The American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund supports advanced scientific education and fundamental research related to the petroleum field. Since 1954, the Fund has awarded almost 14,000 grants valued at roughly $350 million, including grants to nearly 20 Nobel laureates. The Fund's endowment now stands at more than $500 million. The American Chemical Society (ACS) is the world's largest scientific society.
"We are so pleased to be in a position to increase our contribution to scientific research," says Lawrence A. Funke, Ph.D., Program Director of the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. "The additional funds will raise the value of each ACS PRF grant. Often, our grants are critical in getting scientists started in new research areas. ACS PRF grants complement those of other research-funding agencies, emphasizing support for new investigators, for faculty at undergraduate institutions, and for established investigators to explore new lines of research."
ACS PRF grants currently support research in chemistry, earth sciences, chemical engineering, and related fields such as polymers and materials science. ACS PRF offers several different grant programs for advanced scientific education and fundamental research involving undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students. Grants are awarded to nonprofit institutions in the United States and other countries.
The Fund was originally created as the Petroleum Research Fund Trust in 1944 by the owners of Universal Oil Products Company, held jointly by several major oil companies. The common stock of Universal Oil Products Company was donated to the Petroleum Research Fund, and the American Chemical Society was designated the income recipient. Under the Trust, the ACS was required to use the income for advanced scientific education and fundamental research related to the petroleum field.
In January 2001, the Petroleum Research Fund Trust was dissolved by order of the New York Supreme Court and the assets transferred to the American Chemical Society. The Fund was subsequently renamed the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. This now makes the Society responsible for managing the assets (reconstituted as an endowment rather than a trust), while it continues to fulfill its traditional role as income recipient. ACS will establish the Fund's investment policy and select the investment manager(s) and custodian. The purposes for which these funds may be used are unchanged under the new arrangement.
As a result of the transfer, the ACS PRF will increase the maximum annual amount of grants by more than 30 percent. The increase in funding will allow the Fund to award more grants and more 3-year grants.