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The goal of this annual symposium is to highlight and provide a forum for postdocs working in polymeric materials that are applying to academic positions during that year (i.e., for appointments beginning the next year). The two-day PMSE symposium is held during the Fall National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (location changes annually). The symposium features oral presentations by talented postdocs who have made significant contributions to their respective fields within polymer materials science and engineering (e.g., synthesis, processing, characterization, physics and engineering of polymeric materials.

The 2021 Symposium will be held at the Spring 2022 ACS Meeting.


Selected “PMSE Future Faculty Scholars” will each provide a technical talk describing past research and briefly mention their future research interests. Additionally, they will be invited to participate in a networking reception with one another, keynote speakers, and selected invited guests from academia and other sectors. The PMSE Young Polymer Scientists and Engineering Committee provides oversight to the coordination of the symposium.

All selected participants and speakers are responsible for costs associated with conference travel and registration. Selected scholars must submit their abstracts through the ACS system by the deadline and register for the meeting.


The inaugural symposium was held at the Fall 2018 National ACS Meeting in Boston and featured 22 Future Faculty Scholars, as well as keynote talks delivered by established leaders in the field of polymer science and engineering applying for and starting jobs in academia.


Postdocs working at PhD-granting institutions will be selected as “PMSE Future Faculty Scholars”. Individuals from underrepresented groups are highly encouraged to apply. It is generally expected that nominees are applying for faculty positions within 12 months of the award symposium.

Nomination Process

Deadline for Application

2022 nominations are open between January 1 and February 11.


Postdocs will be selected as “PMSE Future Faculty Scholars” following a nomination process. The candidate’s research must align within the themes of the PMSE division. Nominations are to be made by a research mentor (postdoc or PhD advisor). The nomination package consists of a single PDF containing the following items, in this order:

  1. nomination letter from the mentor (1-2 pages)
  2. Title/abstract of the tentative presentation (abstract ~ 300 words)
  3. Brief bio, similar to faculty department biography (up to 250 words)
  4. Cover letter highlighting research plans and teaching interest/philosophy, similar scope and structure to faculty applications (1 page)
  5. Complete CV, particularly in the format suitable for a faculty search application

The nominating mentor should send the pdf to the Fall 2022 organizers (noted below for a given year) with the subject line reading: “Candidate Name/FFS Nomination”.  Nominations may be sent to the current organizers, Emily Pentzer [Chair] (Texas A&M), Laura Bradley (U Mass Amherst), and Chris Soles (NIST) at

Selection Process

Selection of PMSE Future Faculty Scholars will be made by organizers & ad hoc members of the selection committee based on information provided in the nomination package, including research innovation and productivity during both PhD and postdoc, demonstrated commitment to an academic career (research, teaching, service), and enthusiasm of mentor nomination letter.

2022 Future Faculty Scholars (Chicago, IL)

Past Future Faculty Scholars

Universities represent affiliations at the time of the conference

Fall 2021 (Held San Diego 2022)

AJ Boydston (University of Wisconsin)
Will Gutekunst (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Megan Robertson (University of Houston)

PMSE Future Faculty Symposium Guest Speakers
Rachel Segalman (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Theresa Reineke (University of Minnesota)

PMSE Future Faculty Scholars

Fall 2020 (San Francisco / Virtual)

Davita Watkins (University of Mississippi)
AJ Boydston (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

PMSE Future Faculty Symposium Guest Speakers

PMSE Future Faculty Scholars

Fall 2019 (San Diego)

Emily Pentzer (Texas A&M University)
Cole DeForest (University of Washington)

PMSE Future Faculty Symposium Keynote Speakers

PMSE Future Faculty Scholars

Fall 2018 (Boston)


Luis Campos (Columbia)
Melissa Grunlan (Texas A&M)
Julie Jessop (Mississippi State)

PMSE Future Faculty Symposium Keynote Speakers

PMSE Future Faculty Scholars