Grant-in-Aid Program

In order to ensure the ongoing high quality of data in its databases and to have a source of important new materials, ICDD offers a Grant-in-Aid Program. This encourages scientists working with new materials to obtain high-quality diffraction data and to submit these data to ICDD for inclusion in the Powder Diffraction File and subsequent publications. Grant-in-Aid (GiA) funding is open to all qualified workers in the X-ray diffraction field. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. A screening committee composed of ICDD members is in place to review grant proposals, and ICDD personnel provide technical assistance and administer the program.

One of the main objectives of the ICDD Grant-in-Aid Program is to provide high-quality diffraction data on materials new to the PDF that have industrial or regulatory significance. The success of the Grant-in-Aid Program can be seen by the steady rise in the percentage of high-quality (star) entries as the collective experience level of the grantees has increased with time. More than 85% of all GiA patterns published are star quality. Through the grant process, semiconductor materials, electronic materials, pharmaceuticals and catalysts have been targeted for inclusion and added to the PDF database. Many of the ICDD’s Technical Subcommittee task groups review data in the PDF and recommend target materials for study. Users of the database are also welcome to suggest target materials. Many of the materials in the PDF are a direct result from past member and user suggestions. The Editor-in-Chief compiles a list of desired new materials submitted by the task groups. A grantee can either propose a list of materials for study or get high-priority candidates suggested by the Editor-in-Chief.

The program is international. The duration of a Grant-in-Aid is 12 months with two cycles per year. Cycle I begins 1 April and Cycle II begins 1 October.

Grant-in-Aid Web Processes
An automated Internet process has been developed and implemented. That allows submission and critical reviews of grant proposals through the Internet. One advantage of this process is that proposed materials can be prescreened by grantees, prior to grant submission, by checking an online listing of the hundreds of thousands of materials currently published in the PDF and the tens of thousands of materials being processed at any given time in the editorial system. To avoid duplication, the grantees are urged to check their proposed compounds by a Chemical and Element Search link before submitting their new proposals. This link is updated by the ICDD Science Department twice a year, in December and June, synchronized with the two yearly grant cycles.
Another advantage of this system is that the Grant-in-Aid Committee can remotely perform reviews and discuss proposals through a combination of Internet correspondence and conference calls. Proposals, principle investigator CVs, and prior publication records are available for review by the committee. This allows the committee to be composed of international expert members, corresponding from different countries and continents of the world. Reviews are done remotely over a period of several weeks.

The review meetings have transitioned to a conference call discussion of reviewer findings and results. The transformation of this process was essential for ICDD to keep pace with the large size of the database and to take advantage of international expertise for grant submission and critical evaluation.

Learn more about Grant-in-Aid (English)