Deadline Approaching: American Chemical Society’s Project SEED Program, Apr. 16

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  1. Eligibility – The student must be recognized as economically disadvantaged. Preference will be given to students whose maximum family income does not exceed 200% of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines based on family size. An economically disadvantaged student applicant who is physically disabled must be considered on the same basis as any other applicant and may not be discriminated against in any way.

                              2018 Federal Poverty Guidelines


Family Size
200% Household/
Family Size
1         $24,280 8         $84,760
2         $32,920 9         $93,400
3         $41,560 10       $102,040
4         $50,200 11       $110,680
5         $58,840 12       $119,320
6         $67,480 13       $127,960
7         $76,120 14       $136,600

Students cannot start working until the Student Application form and proof of family income (IRS 1040) are received and approved by the ACS Project SEED office.  ACS reserves the right to deny funding for any student who does not meet the guidelines described above unless prior approval is obtained by the ACS Project SEED.   ACS will not be liable for funds distributed to students not previously approved by Project SEED.

  1. Location – The student should be a commuting student, except in those cases in which the institution (college, university, industry, or government lab) can provide room and board and appropriate supervision at no cost to the student.
  2. Fellowships and Duration of the Program – Summer I and II students will receive a competitive fellowship with the minimum for each program determined by the Project SEED Committee of the ACS.  The Summer I and II fellowships are $2,500 and $3,000, respectively. The costs of supplies or laboratory materials cannot be deducted from student fellowships. Both programs expect at least 8 weeks of participation at approximately 40 hours per week.
  3. Payments, Surveys, and Final Reports – Two checks will be sent from the ACS Project SEED office to the institutional sponsor or the ACS Local Section officer for disbursement to the student(s). The first check (the amount approved minus $500 per student) will be sent upon receipt of the Student Financial/Information Statement. The second check ($500 per student) will be sent upon receipt of all required paperwork and the Follow-Up Survey, Student Report, and Mentor Report. If this procedure is in conflict with the institution’s administrative practices, other appropriate action can be considered.  However, under no circumstances may mentors/coordinators deposit ACS Project SEED monies into their personal funds. Mentors who disburse funds before the receipt of approved funds from ACS Project SEED do so at their own risk.The ACS offers “Automatic Direct Deposit” of Project SEED student payments. Your institution or university may take advantage of this payment method by filling out the enclosed Authorization of Direct Deposit Form and submitting it to the address indicated on the form. The ACS Project SEED office recommends this payment method for faster payment issuance.

    You DO NOT have to resubmit a new “Automatic Direct Deposit” form if one was submitted last year.

    Funding from Participating Institutions
     – Participating institutions are encouraged to provide supplementary funds for each student. Also, the participating institution – or another source of local funds – will be expected to bear any overhead expenses.


  4. Fellowship awards – Fellowship funds will be awarded and determined by the number of students approved by the Committee. The initial amount of the award letter may vary and will be subject to the final number of participants who complete the program. If the total number of participants drops after the award letter is issued and received by the institution, the amount of the funds approved will be reduced accordingly.

    Fellowship funds provided by ACS are only valid during the year they are approved. Any unused balance cannot be carried over to a future program year.

Available funds will be distributed across the programs based on the percentage matching funds and size of the program. Matching funds from each program are highly recommended to be at the 50% level.

  • Program/Student Termination – If the student terminates the program prior to completion of his/her obligation, the ACS Project SEED office must be notified immediately in writing. The disbursed award will be prorated and the unused funds must be returned to the ACS Project SEED before the end of the institution’s program.



  1. Program Content – The intent of the ACS Project SEED is to provide students with the opportunity to do meaningful research. The students’ role should not be that of dishwasher or observer. The program implies no employee/employer relationship.
  2. Student Pre-requisites – The Summer I student participant(s) should have completed a one-year introductory high school chemistry course. The Summer II student participant(s) must have participated in the Summer I program. Neither Summer I nor Summer II student can be matriculated in college.
  3. Students/Mentor Ratio – The development of a personal relationship between the student and the mentor is considered a key factor in raising the student’s goals and expanding his/her horizons. For this reason, a mentor should work with no more than two SEED students during the summer.
  4. Research Projects – The coordinators/mentors should present only one project per student. Any change in project must be approved by the ACS Project SEED committee within one week of receipt of the acceptance letter for a given project.
  5. Accident Insurance – The ACS provides accident insurance coverage for Project SEED students, faculty members or chaperons. All participants must be registered prior to the start of the program. The period covered is limited to the 8-10 week Summer I and II programs each year.  The insurance company will administrate the plan on an excess basis, paying only eligible bills that remain unpaid after all other coverages have been exhausted. The insurance coverage is not extended beyond the ACS Project SEED summer activity. The activities covered are limited to scheduled, sponsored, and/or supervised activities of ACS Project SEED. This insurance does not cover any conditions for which the insured is entitled to benefits under any Worker’s Compensation Act or similar law. The ACS accident insurance policy coverage does not extend to damage or loss of personal property of the ACS Project SEED participants. Although ACS purchases accident insurance annually for Project SEED for the duration of the program, it is the mentor’s duty to ensure that the student works in an environment in which all necessary and usual safety precautions have been taken. The student must understand both the precautions taken and the reasons for such precautions. A guideline booklet, “Safety in the Academic Chemistry Laboratories” for faculty and students, will be provided to mentors and students. “Students should wear safety goggles in the laboratory at all times.”
  6. College and Career Counseling – The mentor should give college and career counseling to the student. In addition, ACS will send a College Scholarship application form for the freshman year to all eligible seniors.  .


  1. The Student Report – The student must write a final report of the summer’s work (three to five pages are adequate). The mentor must cosign this report and a copy must be submitted to ACS Project SEED Office. Copies should be sent to the student’s high school and to any other sources from which the student received financial support. The Follow-Up Survey, designed for the program’s assessment and improvement, must also be completed online by the student no later than the established deadline. Upon receipt of the final report and the Follow-Up Survey from the student, ACS will send the institution the final $500 award for disbursement to the student.
  2. The Mentor Report – A brief report from the mentor must be sent to the ACS Project SEED office. This report should also be sent to the other funding sources, where applicable, at the conclusion of the program.  Mentors/coordinators should publicize their programs as broadly as possible. The quality of the publicity should be carefully monitored by the mentor/coordinator with respect to content and detail.
  3. Role of the ACS and Participating Institutions – ACS coordinates Project SEED and conducts the national-level fund-raising activities. Acting under the authority of the participating institution, the local ACS Project SEED coordinator usually works with the mentor(s) to select the student(s) and to operate the program in accordance with the financial and academic guidelines set out above by ACS. The participating institution bears primary responsibility for the proper selection of eligible students within the guidelines of the program. ACS responsibility is the administration of the program and the approval of applications for students whose eligibility is outside the guidelines set for Project SEED.
  4. Publication of Project SEED Research – Any publications resulting from the student’s research should acknowledge support from ACS and the Project SEED endowment.

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