Division of Chemistry Newsletter No. 5

July, 2004

2004 Committee of Visitors Report (COV)

As reported in the last newsletter, each division at the National Science Foundation is reviewed every three years by a cross-section of its community, called a Committee of Visitors (COV). The COV, which is structured as a subcommittee of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee (MPSAC), with expanded membership, reviews the Division’s programs, provides feedback on its practices and funding decisions, and advises on future investments. The Division held its 2004 COV meeting on February 3-5, 2004. The report from the COV has been officially accepted by the MPSAC and is available on the web at http://www.nsf.gov/od/gpra/COV/MPS/CHE.htm#CHE2004. The Division of Chemistry is grateful to the chair of the COV, Robert Silbey, and to the COV members for their hard work and helpful comments.

Reception at the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia

We invite you to speak with NSF staff members and MPSAC members at the upcoming ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia. On Tuesday, August 24, 2004, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Convention Center, Room 203B, the following NSF staff members and MPSAC members will be available to meet with you informally: Don Burland, Art Ellis, Mostafa El-Sayed, Joan Frye, John Gilje, Janice Hicks, John Hunt, George Janini, Carl Lineberger, Lee Magid, Ty Mitchell, Kathy Parson, Lindsey Rich, George Rubottom, Phil Shevlin, Joe Templeton, and Harry Ungar. This is an excellent opportunity to share information and perspectives on developments in the chemistry community and at NSF. As part of the event, a continuous slide show of research “nuggets” provided by our principal investigators will be presented and refreshments will be available. Our website now includes nuggets submitted by principal investigators: http://www.nsf.gov/mps/divisions/che/nuggets/nuggets.htm

Workshop report

The Division of Chemistry supported an Undergraduate Research Summit (co-organizers Thomas Wenzel and Robert Lichter). The purpose of the Summit was to examine issues involved in undertaking and sustaining research at predominantly undergraduate institutions and to provide recommendations on how to enhance the amount, quality, productivity, and visibility of chemistry research at these institutions. A report on the Summit is available at http://abacus.bates.edu/acad/depts/chemistry/twenzel/summit.html.

Personnel changes and request for program officers

The Division of Chemistry welcomes George Janini, Linda (Lee) Magid, and Joseph Templeton as rotators. George is based at the National Cancer Institute and will assist the Analytical and Surface Chemistry program. Lee is based at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory and will join the Special Projects Office. Joe will assist the Inorganic, Bioinorganic, and Organometallic Chemistry program and is based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Celeste Rohlfing is moving from the Theoretical and Computational Chemistry program to the Special Projects Office to help the Division work with our community on cyber-enabled chemistry. A complete listing of current staff may be found at http://www.nsf.gov/staff/orgpage.cfm?key=32 .

We thank Mike Clarke, who returns to Boston College, for his assistance with the Inorganic, Bioinorganic, and Organometallic Chemistry program; Bob Kuczkowski, who returns to the University of Michigan, for his help in the Special Projects Office; and Alfons Weber, who returns to NIST, for his assistance with the Experimental Physical Chemistry program. The Division of Chemistry and the chemistry community have benefited greatly from Mike’s, Bob’s, and Alfons’ contributions.

The Division of Chemistry asks you to consider serving as a program officer if your circumstances permit and to help us identify other individuals who might serve in this capacity. About half of our 16 program officers are rotators, and they bring fresh insights to our work at NSF. Rotators can maintain their research programs while working at the Foundation. NSF provides time, travel resources, and use of technology to enable rotators to stay in touch with co-workers at their home institutions. Rotator positions are typically held for one or two years, but other arrangements are possible. Rotators not only serve the community and help to shape chemistry, but they also have excellent opportunities for professional development and establishment of new research directions upon returning to their laboratories.

Rotators are responsible for planning, coordinating, and managing programs that support research, education, and human resource development in the chemical sciences. Applicants should have a Ph.D. or equivalent training in the chemical sciences, extensive knowledge of one or more chemistry subfields, and at least six years of successful independent research activity. Applicants should be familiar with the chemistry community and have administrative experience. Other important attributes are strong verbal and written communication skills, organizational skills, facility in using technology tools, and the ability to work effectively on a team. If you are interested in serving as a rotator, please see http://www.nsf.gov/oirm/hrm/jobs/rotators/vsee.htm
Information about current open rotational program officer positions can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/results.cfm?url_type=Vacancy%20Announcements&url
. Applicants interested in rotational positions should send an email describing their interest and CV to aellis@nsf.gov. NSF is an equal opportunity employer committed to employing a highly qualified staff that reflects the diversity of our nation.

Request for qualified reviewers

The Division of Chemistry seeks to enhance its pool of qualified reviewers of proposals. We invite researchers in the chemical sciences who have not previously reviewed for the Division of Chemistry but are interested in providing this service to contact us by visiting our website at http://www.nsf.gov/mps/divisions/che/news/reviewerinfo.htm and completing the online registration form. We welcome qualified reviewers from academic, industrial, and government employment, as well as from other countries. It is important to recognize that the National Science Foundation reserves the right to choose reviewers. While we are unable to assure individuals that they will be asked to review proposals, we do attempt to call upon as many qualified reviewers as possible, and we try to limit the number of requests that we make to any single individual, recognizing the many demands our reviewers have on their time.

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