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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges 4 Key Factors Influencing Leadership In this report, leadership in chemistry has been measured by such factors as the number and quality of journal articles and the composition of virtual congresses that panel members asked distinguished chemists to organize. This leadership is influenced by a multitude of factors, some of which are the result of national policy, economics, and available resources of each country in the world. The panel focused on five key factors that influence U.S. leadership in chemistry research: National imperatives: Policy decisions in response to external challenges that have influenced leadership in chemistry. Innovation: Investment and technology development mechanisms that facilitate the transition from fundamental discovery to technological applications. Scientific culture: Underlying behaviors and ways of conducting research that foster leadership in chemistry. Major facilities, centers, and instrumentation: The physical infrastructure and materiel for conducting chemistry research. Human resources: The national capacity of chemistry graduate students and degree holders. Funding: Financial support for conducting chemistry research. NATIONAL IMPERATIVES Challenges from other countries have always been driven by U.S. investment in research. The Soviet Union was viewed as a major challenger
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges prior to its disintegration. Japan emerged as a potent competitor in the 1970s and continues to increase its prominence. Western Europe has always been a major scientific force, and the recent strengthening of science throughout the European Union has increased competition in the past decade. Most recently, there has been very strong growth of science in China and India. A recent article in Science reported that China is heavily funding a few strategic scientific areas, including proteomics and nanotechnology. The United States has recognized that the scientific world is becoming a flatter playing field and that this country will have to increase its efforts to remain competitive. Industrial competitiveness relies on leadership in science. Increasingly, start-up companies exploit scientific discoveries made at universities with federal support. Technology transfer from universities to industry has been facilitated by the Bayh-Dole Act. New companies are continually being started to exploit innovations from biotechnology and nanoscience; chemists are often crucial players in these discoveries and new ventures. President Bush’s “American Competitiveness Initiative” proposal, which calls for a large increase in support for research in the physical sciences and for science and math education, could have a major impact on the health of chemistry research in the United States. National Research Council (NRC) reports on the status of chemistry have been important in setting the direction of chemistry in the United States. The 1965 Westheimer report Chemistry: Opportunities and Needs, the 1985 Pimentel report Opportunities in Chemistry, and the 2003 Breslow-Tirrell report Beyond the Molecular Frontier: Challenges for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering have all highlighted opportunities in chemistry and helped explain the need for research in the chemical sciences. The 2007 NRC report Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future explains the national imperative for investment in science. INNOVATION The process by which research ideas are developed and funded in the United States—our “innovation system,” is another key factor influencing U.S. leadership in chemistry, improving how rapidly and easily ideas can be tested, developed, and extended. The factors that influence the process are discussed below. A Strong U.S. Industrial Sector Leadership in chemistry research in the United States over the years has been strongly linked with the development of the U.S. chemical industry.
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges According to Landau and Arora, “The rise of the research university in science and engineering (S&E) gave a strong boost to the American chemical industry,”1 particularly in the early part of the twentieth century. And this relationship has been a vital part of the success of the United States as a nation. Landau and Arora further point out that the U.S. chemical industry: (1) “was the first science-based, high-technology industry”; (2) “has generated technological innovations for other industries, such as automobiles, rubber, textiles …”; and (3) “is a U.S. success story.” At the same time, the U.S. chemical manufacturing industry is not what it used to be. Once a major net exporter, the U.S. chemical industry is now essentially a net importer (trade went negative in 2000-2001).2 Some think that today the U.S. chemical industry is, in fact, fundamentally disadvantaged relative to the rest of the world because of its dependence on oil and natural gas for raw materials, which have become less abundant and much more costly. The cost of natural gas in the United States is now 2 to 10 times higher than anywhere else in the world. The high cost of raw materials and labor in the United States. provides an incentive for investments in new plants and even new research centers outside the United States.3 A Variety of Funding Opportunities The funding of our innovation system is characterized by many options, from industry to government to private foundations. This variety of sources, with different emphases, creates a spectrum of opportunities—and the direction of research is never dictated solely by any one funding source. Industry U.S. industry is the largest overall supporter of chemical R&D. Between 1999 and 2003, about $20 billion a year was spent on basic chemicals, resin, synthetic rubber, fibers, and filaments, pharmaceuticals and medicines related R&D.4 Individual companies often operate their own R&D labs, and many provide funds for academic research in targeted areas related to their areas of interest. Industrial funding for research and development in academic science and engineering (S&E) fields reached an all-time high of 1 R. Landau, and A. Arora, 1999, “The Dynamics of Long-Term Growth: Gaining and Losing Advantage in the Chemical Industry,” in U.S. Industry in 2000: Studies in Competitive Performance, D.C. Mowery, ed., National Academy Press, Washington D.C., pp. 17-43. 2 W. J. Storck, 2005, “United States: Last year was kind to the U.S. chemical industry; 2005 should provide further growth,” Chemical and Engineering News 83(2):16-18. 3 M. Arndt, 2005, “No Longer the Lab of the World,” Business Week, May 2. 4 National Science Foundation/Division of Science Resources Statistics. 2003. Survey of Industrial Research and Development.
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges $2.3 billion in FY 2005.5 Technology transfer from universities to industry has become increasingly important for the U.S. innovation system. The Bayh-Dole Act has enabled the patenting of government-funded university research and the licensing of the patents to industry. Innovative research by university faculty now increasingly leads to the formation of small start-up companies to exploit discoveries first made with the help of government funding. Government U.S. chemists have many options for obtaining government funding, which helps stimulate innovative research. The major sources for government funding of chemistry are the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), and Department of Defense (DOD). In addition, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), Environmental Protection Agency, and the new Department of Homeland Security are important sources of funding for chemists. Actual research funding levels are discussed later in this chapter. The wide variety of sources, with different emphases, creates a spectrum of opportunities. The NSF CAREER program and the NIH Beginning Investigator programs are designed to help assistant professors at the start of their independent research careers. The peer review process that underlies research funding and the extensive networking associated with advisory boards contribute to the high quality of federally funded research. State Initiatives There have been a growing number of state initiatives to foster innovation and stimulate economic growth. One successful example is the Ben Franklin Technology Partners (http://www.benfranklin.org/), which is a statewide network in Pennsylvania that operates four regional centers located throughout the state. Universities Many universities are now increasing research support through centers that provide community outreach. In some cases this support comes from 5 National Science Foundation. 2007. Industrial Funding of Academic R&D Rebounds in FY 2005 (NSF 07-311).
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges multiple universities and sometimes involves partnerships with industry. One example is the University of California Discovery Grants in biotechnology to promote industry-university research partnerships. Biotechnology is one of five fields supported by Discovery Grants (i.e., biotechnology, communications and networking, digital media, electronics manufacturing and new materials, and life sciences information technology). These grants enhance the competitiveness of California businesses and the California economy by advancing innovation, R&D, and manufacturing, and by attracting new investments. Private Foundations Private foundation funding of U.S. chemical research also plays an important role, particularly for initiation of new projects and for helping beginning investigators achieve a rapid start in their careers. The American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund has been an important source of funds both for beginning investigators and established investigators who want to expand to a new area. Private foundations, including Camille and Henry Dreyfus, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, David and Lucile Packard, Research Corporation, and Alfred P. Sloan, have set up special programs to help assistant professors establish innovative research programs. For those working at the interface of chemistry, biology, and medicine, support from private sources such as the American Cancer Society is important. SCIENTIFIC CULTURE The way in which chemistry research is carried out in the United States is influenced by underlying practices and procedures that have changed over time. Several key characteristics of the U.S. scientific culture underlie leadership in chemistry research. Cross-Sector and International Collaborations The movement of people and ideas among academic, industrial, government, and other laboratories is vital in the transfer of new concepts and technology. Some faculty members have industrial or government experience. They may serve as consultants to industry or participate in the formation of small start-up companies. These relationships provide researchers across sectors with a greater understanding of problems beyond their limits. Cross-sector collaborations provide a channel for the transfer of knowledge and new approaches such as those developed in academia with funding from the federal government.
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges Scientific collaboration across institutional boundaries in the United States is extensive and continues to grow. According to the Science and Engineering (S&E) Indicators 2004, the share of articles from multiple U.S. institutions increased from 48 percent in 1988 to 62 percent in 2001. Cross-sector collaboration on papers in chemistry also grew significantly from 30 percent in 1988 to 50 percent in 2001. The overall level of collaboration is lower than for other disciplines such as, biomedical research, earth and space sciences, and physics (see Figure 4-1). The number of internationally coauthored S&E articles has also been growing. According to Science and Engineering Indicators 2004, 23 percent of all U.S. articles had at least one non-U.S. coauthor in 2001, compared with 10 percent in 1988 (see Figure 4-2). The percentage of U.S. chemistry articles with international coauthorship increased from 10 percent in 1988 to 22 percent in 2001. The level of international collaborations on articles in chemistry is lower than in physics and the earth and space sciences, which often require large international facilities. Strong Professional Societies With a membership of over 159,000, the American Chemical Society is by far the most important organization for U.S. chemists. The strength of the ACS publications gives U.S. chemists a competitive advantage over their foreign colleagues. The ACS facilitates communication between members through its national, regional, and local section meetings; through publication of over 35 world-class chemistry journals; and through its 33 technical specialty divisions, which provide an intellectual home for chemists with similar interests. Symposia at national ACS meetings focus attention on emerging areas of chemistry and bring chemists together to discuss current research and important developments. There is also a plethora of regional and national societies centered on specific scientific questions or specific scientific technologies that sometimes coordinate and cofund with local ACS sections. Regional examples include the Washington Carbohydrate Discussion Group and the Delaware Valley Chromatography Discussion Group. Other professional societies that are important for promoting communication and cooperation between U.S. chemists and other scientists and engineers include the Materials Research Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the NRC Chemical Sciences Roundtable, and the Council on Chemical Research. The Gordon Research Conferences, started as a uniquely American enterprise 75 years ago, have been important in the development of U.S. chemistry. These small conferences (100 to150 participants) now take place outside the U.S., even in China, and provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of frontier research in specialty areas
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges FIGURE 4-1 Extent of collaboration on U.S. S&E articles, by field, 1988 and 2001. NOTE: Number of S&E articles with multiple institutional authors, including foreign institutions, as share of total S&E articles. Field volume is in terms of whole counts, where each collaborating institutional author is assigned an entire count. SOURCE: National Science Foundation, NSF Science and Engineering Indicators 2004, Figure 5-37 (based on Appendix Tables 5-39 and 5-40). of chemistry. The spirit of the conferences encourages open, critical, and sometimes contentious discussion of cutting edge and unpublished research. Prominent researchers and young investigators alike are challenged to support their ideas. In the process, many friendships, collegial relationships, and collaborations develop.
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges FIGURE 4-2 Extent of international collaboration on U.S. S&E articles, by field, 1988 and 2001. NOTE: International collaboration is the number of U.S. articles with at least one non-U.S. coauthor as a share of the total number of U.S. articles. Field volume is in whole counts, where each institutional coauthor is assigned an entire count. SOURCES: Institute for Scientific Information, Science Citation Index and Social Sciences Citation Index; CHI Research, Inc.; and National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, special tabulations. See Appendix Tables 5-39 and 5-40. Fully Independent Investigators Compared to most countries, U.S. academic chemists have longer fully independent academic careers; they start earlier and end later than chemists in Europe and Japan. U.S. academic chemists typically begin their fully
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges independent careers as assistant professors in their late 20s or early 30s. This is often a highly creative period of a scientist’s career, and this early independence is a strength of U.S. chemistry. At the other end of their careers, U.S. academic chemists do not face a mandatory retirement age, as their counterparts in Japan and Europe do. Consequently, senior U.S. chemists, sometimes at the height of their careers, can continue to be productive into their late 60s and beyond, while their counterparts must retire. Mobility Across Academic Institutions U.S. chemistry is characterized by a great deal of mobility. The typical U.S. academic chemist receives undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral training at three different institutions and then begins an independent career as an assistant professor at a fourth university. This movement of students and new faculty around the country rapidly spreads new ideas and modes of operation. There is less mobility in Japan and most large European countries and much less in smaller nations, where the number of research universities is limited. CENTERS AND MAJOR FACILITIES Excellent physical laboratory space is an important factor facilitating chemistry research, and in the U.S., laboratory space provided to chemical researchers is generally of good quality. In addition, chemistry research typically requires instrumentation, and at times, major instruments or facilities, that can only be economically provided by national facilities. In addition, because chemistry operates at the interface with many other disciplines, chemists require specialized facilities (hardware, software) used by these disciplines. Therefore, the health and competitiveness of chemistry research depend on the health and availability of cutting-edge facilities at U.S. universities and national labs. Government- and university-sponsored centers and facilities provide significant support for research activities in the United States. The Office of Basic Energy Sciences at DOE funds and operates many major facilities of relevance to chemists. Several of these are highlighted below: synchrotron radiation light sources, high-flux neutron sources, and nanoscale science research centers. There are also many NSF-funded centers and facilities, but these tend to be used more heavily at the local university level or with nearby universities. However, some of these centers do span multiple universities and provide an invaluable resource at the national level (some examples are included below). Important international facilities are included in the lists when information is available. Some areas of chemistry often have great need for specialized facilities. For example, in macromolecular chemistry the physical characterization
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges of macromolecules requires access to specialized equipment for surface analysis, rheological analysis of flow properties, thermomechanical testing, tensile strength testing, electron microscopy, and scattering techniques. National centers of excellence including national laboratories (Sandia, Los Alamos, NIST) are essential to foster this interdisciplinary research field by providing access to specialized equipment for advanced studies. Modern analytical chemistry involves both the development of new instrumentation and the clever use of commercial instrumentation. Due to high costs, state-of-the-art commercial instrumentation has become less available in training labs and research universities. Some complex instrumental systems also require teams of professional scientists for optimal operation. Access to such equipment is often best made available by establishing centers, which then require special funding mechanisms for continued operation. The types of facilities of interest to chemistry research fall into the following broad categories: Light sources Scanning probe techniques Nuclear magnetic resonance Mass spectrometry Cyber-enabled chemistry Chemical biology Reactors and accelerators Light Sources Exploring basic and applied chemistry research often requires high-energy light sources—such as synchrotron and neutron sources. These are typically available only at national facilities, both in the United States and abroad. Examples of important synchrotron sources include the Advanced Light Source (ALS), Advanced Photon Source (APS), National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), and Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) in the United States; the Berliner Elektronenspeicherring-Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung (BESSY) in Germany and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France; and INDUS 1/INDUS 2 in India and the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC) in Taiwan.6 Examples of important neutron sources include the Spallation Neutron Source, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center in the United States; ISIS-Rutherford- 6 For a full list of worldwide synchrotron light sources, see http://www.lightsources.org/cms/?pid=1000098.
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges Appleton Laboratories in the United Kingdom; and the Hi-Flux Advanced Neutron Application Reactor in Korea.7 Scanning Probe Techniques Most research-intensive universities are well equipped with characterization techniques such as electron microscopy, electron and x-ray diffraction, and probe microscopy, which are used routinely to characterize small structures, small volumes, and thin films. However, the ability to characterize extremely small nanostructures or to tailor materials at an atomic level requires much more specialized equipment. The DOE is now in the process of opening five nanotechnology centers that will provide just such capabilities. Four are described here, and a fifth will be described in connection with its biological capabilities: The Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory (http://nano.anl.gov/index.html) will take advantage of the unique capabilities of Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source. APS’s hard x-rays, harnessed in a nanoprobe beamline, will provide unprecedented capabilities to characterize extremely small structures. The Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory (http://www.bnl.gov/cfn/) will provides state-of-the-art capabilities for the fabrication and study of nanoscale materials, with an emphasis on atomic-level tailoring to achieve desired properties and functions. The Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories (http://cint.lanl.gov) will feature low vibration for sensitive characterization, chemical/biological synthesis labs, and clean rooms for device integration. Sandia will focus on nanomaterials and microfabrication from the existing Integrated Materials Research Laboratory, while Los Alamos will focus on biosciences and nanomaterials. The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (http://www.cnms.ornl.gov/) will concentrate on synthesis, characterization, theory/ modeling/simulation, and design of nanoscale materials. The NSF also funds several related facilities, such as the Cornell Uni- 7 For a full list of worldwide neutron sources, see the NIST Center for Neutron Research at http://www.ncnr.nist.gov/nsources.html.
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges FIGURE 4-23 Federal obligations for total research, by related fields; FY 1984-2003. SOURCE: Science and Engineering 2006, Appendix Table 4-32. Over the years the principal sources of funding have been NSF, DOE, DOD, NIH, and, to a lesser extent, USDA. During the 1990s DOE became the largest contributor, reaching a maximum of $267 million in 1996. Starting in 2000, NIH has been the largest contributor as a result of the doubling of its budget. DOE remains a strong contributor to chemistry research. A comparison of DOE Basic Energy Sciences funding for core research areas in chemistry, geosciences, and biosciences is shown in Figure 4-25 and that for materials is shown in Figure 4-26. Between FY 2001 and FY 2005, there were large increases for catalysis and chemical transformations ($10 million) and materials chemistry ($16 million). As seen for total chemistry research support in Figure 4-24, support of academic chemistry research has shifted toward more reliance on NIH support (see Figure 4-27). Between 1993 and 2003, the NIH contribution to federal academic research obligations for chemistry increased from 27 to over 40 percent. The proportion of R&D funding for academic chemistry
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges FIGURE 4-24 Federal obligations for total chemistry research, by select agency FY 1970-2003. SOURCE: National Science Foundation, Federal Funds for R&D. research coming from NSF, DOD, and USDA decreased significantly over this period. What did the five year doubling of the NIH budget between 1998 and 2003 do for chemistry research supported by NIH? Examination of what happened at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), which is a major source of chemistry support (see Figure 4-28), provides some answers. The average size of an R01 grant increased from $150,000 to $190,000 in annual direct costs. Smaller, but significant, increases also occurred in the number of NIGMS investigators with more than one NIH grant (from 33 to 42 percent) and in the total number of grants (from 820 to 991) and investigators supported (from 3,599 to 4,111). In addition, the increased funds allowed NIGMS to make some substantial investments in high-field NMR spectrometers and synchrotron radiation facilities that serve a large number of investigators. The budget increases also allowed NIGMS to initiate several larger program, including the Protein Structure Initiative.
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges FIGURE 4-25 DOE Basic Energy Sciences funding for chemical, geological, and biological core research activities. SOURCE: http://www.er.doe.gov/bes/brochures/CRA.html. FIGURE 4-26 DOE Basic Energy Sciences funding for material science and engineering core research activities. SOURCE: http://www.er.doe.gov/bes/brochures/CRA.html.
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges FIGURE 4-27 Federal academic research obligations for chemistry provided by major agencies. SOURCE: Science and Engineering Indicators 2006, Appendix Table 5.09, and Science and Engineering Indicators 1996, Appendix Table 5.11. Because NIH is the largest supporter of chemistry research, the success rate of funding for new and continuing NIH grants and the annual variability of funding rates have both a financial and a psychological impact on U.S. chemistry. The likelihood of investigator-initiated unsolicited R01 research grant applications being funded for all of NIH since 1999 is shown in Table 4-2. The success rates presented are for the original type-1 (new) and type-2 (renewal) R01 applications and do not consider resubmissions. Revision and resubmission of initially rejected type-1 application improve the likelihood of eventual funding by a factor of approximately 2, with smaller increases for rejected type-2 grants. The likelihood of funding type-1 and type-2 applications reached a low point in fiscal year 1994: approximately 12 percent for type-1 applications and 37 percent for type-2 applications. Success rates then improved and peaked between FY 1999 and 2001. Despite the doubling of the entire NIH budget between FY 1999 and FY 2003, success rates, total number of grants awarded, and total dollars committed have dropped steadily since FY 2002. In FY 2005, the decline
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges FIGURE 4-28 NIH support for chemistry department programs by institute, 1985-2003. NOTES: NIBIB; National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NHLBI; National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute; NIAID, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; NCI, National Cancer Institute; NIDDKD, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; NIGMS, National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Chemistry department data include departments with titles such as pharmaceutical chemistry, medicinal chemistry, chemistry and chemical biology, and chemistry and biochemistry as well as departments of chemistry. SOURCE: National Institute of General Medical Sciences Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation compilation of chemistry department support based on data from the NIH IMPAC system. was precipitous to a success rate of 9 percent for type-1 applications and 32 percent for type-2 applications. Because the total NIH allocation for FY 2006 is less than the biomedical inflation index, a trend toward further diminished support of R01 applications is likely. While inclusion of the success of revised applications provides a somewhat less bleak picture, each revision of a type-1 application delays the initiation of innovative research by nearly a year; the slow, uncertain revision process causes anxiety and discouragement that often lead beginning investigators to reevaluate their career choice. For an ongoing type-2 research activity, rejection casts major doubt on eventual continuation and frequently results in the breakup of teams of highly trained personnel. The breakdown of funding for the divisions of the NSF Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate (MPS) is shown in Figure 4-29. The
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges TABLE 4-2 Fate of Unamended (Unsolicited) NIH R01 Research Grant Applications Fiscal Year Number Submitted Number Awarded Total $ Awarded (millions) Success Rate (%) Type-1 grants: new submissions 1999 8957 1761 456 19.7 2000 8626 1736 503 20.1 2001 8284 1590 501 19.2 2002 8560 1556 510 18.2 2003 9605 1477 493 15.4 2004 10624 1288 438 12.1 2005 10605 970 351 9.1 Type-2 grants: continuation (renewal) submissions 1999 3214 1772 554 55.1 2000 3233 1708 563 52.8 2001 3100 1637 583 52.8 2002 3153 1555 559 49.3 2003 3767 1697 627 45.0 2004 3773 1530 580 40.6 2005 3896 1262 496 32.4 Declines in Funding of NIH R01 Research Grants SOURCE: Mandel, H. G., and E. S. Vesell, 2006, Science 313(8):1387. FIGURE 4-29 NSF Math and Physical Sciences Directorate funding for divisions in millions of U.S. dollars: Materials Research (DMR), Physics (PHY), Chemistry (CHE), Mathematical Sciences (DMS), Astronomical Sciences (AST), and Multidisciplinary Activities (OMA). SOURCE: National Science Foundaton FY 2006 Budget Request, available at http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/ (accessed October 5, 2006).
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges Chemistry Division mainly supports chemistry research at academic institutions. Changes in funding for divisions at NSF are often related to special initiatives, such as the National Nanotechnology Initiative. Funding for mathematical sciences and astronomical sciences has overtaken funding for chemistry since 2000. The large increase in funding for mathematical sciences reflects a congressionally supported initiative to make mathematical sciences a priority area over a five-year period. The increase for astronomical sciences was related in part to an MPS initiative, “Physics of the Universe,” linked to an NRC report, Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos. The MPS budget request for 2007 (not shown in Figure 4-30) proposes an increase for the Chemistry Division related to an initiative on the molecular basis of life processes. The research proposal funding rate for NSF’s Chemistry Division is shown in Table 4-3. The funding or success rate for proposals is the total number of grant applications funded in a given fiscal year divided by the number of different grant applications that were peer reviewed. While the number of awards has remained fairly stable and the median annual size of awards increased between 1997 and 2005, the funding rate for awards has steadily decreased from 34 to 26 percent. (For similar data for CHE funding areas, see the appendix of this chapter.) SUMMARY U.S. research leadership in chemistry is the result of a combination of key factors, including a national instinct to respond to external challenges and to compete for leadership. TABLE 4-3 Research Proposal Funding Rate for NSF Chemistry Division, FY 1997-2005 FY No. of Proposals No. of Awards Funding Rate (%) Median Annual Size 2005 1,635 419 26 $126,333 2004 1,708 457 27 $114,083 2003 1,520 480 32 $115,000 2002 1,407 438 31 $107,000 2001 1,343 435 32 $108,000 2000 1,241 407 33 $109,950 1999 1,124 390 35 $101,453 1998 1,267 398 31 $105,000 1997 1,378 467 34 $92,887 SOURCE: NSF Budget Internet Information System, available at http://dellweb.bfa.nsf.gov/ (assessed October 6, 2006).
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges Over the years the United States has been a leader in innovation as a result of interactions with and support from a strong U.S. chemical industry. The wide range of funding sources for support of academic chemical research (including industry, multiple federal agencies, state initiatives, universities, and private foundations) facilitates innovative research. Key characteristics of the U.S. scientific culture that underlie current and future leadership in chemistry research include cross-sector collaborations and international partnerships, strong professional societies, early full independence of investigators, and mobility across academic institutions. Major centers and facilities provide key infrastructure and capabilities for conducting research and have provided the foundation for U.S. leadership. Key capabilities for chemistry research include advanced light sources, scanning probe instruments, supercomputers, very high field nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, advanced mass spectrometers, nuclear reactors and accelerators, and specialized facilities for chemical biology. There is increasingly strong competition for international S&E human resources. The United States has maintained a steady supply of Ph.D. chemistry graduates by increasingly relying on foreign-born students. Over time the number of U.S. students (particularly males) pursuing chemistry Ph.D. degrees has declined. Research funding for S&E overall and chemistry in particular has been steady, but an increasing percentage of support for U.S. chemical research is coming from NIH.
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges APPENDIX Research Proposal Funding Rate for NSF Chemistry Division Research Areas, FY 1997 to 2005 CHE Funding Areas FY Proposals Awards Funding Rate (%) Median Annual Size Analytical Separations and Measurements 2005 109 19 17 $124,333 2004 94 23 24 $120,000 2003 86 31 36 $100,000 2002 74 18 24 $102,382 2001 75 16 21 $124,880 2000 98 24 24 $115,978 1999 71 13 18 $122,800 1998 103 14 14 $78,125 1997 98 25 26 $74,750 Bimolecular Processes 2005 72 17 24 $150,000 2004 85 21 25 $112,540 2003 94 26 28 $132,885 2002 86 28 33 $100,516 2001 64 20 31 $121,260 2000 86 26 30 $110,150 1999 45 21 47 $117,550 1998 44 17 39 $102,000 1997 47 16 34 $97,414 Chemical Instrumentation 2005 134 37 28 $70,380 2004 141 33 23 $62,041 2003 99 28 28 $54,213 2002 107 28 26 $60,628 2001 93 30 32 $53,681 2000 131 41 31 $42,375 1999 129 44 34 $64,423 1998 112 43 38 $121,985 1997 255 80 31 $100,000 Chemistry Education 2005 93 4 4 $307,672 2004 145 27 19 $38,535 2003 8 5 63 $78,568 2002 8 4 50 $49,938 2001 5 4 80 $71,857 2000 4 2 50 $66,621 1999 3 3 100 $367,167 1997 1 1 100 $29,954
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges CHE Funding Areas FY Proposals Awards Funding Rate (%) Median Annual Size Electrochemistry and Surface Chemistry 2005 135 35 26 $126,667 2004 107 29 27 $142,333 2003 100 34 34 $122,000 2002 117 42 36 $119,637 2001 96 37 39 $121,333 2000 100 27 27 $127,113 1999 113 39 35 $108,571 1998 94 26 28 $128,078 1997 77 44 57 $96,724 Major Research Instrumentation 2005 121 39 32 $98,279 2004 106 41 39 $82,581 2003 124 46 37 $83,507 2002 125 42 34 $84,919 2001 138 54 39 $65,268 2000 57 17 30 $100,000 1999 46 18 39 $97,875 1998 54 12 22 $88,835 Materials Synthesis and Processing 2002 78 22 28 $120,000 2001 103 18 17 $126,385 2000 53 15 28 $120,000 1999 38 12 32 $103,140 1998 39 14 36 $110,300 1997 39 9 23 $96,250 Methodology 2005 118 27 23 $135,000 2004 110 34 31 $124,767 2003 111 38 34 $131,285 2002 82 30 37 $122,217 2001 71 29 41 $126,667 2000 65 24 37 $117,882 1999 41 18 44 $115,470 1998 92 34 37 $102,980 1997 94 35 37 $86,375 Nanoscale: Exploratory Research 2003 30 2 7 $100,000 2002 26 4 15 $69,500 2001 3 3 100 $95,000 Nanoscale: Intrdisciplinary Research 2005 21 1 5 $325,000 2004 22 1 5 $325,000 2003 29 1 3 $262,978 2002 28 2 7 $287,779 2001 28 2 7 $315,000
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The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges CHE Funding Areas FY Proposals Awards Funding Rate (%) Median Annual Size Nanoscale: Science and Engineering Center 2001 1 1 100 $3,295,000 Physical and Inorganic 2005 143 34 24 $136,500 2004 138 42 30 $124,833 2003 98 35 36 $113,000 2002 77 31 40 $120,000 2001 50 23 46 $148,233 2000 49 18 37 $125,000 1999 53 20 38 $126,933 1998 54 27 50 $130,000 1997 57 19 33 $112,667 SOURCE: NSF Budget Internet Information System available at http://dellweb.bfa.nsf.gov/ (assessed October 6, 2006).
Representative terms from entire chapter: