Submitting PIs:

  • Sunho Choi
  • Nathan Israelhoff
  • Safa Jamali
  • Yiannis Levendis
  • Proposal: 10/20/2017


  • Amount: $110,000
  • Duration: 2 years


The goals of the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund are:

  • To support fundamental research in the petroleum field, and
  • To develop the next generation of engineers and scientists through support of advanced scientific education.

The New Directions (ND) grants program provides funds to scientists and engineers with limited—or even no—preliminary results for a research project they wish to pursue, and who intend to use the PRF-driven preliminary results to seek continuation funding from other agencies. ND grants are to be used to illustrate proof of concept/feasibility. Accordingly, they are to be viewed as seed money for new research ventures.

A “new research direction” is something different from previous research performed by the lead principal investigator (lead PI). But, it may involve a field of science or engineering in which others are already working. Therefore, the proposed research should not be in the same direction as—or overlap with—current projects in the lead PI’s research group. Excluded from consideration will be:

  • Lead PIs who have had previous support or current funding for the project, and
  • Proposals presenting ideas that are a logical extension of ongoing research from the lead PI’s laboratory.

Preliminary results and/or communications are not required.

Eligibility & Submission Requirements

One co-principal investigator (co-PI) is permitted on an ND grant proposal.

The proposed research does not have to be a new direction of research for the co-PI. However, the co-PI must meet all other eligibility criteria as if he/she were the lead PI, and provide the same information requested of the lead PI in the application. The lead PI (who should be denoted as such) and his/her institution (designated as the grantee institution) would subcontract the co-PI through the co-PI’s institution. Any number of collaborators may participate on the project. However, no funds from the ND grant may be used to support the collaborators or their respective students.

Regularly-appointed faculty members at academic institutions in countries where ACS PRF can administer grants are eligible. Certain other long-term scientific appointments may be eligible. In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • The non-profit institution submitting the ND proposal must certify that each individual listed as a principal investigator on the cover page qualifies as a principal investigator under the institution’s Principal Investigator policies.
  • In view of the long-standing policy of The ACS Petroleum Research Fund to give priority to support of students (undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral), each principal investigator (lead and co-PI) must be eligible to serve as the formal, official supervisor of graduate students in graduate degree programs. Emeritus faculty who may supervise post-doctoral fellows are also eligible to apply.
  • The terms of appointment of the principal investigator (and, if appropriate, the co-PI) must promise reasonable continuity of service through the life of the grant.