Email Print Share

Division of Chemistry Newsletter No. 6
February, 2005


NSF policy now requires annual updates on how the Division of Chemistry has responded to the recommendations in its most recent Committee of Visitors (COV) report. The report and initial response (2004) may be found at The January 2005 update can be found at The Division welcomes additional feedback from its community, which may be sent to


We invite you to meet and speak with NSF staff members and Mathematical and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee (MPSAC) members at a reception and town meeting to be held at the upcoming ACS National Meeting in San Diego. On Monday, March 14, 2005, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the San Diego Convention Center, Room 30 D/E, the following NSF staff members and MPSAC members will be available to meet with you informally: Shenda Baker, Don Burland, Ron Christensen, Luis Echegoyen, Art Ellis, Rich Foust, Joan Frye, Jean Futrell, Mostafa El-Sayed, Janice Hicks, Susan Hixson, George Janini, Raima Larter, Carl Lineberger, Lee Magid, Ty Mitchell, Kathy Parson, George Rubottom, and Frank Wodarczyk.

A town meeting will be held from noon until 1:00 p.m. as part of the reception. 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. Our website now includes nuggets submitted by principal investigators:

We will also preview an upcoming national on-line poster session of undergraduate research supported through the Division’s REU program.

Refreshments will be available at the reception.


The Division of Chemistry supported community workshops to explore opportunities associated with: Terahertz science (organizers Mark Sherwood, Phil Bucksbaum, and Charles Schmuttenmaer; co-supported by DOE and NIH); and Models of Thought Processes (organizer Irving Epstein; co-supported by four NSF directorates). Reports for these two workshops may be found at and

The Division will be exploring with the community initiatives in cyber-enabled chemistry. A workshop to help define cyber-related research and education opportunities was held (co-organizers Mark Gordon and Teresa Head-Gordon; co-supported by the Division of Shared Cyberinfrastructure). The workshop report is posted at

Undergraduate Research Centers (URCs) were discussed at a workshop (co-organizers Amy Shachter and Michael Doyle). The report is available at

A MPS workshop was held for the Approaches to Combat Terrorism program (organizer Héctor Abruña). The report may be found at

Three workshops were held to identify science drivers for the Molecular Basis of Life Processes, an MPS emphasis area in the FY2005 budget that the Division of Chemistry was asked to coordinate on behalf of the MPS Directorate. One of these workshop reports is now complete (co-organizers Jacquelyn Gervay-Hague and Jeffery Saven). This report also provides guidance on issues identified in the COV report (see above) on mentoring for applicants for CAREER awards and on mid-range instrumentation. The workshop report is posted at at

We thank the workshop organizers and workshop participants for their assistance.


We congratulate Raima Larter and Charles Pibel on becoming permanent program officers in the Division of Chemistry. Raima serves in the Theoretical and Computational Chemistry program and Charles in the Experimental Physical Chemistry program. Don Burland is stepping down as the Executive Officer in the Division of Chemistry, but will continue to serve the Division part-time as a Senior Advisor. Linda (Lee) Magid is serving as Interim Executive Officer while the Division conducts a national search for an Executive Officer (see below).

The Division of Chemistry welcomes Ronald Christensen, Walter Ermler, and Richard Foust as rotators (see below). Ron is from Bowdoin College and will assist the Special Projects Office and the Experimental Physical Chemistry program. Walter is based at George Mason University and is working with the Theoretical and Computational Chemistry program and the Special Projects Office. Rich is from Northern Arizona University and will assist the Special Projects Office. A complete listing of current staff may be found at

We thank Brian Tissue, who returns to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Carol Korzeniewski, who returns to Texas Tech University; and George Rubottom, who, as noted below, is moving to NSF’s EPSCoR Office as Senior Advisor. We thank Brian for his assistance with the Special Projects Office; Carol for her help with the Analytical and Surface Chemistry program; and George for his stewardship of the Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry program. The Division of Chemistry and the chemistry community have benefited greatly from Brian’s, Carol’s, and George’s contributions.

The Division of Chemistry asks you to consider serving as a program officer should your circumstances permit it, and to help us identify other individuals who might serve in this capacity. 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

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.

Information about current open rotational program officer positions can be found at

Applicants interested in rotational positions should send an email describing their interest and CV to Art Ellis at NSF is an equal opportunity employer committed to employing a highly qualified staff that reflects the diversity of our nation.


We wish George Rubottom farewell as he leaves the Division of Chemistry after 20 years of extraordinary service. George is joining NSF’s EPSCoR Office as a Senior Advisor. A mainstay of the Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry program since he arrived at NSF, in 1984, George has assisted many individuals at NSF and in the chemistry community, and he has contributed substantially to the advancement of basic research and education in the chemical sciences. The Division of Chemistry looks forward to continuing to work with George in his new position and wishes him continued success in his professional activities.


NSF’s Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) seeks candidates for Executive Officer of its Division of Chemistry. The Division supports basic research and education in the principal subdisciplines of chemistry and closely related areas, as described at Appointment to this Senior Executive Service position may be on a career basis, or on a 2-to-3 year limited term basis, with a salary range of $135,136 to $162,100. Assignment under Intergovernmental Personnel Act provisions is also possible.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent professional experience in chemistry or a related field, substantial research administration experience, and demonstrated leadership skills. Announcement S20050036, with position requirements and application procedures, is located on the NSF Home Page at, or can be obtained by calling NSF’s Executive Personnel staff at 703-292-8755 (Hearing impaired individuals may call TDD 703-292-8044). Applications must be received by March 18, 2005. NSF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Carl Lineberger is the new chair of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee (MPSAC). David Oxtoby, President of Pomona College, has joined the MPSAC. Other chemists who continue to serve on the MPSAC are Shenda Baker, Luis Echegoyen, Mostafa El-Sayed, and Jean Futrell. The MPSAC has organized workshops on cyberscience and on theory for MPS this past year. The MPSAC chemists are organizing a poster session to feature the broader impacts of NSF-supported projects that will be held in conjunction with the Fall, 2005, ACS national meeting in Washington, D.C.

Information about the MPSAC may be found at


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 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.


In order to receive NSF program announcements, vacancy announcements, newsletters or other information as soon as they are published, you can subscribe to MyNSF. You pre-select as many key words as you like; every time an NSF document containing one or more of your key words is published, you'll receive email notification with a link to the appropriate web page. For further information, please visit the MyNSF website: