I  U  P  A  C

News & Notices

Organizations & People

Standing Committees







Links of Interest

Search the Site

Home Page



Current Project


Number: 2006-013-1-020

Title: IUPAC’s role in international research funding in the chemical sciences: a feasibility study

Task Group
: Markus Behnke

Members: Luis Echegoyen, George Horvai, Wenping Liang, Alejandra Palermo, Pieter S. Steyn and Jean-Pierre Vairon

To explore ways by which organizations and agencies responsible for funding chemical research in various countries can exchange information on international trends in funding and develop international partnerships for projects of mutual interest. To determine whether and how IUPAC can provide continuing leadership for this activity.

This is a follow-up to IUPAC project 2004-014-1-020.
(see that project page for a report)

The idea behind that project was to bring together individuals responsible for funding chemical research in a number of countries in order to share information on international trends in research funding and to explore mechanisms for developing international partnerships for projects of mutual interest.A planning meeting [London, July 2004] and an international workshop [Beijing, August 2005] were very successful in providing a forum for exchange of relevant information. The participants agreed unanimously that further meetings of this sort will be valuable, and they felt that a long-term program should be developed for continuing interactions at future meetings and by various forms of electronic communication. They concluded that IUPAC is the most appropriate organization to provide the framework for such a program.

For its part, IUPAC is well positioned to deal through its Divisions with activities in specific aspects of the chemical sciences, and inter-disciplinary programs involving chemistry education and interactions with industry can readily be handled through appropriate Operational Committees. However, this important constituency - representatives of the organizations in each country that provide the bulk of funding for research in the chemical sciences - has no obvious "home" within IUPAC.

This project has three goals:

  1. Continue, under IUPAC auspices, the interactions begun in London and Beijing
  2. Ascertain over the next two years whether there is sufficient worldwide interest to warrant a serious effort by IUPAC to assert leadership in developing a long-term program in this arena
  3. Investigate ways by which IUPAC could either accommodate such a long-term program within its existing structure or could modify the structure as needed

To address the first goal, workshops were held on 29 August 2006, in conjunction with the European Chemistry Congress in Budapest, and on 9 August 2007, as part of the IUPAC General Assembly in Torino. Major topics covered in the two meetings were as follows:

  • Results of a questionnaire on funding policies and practices in a number of countries
  • Outcome of the first ERA-Chemistry call for proposals
  • A case study of the successful NSF/DFG bilateral call for proposals
  • Polymer chemistry - a showcase for a transcontinental call for proposals
  • Results of a questionnaire on women in chemistry

The second goal was addressed in both workshops. The participants in these two workshops and in the workshop held in Beijing under the previous project agreed that the forums are very useful and that international research funding would benefit from continuing IUPAC leadership. Accordingly, in October 2007, the task group submitted a detailed proposal to the IUPAC Officers for formation of a permanent body.

The IUPAC Executive Committee met the third goal by deciding in November 2007 to form a Committee on Chemistry Research Funding, operating initially under the Bureau. If results during 2008 are encouraging, the Bureau will consider a recommendation to Council in August 2009 to establish this body as a Standing Committee.
The task group will hold another workshop at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia on 15 August 2008.

Last update: 25 February 2008

<project announcement published in Chem. Int. July-Aug 2006>

If you want to update this information, contact us by e-mail
Do not forget to include the Project Number,
your name and relation with that project

Page last modified 25 February 2008.
Copyright ©1997-2008 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
Questions or comments about IUPAC, please contact, the Secretariat.
Questions regarding the website, please contact web manager.