The Union has approved a uniform system for the submission and approval of projects for funding by IUPAC.

In most cases, funding decisions will be made by the relevant Division. However, funding decisions will be made by the Project Committee for:

  • projects supported by a Standing Committee
  • interdivisional projects
  • projects beyond the Divisional budget

The following procedure describes the new project review steps, in the order in which they occur in practice.


  1. Internal evaluation and identification of outside reviewers
  2. Distribution to the outside reviewers and gathering of the reviews
  3. Communication of the reviews to the Division(s) or Standing Committee(s) for final decision or recommendation to the Project Committee
  4. Consideration and action by the Project Committee (when applicable)
  5. Responsibility for project management

1. Receipt at the secretariat

The Secretariat will review each project proposal to ensure that it is properly completed, and that no questions have been left out. Completeness of the Outcome, Dissemination Plan, and Suggested Referees sections will be particularly examined.

Based on the information provided in the proposal, the Secretariat will identify the relevant IUPAC Body(ies), i.e. the Division(s) or Standing Committee(s) that should review and supervise this project. In case of ambiguity, the Secretariat will consult with the Secretary General.

2. Internal evaluation and identification of the outside reviewers

Each proposal is distributed to the relevant IUPAC Body(ies) for an initial evaluation and identification of the outside reviewers.

The Secretariat will send the proposal to the Projects Coordinator of each relevant Division and Standing Committee [to the Division President or Committee Chairman in the absence of a designated Coordinator]. The Coordinator is asked to respond to the Secretariat on two questions:

  • Is the proposal of potentially sufficient interest to warrant undertaking an outside review?
  • If so, from whom should reviews be sought?

The response is to be sent to the Secretariat within two weeks if feasible.

Concurrently the proposal will be sent to the Committee on Chemistry and Industry to suggest possible relevance to the chemical industry. If the project outcome is a publication (printed or electronic), the project will be distributed to one member of the Committee on Printed and Electronic Publication (CPEP), who will express his/her opinion on the proposed Outcome and Dissemination Plan.

The conclusion of this internal review can be one of the following:

  1. The proposal is complete and satisfactory to the Projects Coordinator. The proposal can be sent by the Secretariat to the outside reviewers.
  2. The proposal needs revision. Direct communication between the Projects Coordinator and the submitter (cc Secretariat) will follow until a revised proposal is satisfactory. The outside review procedure will then be initiated at the Secretariat.
  3. The proposal is considered inadequate. The review process ends at this point.


1. If one of the submitters is the Division President, the Vice President will fulfill his/her function.

2. Advice for Project Reviewers includes a number of items on which the outside reviewers are asked to give their opinion. Division and Standing Committee Members are strongly recommended to take into account during their internal evaluation the same items. An overall assessment should include not only the scientific aspects of the project but also its relevance to the Goals and Strategic Thrusts of IUPAC.

3. The outside reviewers assigned by the Division or Standing Committee should be experts in the field, and in general be chosen so as to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.

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3. Distribution to the outside reviewers and gathering of the reviews

The Secretariat distributes the proposal to outside reviewers without mentioning the names of the other referees. The proposal is sent together with a copy of the Advice for Project Reviewers, by electronic means whenever possible, and a reply is expected within a month of distribution. The names of the referees will be disclosed only to the members of the funding body(ies) but not to the submitter.

4. Communication of the reviews to the division(s) or standing committee(s) for final decision or recommendation to the project committee

The reviews are collected at the Secretariat and forwarded to the submitter, with a copy to the Projects Coordinators. The submitter is given the opportunity to respond to the outside reviews if he/she so wishes, within two weeks.

At this stage, the Projects Coordinator can ask to have the reviews distributed to the Committee, refer the matter to the Division President or Committee Chairman, or decide on the behalf of the Committee.

Three outcomes are possible:

  1. Disapproval. This decision normally terminates consideration of the proposal but does not preclude submission of a modified proposal on the same subject.
  2. Approval, with funding by the Division. In some instances, as arranged individually, a possible contribution by another Division could be provided.
  3. Approval in principle, with referral to the Project Committee. This option should be chosen only when the proposal is an interdisciplinary project, or when the funding required is over the Division limit/budget. The Division should explain and justify this recommendation. A proposal that is supported by a Standing Committee is normally referred to the Project Committee for a funding decision.

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5. Consideration and action by the project committee (when applicable)

When referral is made to the Project Committee, assessments from each of the relevant bodies will be forwarded to the Project Committee, together with the proposal and the reviewers’ comments.

While reviewing a project proposal, the Project Committee may obtain additional reviews when necessary or consult with the referring Division/Standing Committee for clarification. If no additional information is required, the Committee expects to come to a decision within three weeks.

6. Notification of IUPAC’s decision to the submitter

The Secretary General will notify the submitter of the decision on behalf of the IUPAC body responsible for that project.

7. Responsibility for project management

Subsequent project management is the responsibility of the appropriate Division Committee or Standing Committee. For interdisciplinary projects supported by more than one IUPAC body, mutually satisfactory arrangements should be made to ensure a clear line of authority and responsibility for project management.

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