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Grants to USA Faculty at Academic Institutions for
Research and Education Related to Petroleum

Doctoral New Investigator (DNI) Grants

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund

Deadline Date:

10/15/21 5:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA faculty members affiliated with academic institutions for scientific research and education related to petroleum. Funding is intended to promote the careers of young scientists and engineers. The program supports fundamental research and improves professional opportunities for undergraduate/graduate students and postdoctoral associates through the research experience.

Doctoral New Investigator (DNI) grants are to be used to illustrate proof of principle or concept, to test a hypothesis, or to demonstrate feasibility of an approach. The DNI grants program is seeking investigator-initiated, original research across the spectrum of its mission. Original research is defined as being different from that performed previously by the PI as part of their graduate or postdoctoral studies. Research projects must be unique. 

Note that fundamental research is required as opposed to applied research or methods development. When submitting an application, applicants will be asked to select a scientific discipline that PRF supports (

The DNI Grant Program is designed as a source of funds for young investigators who are developing their own independent research projects. The new investigator must demonstrate that the project is an original research direction and is independent of their graduate or post-graduate studies. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 198584

Number of Grants:

~ 75 each year

Estimated Size of Grant:

$110,000 over 2 years

Term of Contract:

The normal ACS PRF budget year extends from September 1 to August 31. The first grant year may begin earlier than September 1, but must start on the first day of a month and end on August 31 of the following year. A starting date earlier than September 1 will result in a first budget period longer than twelve months.

A maximum of two one-year time extensions may be approved provided reporting requirements are up to date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for a Doctoral New Investigator research grant an investigator must:

Be a member of the faculty of a doctoral department in a college or university within the United States; be within the first three years of their first academic appointment as a regular faculty member; have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. (however, an application may be submitted before the degree has been awarded); and be appointed at the rank of Assistant Professor. In addition, applicants must meet the following three criteria. It is assumed that tenure-track faculty meet these criteria.

a) The non-profit institution submitting the proposal must certify that the individual listed as a principal investigator on the cover page qualifies as a principal investigator under the institution’s policies.

b) In view of the long-standing goal of The ACS Petroleum Research Fund to give priority to support of students (undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral), the principal investigator must be eligible to serve as the sole formal, official supervisor of graduate students in graduate degree programs.

c) The term of appointment of the principal investigator must promise reasonable continuity of service. The appointment should continue at least through the period of funding requested in the proposal.

Applicants may have limited or no preliminary results for a research project they wish to pursue, with the intention of using the preliminary results obtained to seek continuation funding from other agencies.

Excluded from consideration are proposals in which the ideas being presented are a mere extension of research from the PI’s graduate or postdoctoral experience.

Excluded Charges: No overhead costs may be charged. Secretarial and/or administrative salaries are considered part of regular departmental expenses and should not be included in proposal budgets or charged against the grant. Funds may not be used to support laboratory technicians, contractors, consultants, or visiting faculty.

Capital Equipment: Requests for capital equipment on DNI grant proposals are discouraged. However, a limited amount of capital equipment funds (≤ $5,000) may be included in the proposed budget, with justification and description of institutional cost-matching (if any) in the budget justification.

Pre-Application Information:

The next submission window will be from Monday, September 20, 2021 to Friday, October 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm ET and the submitted proposals will be considered at the May 2022 ACS PRF Committee Meeting.

New investigators may submit only one research proposal for consideration per meeting and may not hold more than one active PRF research grant at a time.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to view a webinar on the new system and proposal submission processes (held on Thurs., Jan. 21) prior to starting the application. Use Passcode: 6N^F6a$g

View the webinar here:

Proposal Submission Help:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:

To ensure a response to any questions you may have regarding proposal submission, please send an email to

Program Managers:
- Dr. Dean Dunn, Geology, Geochemistry/Geophysics, telephone: 202-872-4083, email:
- Dr. Burtrand I. Lee, Surface Science and Materials Science, telephone: 202-872-6254, email:
- Dr. Askar Fahr, Physical Organic Chemistry, and Chemical Physics/Physical Chemistry, telephone: 202-872-6207, email:
- Dr. Thomas Clancy, Polymer Science, Engineering, Chemistry and Petroleum Engineering, telephone: 202-872-6093, email:
- Dr. Nancy Jensen, Interim Assistant Director, Synthetic Organic Chemistry, and Inorganic Chemistry, telephone: 202-872-6186, email:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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