ACS INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES UPDATE
WILLIAM F. CARROLL JR., CHAIR, JOINT BOARD-COUNCIL COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES
The International Activities Committee (IAC) would like to tell you about an opportunity and also to ask your assistance. In addition to our responsibilities to interact with other chemical societies and to monitor the scientific freedom and human rights of chemists in less tolerant places, we work to advance the chemical sciences in lesser developed countries and those with economies in transition to full development. We have two new projects to report pursuant to this responsibility.
We work to provide services that create value for ACS members, for the society, and for society at large. We do so by facilitating global collaboration of chemists where a local infrastructure exists, and by helping to create that infrastructure where it does not exist.
INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES, VERSION 2.0. After the fall of the Soviet bloc, the International Initiatives (II) program was established to foster scientific exchange between the U.S. and countries in Central Europe and Latin America. To qualify for a travel grant (up to $2,500) under II, a scientist from an eligible country must identify and obtain invitations from two laboratories in the U.S. for short visits and collaboration. In addition, the scientist must receive the endorsement of the local chemical society.
The world has changed since 1991. Travel and scientific collaboration are generally easier, and the state of laboratory development in the II-eligible countries has advanced markedly. Thus, the II Steering Committee noted that there might be similar benefits in fostering visits by U.S. chemists to laboratories in those countries.
So, to that end, we are announcing that up to three of the approximately 14 small grants (up to $2,500) awarded annually will be reserved for U.S. scientists to visit laboratories in selected countries in Central Europe and the Americas. The selection committee has a preference to support early-career scientists, especially postdocs or pretenure faculty. It is important to show not just how the recipient will benefit from the grant, but how the hosting laboratories will profit as well.
A full list of the countries and the application process can be found on the American Chemical Society website (http://www.chemistry.org) in the International Activities area. Grants are awarded semiannually; applications are due by Sept. 30 and March 31 of each year.
GLOBAL INSTRUMENT PARTNERS. Recently, a colleague in South America noted that some researchers in that region have difficulty accessing advanced instrumental methods. She asked committee member Ernest L. Eliel of the University of North Carolina if there was a way ACS could help. From that suggestion, Eliel's advocacy, and the good work of the staff of the Office of International Activities is born a new program called "Global Instrument Partners."
Under this program, ACS is creating a bulletin board on the chemistry.org website. The bulletin board contains a list of North American researchers who have advanced analytical capability and who would like to collaborate with researchers in need of that capability in Latin America.
Here's how it works: A researcher with a need can search the bulletin board to find a colleague with appropriate resources who is willing to collaborate. The listings on the bulletin board include the instrumental capability offered, any limits the provider might choose to place on the availability of the instrumentation, and any requirements for remuneration (which could range from nothing to publication acknowledgment, coauthorship, or a nominal fee). The scientist in need initiates contact, and the two researchers negotiate their collaboration.
Currently, we have enlisted some 10 U.S. researchers as participants, and we are asking for your help. We hope to find other North American scientists with analytical instrumentation capability who want an opportunity to collaborate with other scientists in relatively more remote areas of the Americas.
In order to sign up--and you are welcome to set your own limits for the extent of your participation--please contact Eliel (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Office of International Activities via John M. Malin (email@example.com) at ACS. While this pilot is initially targeted for the Americas, we hope to find it successful enough to broaden it to other regions.
At IAC, we are in the business of building international bridges. We work to provide services that create value for ACS members, for the society, and for society at large. We do so by facilitating global collaboration of chemists where a local infrastructure exists, and by helping to create that infrastructure where it does not exist. IAC spent 2002 "dreaming big" while focusing on our value goals. We are already at work developing more innovative programs for 2003 and beyond, and you have my commitment to keep you posted on our progress.
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