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ACS green chemistry summer school accepting applications

The 2023 session in Golden, Colorado, will mark 20 years since the program’s founding

by Alexandra A. Taylor
December 23, 2022

A photo of a group of students on the Colorado School of Mines campus.
Credit: ACS Green Chemistry Institute
The 2022 summer school class poses on the Colorado School of Mines campus

The American Chemical Society Summer School on Green Chemistry & Sustainable Energy is open for applications. The weeklong program at the Colorado School of Mines brings together about 60 graduate students from throughout the Americas for sustainable chemistry lectures, discussions, poster presentations, and networking.

This summer will mark 20 years since the program’s founding in 2003. Throughout its history the program has been held in Pittsburgh; Washington, DC; and Mexico City, and at Royal Victoria College and McGill University. Since 2012, the program has been centered at the Colorado School of Mines, with a 2 year break because of the pandemic (in 2021 the program was held virtually).

ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry & Sustainable Energy by the numbers

The program will celebrate 20 years in 2023

The program accepts about 60 students per year

More than 1,100 students have attended in total

Students have come from 13 countries, more than half of which are in South America

Students have come from 230 universities and institutions

The school covers a wide swath of topics, ranging from scientific (for example, toxicology, green nanoscience, and biocatalysis) to practical (for example, how to write a competitive research grant). The week features lectures from professors and industry scientists and concludes with a white water rafting trip.

This month, the ACS board approved a nearly $500,000 investment in the summer school and the Lasting Encounters between Aspiring and Distinguished Scientists (LEADS) Conference, a 3-day event meant to prepare talented early career professionals and students for high-impact careers in chemistry. The investment will be used to integrate and enhance both programs.

Here are some reflections on the summer school from past participants:

“The way it shapes our students, at this key moment in their career . . . is essential to ensure green chemistry is ingrained in their thought process, whether they pick academia, private, or public sector as careers.”—Audrey Moores, professor of chemistry, McGill University

“I met colleagues who are still friends and mentors more than 10 years on; at the time we were mostly graduate students, but now we are leaders of new sustainability-centered academic programs; electronics, apparel, and other companies with global impact; and in government and policy roles.”—Heather Buckley, professor of civil engineering, University of Victoria

“The technical information I gained from the program was valuable, but the thing that stands out most was the chance to meet and build connections with like-minded, sustainability-focused chemists and engineers from around the world.”—Laura Hoch, material innovation engineer, Patagonia

ACS, the Petroleum Research Fund, and the Green Chemistry Institute will cover all program and travel costs. The application deadline is Jan. 30, 2023. To learn more and apply, visit



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