This award from the Division of Chemistry (CHE) supports the National Academy of Sciences (Ana M. Ferreras, Principal Investigator) to sponsor 15 young American crystallographers to attend the XXII Congress of the International Union of Crystallography. Crystallographers from around the world will be meeting at this Congress. Conferences like this give young scientists the opportunities to network, develop new collaborations, and share the latest research results in their field. The NAS will evaluate the impact of the award through a follow-up survey.

Young scientists need mentoring as they develop their independent careers. The opportunity provided through this award will allow 15 young crystallographers to interact with international leaders in their field. Crystallography is the study of the structure of molecules and materials. It is an important sub-discipline in chemistry, which provides scientists clues about aspects of molecular bonding that influence chemical and physical properties.

Project Report

U.S. Travel Grants for the XXII Congress of the International Union of Crystallography Madrid, Spain August 22-30, 2011 The U.S. National Committee for Crystallography (USNC/Cr) of the National Academies’ Board on International Scientific Organizations, in conjunction with the American Crystallographic Association (ACA), awarded fourteen travel fellowships to U.S. students and early career scientists to present their research the 22nd Congress of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) in Madrid, Spain. The Congress was held at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos, August 22-30, 2011. Funding for this travel award program was received from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the grant CHE 1118370. The travel awardees were able to share their research at the Congress, have a one-on-one mentoring experience, participate in the U.S.-Spain networking reception, and observe the IUCr General Assembly. The following objectives were pursued and reached: 1) supported early career U.S. crystallographers to share their research at the IUCr Congress, 2) provided opportunities for interaction between U.S. early career scientists and leading crystallographers, 3) provided a mentoring experience to every fellow, 4) exposed the fellows to new areas of crystallography research, 5) built a network of early career and senior U.S. crystallographers, 6) fostered international collaborations between U.S. crystallographers and international peers. The intellectual merit of this activity was to facilitate the attendance of early career U.S. scientists to the IUCr Congress, enabling them to be part of the largest international meeting for crystallographers. The U.S. travel awardees shared their latest research with international crystallographers, and were exposed to new ideas, research, and experiences, sowing the seeds for potential international collaborations. Overall, all the expected outcomes in the grant were attained: Expected Outcome: Increase the number of U.S. early career crystallographers sharing their research with international peers. Four more travel grants than in 2008 were awarded. Expected Outcome: Increase the number of interactions between early and senior career U.S. crystallographers. Both the mentoring dinner and the U.S.-Spain networking reception were held at the Congress. Expected Outcome: Assign a mentor per mentee before the IUCr Congress. Every travel awardee had a mentor by May 2011 at the ACA annual meeting. In fact, a small reception was held at the 2011 ACA to introduce the mentors to the mentees prior to the Congress. Expected Outcome: Increase the level of knowledge on a diverse set of crystallography topics, some of which are not often included in crystallography meetings in the United States. The U.S. early career scientists attended sessions on a variety of crystallography topics. Expected Outcome: Build a network of early career and senior U.S. crystallographers. A LinkedIn account was created after the Congress. Expected Outcome: Promote networking through involvement in the Congress at scientific sessions, poster discussions, and networking events. The USNC/Cr increased the number of networking opportunities for U.S. early career crystallographers.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Chemistry (CHE)
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Michelle Bushey
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National Academy of Sciences
United States
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