Schrock Endowed Fellowship Fund in Chemistry


Chemistry Dept D01054


Graduate Student Support

Dr. Schrock was born in Berne, Indiana. His love of chemistry began at age 8, when his brother gave him a chemistry set. Dr. Schrock created a small laboratory in his mother's pantry, which he stocked with test tubes and flasks purchased from a mail-order catalog, using the earnings from his morning newspaper route. In 1959, Dr. Schrock's family moved to San Diego, where he attended Mission Bay High School and began his studies at UC Riverside where he obtained his B.A. degree in 1967. He attended graduate school at Harvard University, from where he received his Ph.D. degree in inorganic chemistry in 1971 (awarded 1972) as a student of J. A. Osborn. He spent one year as an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University working in the group of Lord Jack Lewis. In 1972 he was hired by Earl Muetterties of the Central Research and Development Department of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. After three years in the group of George Parshall he moved to M.I.T. in 1975 where he became full professor in 1980 and in 1989 the Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry. He received the ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry (1985), the Harrison Howe Award of the Rochester ACS section (1990), the ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry (1996), the Bailar Medal from the University of Illinois (1998), an ACS Cope Scholar Award (2001), the F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry (2006), the Theodore Richards Medal from the Northeast ACS section (2006), and the Basolo Medal from the Chicago ACS section (2007). In 2005 he received the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Medal from the German Chemical Society and shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Y. Chauvin and R. H. Grubbs. In 2014 he received the Paracelsus Prize from the Swiss Chemical Society and in 2017 the James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award from MIT. He has received honorary degrees from the Universities of Zaragoza, Rennes, Aachen, and St. Andrews. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society of London. He was Associate Editor of Organometallics for eight years, has published more than 620 research papers, and has supervised over 200 Ph.D. students and postdocs. He is the Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at MIT and the Distinguished Professor and George K. Helmkamp Founder’s Chair in Chemistry at the University of California, Riverside.

Schrock is perhaps best known as the discoverer of alpha hydrogen abstraction reactions in high
oxidation state metal alkyl complexes that yield high oxidation state "carbene" (alkylidene) and
"carbyne" (alkylidyne) complexes. High oxidation state alkylidene complexes ("Schrock carbenes")
are the active catalysts for the olefin metathesis reactions, and much effort has been expended in
learning how to design, synthesize, and control the activity of olefin metathesis catalysts. Schrock also showed that alkylidyne complexes (again high oxidation state) were the active species in the acetylene metathesis reaction, and that alkylidynes could be prepared in a reaction between metal-metal triple bonds and acetylenes. His interests include kinetic and mechanistic studies of high oxidation state early transition metal organometallic species, as well as the development of molybdenum and tungsten catalysts for metathesis reactions of relevance to organic synthesis. He also is active in studies concerned with the ring-opening-metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of cyclic olefins. Finally, he was the first to show that molecular nitrogen could be reduced catalytically to ammonia under mild conditions by a molybdenum catalyst using protons and electrons.

Fund Purpose: This Fund shall be used to reward outstanding Ph.D. graduate students in Chemistry with a preference being given to students in Inorganic Chemistry. It shall be called the Schrock Fellowship.

Criteria and Selection Process
The selection process for the Schrock Fellowship shall be administered by the Chemistry Department Scholarship Committee annually. The selection process will begin with an application process whereby Ph.D. graduate students submit a one-page research statement; a one-page curriculum vitae; and a line-item budget. The award shall be used to provide research support for one or more students who meets the following criteria:

1. Must be making acceptable progress toward a degree in Chemistry. Acceptable progress for a Ph.D. student means student must be advanced to candidacy within 12 quarters after entry and must complete the degree by the normative time to degree for the particular program plus one year.

2. Students have demonstrated high academic performance by virtue of a G.P.A. of at least 3.0.

In years when there is no candidate who meets the criteria, awards will be held until the following year.

Eff: 04/30/22 - True endowment converted from endowment intent #6I0137.