Chemical Sciences). More extensive involvement of non-DOE funded (and non-US) participants would infuse new perspectives and allow a less conflicted set of recommendations.
Mechanisms should be put in place for Program Managers to attend scientific meetings, together with more travel funds, to make the Program Managers more visible and involved in science that they manage, as well as expose them to new thrusts.
A more transparent reporting should be provided the COV for each PI’s funding for DOE national lab-university PI’s, consistent with that for university PI’s not affiliated with a DOE national lab.
(b) the national and international standing of the portfolio elements
The DOE CCT program is the nation’s leading program in catalysis, well represented with national and international awards, ACS awards, National Academy of Sciences memberships, etc.
For technologically driven research aimed at bringing science to the marketplace, the desirability of multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary funding is well recognized. However, the field of chemical sciences still finds a unique place for the single investigator grant. Through the commitment of time, unfettered by negotiation and administration of a collaborative effort, can a chemist devote the single-minded concentration necessary to perceive, plan, pursue, and solve a problem of singular significance.
Regarding the level of funding of single investigators, funding at the level currently offered through the DOE BES program for single investigator grants poses a significant risk to the maintenance of the excellence that the program has enjoyed. Ideally, funding should allow for the support of at least two, and preferably three persons (post-doctoral or graduate students) per year if the program is going to attract and retain the best PI’s. Failure to maintain this level of support will lead to a natural attrition of the very best PI’s as they could seek more substantial funding elsewhere. This could lead ultimately to a lessening of the impact of the science accomplished within BES.