FAQs on the Project Submission and Approval Process


In January 2000, IUPAC implemented a new system for the submission and initiation of projects. Only after a proposal is reviewed in detail and approved by a Division Committee or Standing Committee are funds made available to the task group formed to carry out the project.

The sequence can be summarized as Ideas > Proposal > Review > Resources > Task Group > Project

The project-driven system permits IUPAC to address problems quickly, to provide funds where needed to expedite completion, and most importantly to seek ideas more broadly and of great importance within IUPAC’s scope.

To find out if your idea fits the general criteria and it is worth submitting a proposal, see the followings frequently asked questions:

What is a suitable IUPAC project?

IUPAC’s role involves international chemistry. Traditional projects include the international standardization of nomenclature and terminology, publication of glossaries in particular fields, setting standards for presentation of spectral and other data, establishing uniform scales for quantities such as pH, forging agreement on analytical methods, and a host of similar matters. Other IUPAC projects are directed at compilation and evaluation of quantitative (usually numeric) data in areas where there are international needs, such as thermodynamics, kinetics, metabolism, etc.

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Who can submit a project?

Anyone or any group may submit a project, whether or not they are currently members of an IUPAC body.

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What does a project submission consist of?

Form and Guidelines are available as text file and accessible on-line. Please note that the form shown is an outline; it is quite concise, and it is expected that supporting material will be included as necessary.

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Where should the project submission forms be sent?

All forms and supporting material should be sent to the IUPAC Secretariat at the following e-mail address: secretariat@iupac.org or by mail to: P.O. Box 13757, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA 27709-3757 or by fax to: +1 919 485 8706.

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Who will review the project submission form or proposal?

Each Division Committee and Standing Committee will review projects relevant to its area of interest. Interdivisional projects will be reviewed by all Division Committees or Standing Committees judged to be relevant.

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What will the review process consist of?

After a project proposal is received by the Secretariat, it will be sent to the appropriate Division or Standing Committee(s). After a brief initial review for relevance, the Committee will instruct the Secretariat to distribute the project material to at least three outside referees. When the referees’ reports are received by the Secretariat, they will be sent (anonymously) to the project submitter for comment. The referees’ reports and the comments from the submitter will then be returned to the Division or Standing Committee for action. Projects approved by a Division Committee will usually be funded from the Division budget. However, projects that are interdivisional in subject matter or that require additional resources will be referred to the Project Committee for final decision.

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How much time will be needed for this review process?

In general, the review process should be completed in four months. In cases where questions arise or funds are not immediately available, approval and funding may take longer.

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When can projects be submitted?

Projects can be submitted at any time, and project reviews occur continuously; there is no set time for submission of projects. Funds will be available as soon as a funding decision has been made.

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How long should a project take?

Projects should be for whatever period is necessary to complete the objectives of the project. Few projects will probably be for less than 12 months and few should be longer than three years. There is no need to fit the time frame of a project into the biennial period defined by IUPAC General Assemblies.

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Who can work on a project?

The project leader chooses the Task Group for the project. These need not be scientists who are currently members of an IUPAC body. During the review process the Division or Standing Committee may occasionally recommend additional members to augment expertise or broaden geographic representation. In addition, IUPAC’s National Adhering Organizations are notified of approved projects and may suggest scientists that the task group chairman can consider adding to the task group.

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What is the amount of funding available for a project?

While there is no limit to the size of a project, it is expected that most projects will be funded for less than USD 5000.

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What can project funds be used for?

Project funds can be used for travel, administrative costs such as word processing, printing, programming or any other expenses necessary for completion of the objectives of the project. Since funds are limited, every effort should be made to utilize electronic communications in lieu of meetings of the task group. In view of the modern means of electronic communication, overhead expenses are expected to be minimal. Please note that IUPAC projects are not intended to be original research projects and the cost of new research work should not be a part of the project costs.

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