Write an original, well-organized, and thought-out research proposal ( 15 double-spaced pages with 1 inch margins on each side and 1 inch margins at the top and the bottom of each page) on any topic in polymer chemistry (if you hand in a proposal with less than 13 pages or more than 17 pages, 10% of the grade will be deducted per missing or added page). You have to follow NSF proposal guidelines (use the ACS [American Chemical Society] template for ChemDraws!). This proposal is worth 1000 points. It should be a description of an experiment or project that has not yet been reported in the scientific literature. 


The detailed guidelines can be found at the National Science Foundation website (http://www.nsf.gov/) by searching for the ‘grant proposal guide’. This proposal is worth 1000 points. You have to use the format outlined in the ACS style guide (references, ChemDraw figures, and schemes). You can also find the general ACS style in the first issue of every year of every ACS journal under ‘Notice to Authors’. If you DO NOT use the ACS style guide, 10% of the maximum points (i.e.,100 points) will be deducted automatically.


You can propose any topic as long as it relates to Polymer Chemistry and the topic should be very specific not broad. (I proposed the topic: A Study on the Effects of Micro-Sized Titanium Dioxide Fillers on the Thermal Characteristic of Polypropylene and Epoxy)


Use only primary literature for the sources. Failure to do so will  result in an automatic F in the class. Do not use secondary literature (review articles, thesis papers, dissertations & books) and tertiary literature (textbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks). The following key journals are examples of primary literature  that contain very useful sources: Science, Nature, Macromolecules, Angewandte Chemie, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Chemistry: A European Journal, Chemical and Engineering News, Accounts of Chemical Research, Chemical Reviews, Chemical Science, Macromolecular Chemistry, Journal of Polymer Science, Polymer Chemistry, Chemistry of Materials, Advanced Materials, Nature Materials, Journal of Materials Chemistry, and reports from meetings and symposia.


A good research proposal includes the following basic elements: it addresses a specific research question/problem; succinctly reviews prior work in the field and states how your research fits into this context but also how it will distinguish your work from what has been done so far; describes how you will carry out the work (the “experimental part”) in detail (however, basic synthetic chemistry should not be described); why it should work while acknowledging any experimental difficulties that you anticipate; and a list of relevant references. Furthermore, you should indicate what will be learned if the experiment does not work and outline general, alternative approaches to the achievement of the ultimate goal of your project.