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NSF 10-020

Dear Colleague Letter Call for Chemistry Highlights (2010)

This document has been archived.

Date: January 28, 2010

Subject: Call for Chemistry Highlights

Dear Colleague,

Each year NSF Program Directors are asked to write descriptions of program accomplishments, or “Highlights”, on the results of NSF awards. Reporting these outcomes of the NSF Chemistry investment advance the Division’s mission by:

  • Communicating the value of chemistry research advances and innovations to the public and to Congress
  • Illustrating the NSF Chemistry portfolio to the public, industry, and government audiences
  • Justifying our future budget requests
  • Documenting outcomes of program investment, as required by the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).

We ask all current and recent awardees to consider submitting a Highlight by February 15, 2010. We are trying a new template and process this year, so please read below. Your institution’s Public Information Office can help you generate text and graphics that are compelling for the audiences we describe above.

  • The Highlight should feature an accomplishment or project outcome, not merely describe your award. The accomplishment can be a technical advance, but it could also focus on the technical, economic or societal broader impacts.
  • The Highlight should include a compelling graphic image(s). Select images that best represent or capture the essence of the project outcome reported for this Highlight. In general, graphs, spectra, and reaction diagrams are not compelling to the more general audiences targeted by the Highlights, so you might consider alternate images. Animations, audio and video clips are all welcome. We have provided space for an image caption and an image credit. Captions should clearly describe the image(s). Please be careful about copyrights and permissions.
  • The text (about 300 words) should be accessible to a general audience (limit jargon, please).
  • The template has additional boxes to include relevant bibliographic data and also for you to describe the intellectual impact and broader impact of your work.
  • A completed NSF Multimedia Permission & Use of Copyrighted Material Form is requested. This can be electronically signed and returned with the Highlight.


The Highlight should be submitted using the Chemistry Highlight Template Form available at Sample Highlights are available on the Chemistry Highlights webpage at

The Multimedia Permission & Use of Copyrighted Material Form is available at

The Highlight and Multimedia Permission Form should be emailed to The Permission Form may also be faxed to 703-292-9037. Please title the "subject" line of your e-mail with the format “PI Last Name-Award #-Highlight”. Please copy your Program Director and your institution’s public information officer.

Some related reminders:

The Principal Investigator is responsible for assuring that an acknowledgment of NSF support is made in any publication, including World Wide Web pages, of any material based on or developed under your NSF project.  Acknowledgment information must include the NSF award number.  NSF should be orally acknowledged during all news media interviews, including popular media such as radio, television and news magazines.  Additional information is available in Article 21, Publications, of the Research Terms and Conditions, NSF Agency Specific Requirements,

If you are publishing a paper with science news of interest to the public, planning a news release that involves work supported by NSF, or making a major presentation of your research, please notify your Program Director and your institution’s Public Information Officer well in advance of the event for possible inclusion as an NSF press release.  If a journal has embargo policies related to publicity on forthcoming articles, we will work with all participants involved to ensure compliance with journal policies.  Additional information regarding public affairs support is available at

If you have any questions regarding Highlights, press releases, or acknowledgment of NSF support, please contact the Division of Chemistry at 703-292-8840. We look forward to working with you on the very important job of communicating the value of chemical research to our various mutual stakeholders.


Dr. Luis Echegoyen, Director

Division of Chemistry

National Science Foundation