research in green chemistry.  Applicants must have at least one full year of study remaining in their graduate program from the time of the expected award. Recipients must present their research at the annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, where the award will be formally presented.


The deadline for the Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry is December 31, 2022, at 5 p.m. EST (GMT-5).

How to Apply

Award Scope and Objectives

Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances.  Green chemistry encompasses all aspects and types of chemical processes, including synthesis, catalysis, analysis, monitoring, and separations, and reaction conditions that reduce impacts on human health and the environment relative to the current state of the art.  Research being conducted by applicants to the Chang Fellowship must address one of the following focus areas:

1. The use of greener synthetic pathways. This focus area involves designing and implementing a novel, greener pathway for a chemical product.  Examples include synthetic pathways that:

  • Use feedstocks that are of lower inherent hazard to humans or the environment, and/or that are renewable (e.g., biomass, natural oils).
  • Use novel reagents or catalysts, especially those that use earth-abundant metals, organocatalysts, biocatalysts, and microorganisms.  Precious metal (i.e., Pt, Pd, Ru, Rh, Ag, Os, Ir, Au) containing catalysts at concentrations greater than 10 ppm are strongly discouraged unless these are heterogeneous and greater than 95% recyclable.
  • Are natural processes, such as fermentation, or use biomimetic processes.
  • Are mass, energy efficient, and step economical.

2. The use of greener reaction conditions. This focus area involves improving conditions other than the overall design or redesign of a synthesis. Greener analytical methods often fall within this focus area. Examples include reaction conditions that:

  • Replace hazardous chemicals (starting materials, reagents, etc.) and solvents with chemicals and solvents that have a lower impact on human health and the environment.
  • Use solventless reaction conditions and solid-state reactions.
  • Use novel processing methods that prevent pollution at its source.
  • Eliminate energy- or material-intensive separation and purification steps.
  • Improve energy efficiency, including reactions running closer to ambient (T and P) conditions.

3. The design of greener chemicals. This focus area involves designing and implementing chemical products that are less hazardous than the products or technologies they replace. Examples include chemical products that are:

  • Less hazardous (environmental, health and safety) than current products.
  • Inherently safer with regard to accident potential.
  • Recyclable or biodegradable after use.
  • Safer for the environment (e.g., do not deplete ozone or form smog).

Application Submission

Please apply using the ACS Green Chemistry Institute application portal. To use the portal, you will need to have or create a free ACS ID.

Be prepared to submit the following information: 

  • Applicant's name and contact information
  • Name of applicant's faculty advisor and contact information
  • Academic information including institution, department, expected degree, degree start date and expected graduation date. 
  • Career plans
  • An abstract title and body (to be presented)
  • A CV or résumé which includes degrees earned, GPA/class standing, any work experience, a list of presentations and publications, and a list of honors and awards
  • A maximum five-page description of the green chemistry research, addressing one or more of the focus areas described in the award scope and objectives section. This description should include a title and abstract of the research. Where applicable, applicants should specifically address the potential human health and/or environmental benefits of the research, as well as the innovation and scientific merit of the project. A discussion of impacts across the lifecycle should be included if such data are available.
  • A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s advisor.

Judging Process

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® will convene an independent panel of judges to review the applications. The judging panel may request verification of any activities described or claims made in applications that are selected as finalists. The judges will select the students whose projects best meet the selection criteria for the award.

Selection of the Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry recipients is primarily based upon the research being conducted by the applicant. The research should be innovative and of scientific merit and must meet the scope and objectives of the award, addressing at least one of the focus areas. Additional weight will be given to the strength of the letter of recommendation from the applicant’s advisor and the CV/résumé.

Please contact the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® at gci@acs.org if you have questions about the Fellowship or the application process.


ACS Green Chemistry Institute®


The Heh-Won Chang Fellowship was established in 2019 in honor of composites research expert, Dr. Heh-Won Chang. Born in 1939, Heh-Won Chang earned a B.S. in chemistry at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, in 1961. He then moved to the U.S. to earn an M.S. in 1969 and a Ph.D. in 1971, both in physical chemistry from Kansas State University.

After serving as an instructor and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rochester and the University of Toronto, he joined Bendix Research Laboratories in Southfield, Michigan, conducting research on carbon-carbon composites for aircraft brakes. In 1980, he transferred to the Bendix Advanced Technology Center in Columbia, Maryland, researching the physical properties of polymers and continuous fiber composites. For the last ten years of his career, Chang was a manager for Allied-Signal’s Spectra composite business. He and his team developed more than 50 applications for customers across 15 countries.

Chang is credited with numerous papers in publications including the Journal of the American Chemical Society and the Journal of Chemical Physics, and he presented his research at many industry conferences.

He died in 1994, but his memory lives on in the green chemistry award bearing his name, the Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry, which was established in 2019 by his wife, Cecilia P. Chang.

Past Recipients


Jianan GaoNew Jersey Institute of Technology
Research Focus: Electrified membrane flow-cell technology for more sustainable water filtration and the upcycling of nitrate removed to valuable commodity chemicals.

Cristián Pacheco Woroch, Stanford University
Research Focus: Sustainable performance-advantaged polyamides sourced from lignocellulose and CO2.


Gabriela Gastelu, National University of Córdoba, Argentina
Research Focus: Design of new synthetic strategies for the utilization of captured CO2 to make organocatalysts that assist in the transformation of CO2 into C1 building blocks.

Tessa Myren, University of Colorado, Boulder
Research Focus: Greener and safer closed-loop recycling of CO2 and plastics using electrochemistry, mild conditions and earth-abundant electrocatalysts to break down polymers into CO and building material (carbonate).


Heather LeClerc, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA
Research Focus: Hydrothermal liquefaction to produce bio-crude from municipal food waste.

Nakisha Mark, University of the West Indies, Trinidad
Research Focus: The conversion of furfural into biofuels using nanocatalysts comprised of earth-abundant metals.

Contact Information

Questions about the Heh-Won Chang Fellowship should be directed to the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®.
Email gci@acs.org (preferred)
Telephone +1 (202) 872-6102.  

Related Opportunities

  • Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship Supporting the participation of a young international green chemistry scholar in a green chemistry technical meeting, conference, or training program.

  • Teaching Green Fellowship This award will be given to a pedagogical innovator who has reimagined one or more parts of the chemistry curriculum to better prepare students for future careers in which they can work toward addressing grand global challenges such as those addressed by the U.N. SDGs. The award will consist of a certificate, $10,000 dedicated to faculty summer salary, $5,000 for summer stipend(s) for student(s) working in conjunction with faculty on greener curriculum materials, and travel support for the awardee and one student (up to $1,000 each) to attend the annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference to receive the award and present their work.

  • ACS International Research Experience for Students (IRES) Program Enabling talented young chemical and materials scientists to spend a summer conducting research in another country.

  • The Jonathan L. Sessler Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Bioinorganic and Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry Recognizing emerging leaders in bioinorganic and medicinal inorganic chemistry.