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Not available for Year 5: 2010-2011

Consumer Health Subcontract

Request for Proposals

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Greater Midwest Region (NN/LM GMR), under contract with the National Library of Medicine (NLM), announces the availability of Consumer Health Subcontracts at two funding levels: larger subcontracts (2) for up to $40,000 and smaller subcontracts (2) for up to $14,000. Proposals not funded may be resubmitted in subsequent years.

The subcontract for up to $40,000 is available for an institution to partner with one or more community organizations to provide outreach to health care consumers. The smaller subcontract for up to $14,000 is available for smaller scaled projects. Community partnerships are encouraged but not required for the smaller awards. If you have questions or require assistance, contact Samanthi Hewakapuge, Consumer Health Coordinator. Email Samanthi or send an email to Graphic of email address. Subcontract recipients will be publicized on the GMR website, GMRLIST and/or in The Cornflower, the GMR blog.


The primary purpose of Consumer Health Subcontracts is to ensure that health care consumers and the public are aware of and have access to high quality electronic information resources to make informed health care decisions. Priority will be given to projects that address the needs of minorities and underserved populations.

Outreach can take various forms depending on the needs of the target audience: promoting awareness of relevant health information resources at the regional, state, and local level through presentations, demonstrations, and exhibits; linking individuals and organizations with a National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) member for backup assistance in locating hard to find information; obtaining the full text of journal articles; teaching how to search the Internet for reliable and authoritative health information; demonstrating and teaching the use of MedlinePlus and other NLM consumer-focused resources to obtain health information; and developing links to local, state and regional health-related information to enhance what is available in MedlinePlus for consumers.


Proposals will be accepted from NN/LM GMR Full and Affiliate Members.

Technical Requirements

NLM, through the NN/LM GMR, is especially interested in promoting multitype library partnerships and partnerships between libraries and community-based organizations with the goal of improving public access to health information through a variety of mechanisms. Priority will be given to applicants who have established or plan to establish partnerships with local organizations such as community or tribal colleges, public, school or state libraries, community organizations, health information resource centers, faith-based organizations, health advocacy groups, and/or self-help groups in order to assess the consumer health information needs of the public, and to plan appropriate outreach programs to meet those needs. High priority populations for this RFP include seniors, minorities, and low-income healthcare consumers, as well as health professionals who need consumer health information to work with these populations.

For training projects, applicants are expected to use or adapt existing training materials before developing new materials. Applicants are encouraged to consult the training materials available in the NN/LM National Training Center and Clearinghouse. External Link Indicator If other training materials are used, they should be registered in the Clearinghouse.

Proposed projects should include one or more of the following elements:

  • Library services: These could include arrangements for backup reference service, consultation on researching difficult questions, provision of document delivery, advice on collection development, training, assistance in searching and other cooperative activities.
  • Training:
    • Training staff of targeted organizations to search MedlinePlus and other NLM resources;
    • Training staff of targeted organizations to identify, access, retrieve, evaluate, and use relevant print and electronic consumer health information resources and services;
    • Training staff of targeted organizations to provide health information services to consumers, including conducting the reference interview, understanding basic medical terminology, and obtaining full text of articles not available in their collection;
    • Training staff of targeted organizations to train others to provide consumer health information services;
    • Training groups of consumers to locate and evaluate sources of health information on the Internet;
    • Training groups of health professionals to locate accurate, authoritative sources of health information on the Internet and to use MedlinePlus and other NLM consumer-focused resources;
  • Web site development:
    • Developing interactive Web-based training in the use of MedlinePlus and other NLM resources;
    • Providing tips on how to locate and evaluate consumer health information resources and to develop consumer health information services.
    • Developing web pages that provide links to regional, state and local consumer health information resources and services.
  • Promoting NLM and NN/LM products:
    • Promoting NLM and NN/LM products and services, as well as other appropriate health information resources and services;
    • Exhibiting, demonstrating or making presentations at meetings of appropriate groups to reach the public, health professionals or organizations providing them with consumer health information.

Technical Proposal Instructions

A detailed plan must be submitted indicating how the statement of work will be implemented. All elements outlined in the Statement of Work must be addressed in as much detail as necessary to demonstrate a clear understanding of the work being undertaken.

Please prepare your Technical Proposal according to the following outline:

Title Page

  • Title of the project
  • Date of submission
  • Name of the library and institution
  • Name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address of the primary contact
  • LIBID of the library

Mandatory Qualification Criteria for the Lead Institution (separate page)

Please check the appropriate answer to each of the following statements.

The lead institution is an NN/LM GMR Full Member (DOCLINE® participant).
___Yes ___ NO

The lead institution is an NN/LM Affiliate Member.
___Yes ___ NO

The lead institution has a library with a health sciences collection.
___Yes ___ NO

The lead institution is willing to provide document delivery and backup reference service to the targeted institutions or communities for the duration of the project.
___Yes ___ NO

The lead institution has the ability to set up an account for the project and obtain the project funds from the NN/LM GMR on a cost-reimbursement basis.
___Yes ___ NO

Statement of Work

The statement of work will include technical requirements and specific tasks. Project descriptions are expected to be succinct. The statement of work must address the following:

I. Summary

A one paragraph summary statement of the project.

II. Introduction and Background

III. Identification of Need and Description of Target Population

Identify the target populations and geographic areas to be covered. Describe the information needs of the target populations and how you determined those needs. If a needs assessment was conducted for this population, attach a copy of the needs assessment tool and describe the results of the assessment. Explain how the project will impact the target population and estimate what percentage of the target population will be reached through this project.

Indicate the rationale for the project and its relationship to comparable work elsewhere, if known. Review pertinent work already published and relate it to the proposed approach. Explain how the proposed project will improve the public's access to health information or the health professionals' access to consumer health information.

IV. Partnerships (Optional for Smaller Subcontracts)

Identify the specific libraries and organizations participating in the project; explain who will carry out the project, and who will be receiving the services. For each organization participating in the project, including any branches and satellite locations, information must be provided on:

  • The demographics of the populations served
  • Geographic areas covered
  • Type of connectivity to the Internet
  • The number of workstations available for public access to the Internet
  • The number of workstations available for staff access to the Internet
  • The consumer health information resources and/or the consumer health information services currently available

V. Project Objectives

State the goals and specific objectives to be achieved by the project. Objectives should be stated in measurable terms. Include process objectives about what will be done (outputs) and outcomes-based objectives that specify what will happen or change as a result.

VI. Methodology

Describe how each of the objectives will be achieved. Provide a detailed plan of the outreach services and methods that will be used during the course of the project, and include expected outcomes. Detail how the project will be implemented, that is, what tasks will be performed and who will perform them.

VII. Publicity/Promotion

Provide a detailed plan for promoting the project to the targeted populations.

VIII. Personnel

Identify all project personnel. Include a narrative summary of qualifications as they relate to the statement of work and project responsibilities. Evidence of the Principal Investigator's(s') ability to manage a project of similar scope should be provided. A summary of estimated hours of project work and percentage of total hours worked should be provided for all personnel. Include a curriculum vitae or resume for all proposed project personnel. If a position is new and will not be filled by current staff, please provide a detailed job description and minimum qualifications for the position. Preference will be given to bidders with prior experience/knowledge of the target group and experience in providing PubMed, MedlinePlus and Internet training. If the bidder has no prior experience in developing and conducting related programs, indication should be provided concerning the steps that will be taken to obtain adequate background or experience prior to carrying out the project.

IX. Facilities/Institutional Support

Describe the (bidding) institution, its resources and services, as it pertains to the statement of work. Describe the services that will be provided to project participants. Include a letter of commitment from the bidding institution’s administration, and letters of commitment from the administration of all libraries and agencies involved in or targeted in the project. Include a description of how this project will build on other initiatives to improve public access to the Internet (such as the Gates Learning Foundation grants), if applicable.

X. Schedule

Provide a timeline that outlines the schedule for the delivery of items specified in the statement of work. The schedule must conform to the Period of Performance.

XI. Evaluation Plan

Describe the plans for evaluating the project's success in reaching the target group. Evaluation methodologies must be described in full. The evaluation plan should be closely tied to the statement of work and the project goals and objectives. The evaluation should also seek to identify the general health information needs and behaviors of the public as observed during the project, and report the usefulness of the information products/services used, especially MedlinePlus and other NLM consumer health resources. Anecdotal summaries will be acceptable as appendices to the overall evaluation. Recommendations for future services/products geared toward the targeted community and identification of needs that could not be met should also be included.

For needs assessment and/or evaluation plans, applicants should follow the guidelines established in Measuring the Difference: Guide to Planning and Evaluating Health Information and the three supplemental booklets, Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach Projects 2nd Edition (2013), found on the NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource CenterExternal Link Indicator website.

XII. Continuation of Activities After Project Completion

Describe intent to continue project services to targeted community after completion of the project. What services will be continued and how will they be supported? Describe any plans for sharing results of the project with participants.

XIII. Other NLM or NN/LM GMR Support

List grants/contracts/competitive purchase orders with NLM or NN/LM GMR that were funded previously, are currently active, pending review, or being prepared for submission. Include dates of awards, amount of award, title of project, period of performance and funding agency.


  • Curriculum vitae of key personnel
  • Description of facilities and resources available to the project
  • Letters of support from participating institutions and organizations
  • Other supporting information

Cost Proposal Instructions

The budget should be broken down into the following categories or allowable costs:

  • Personnel
  • Travel
  • Equipment
  • Supplies
  • Communications
  • Reproduction
  • Exhibit and Training Expenses
  • Other Costs
  • Totals
    • Total Direct Costs
    • Modified Total Direct Costs
    • Indirect Costs
    • Total

Applicants are encouraged to provide a separate list of in-kind costs that will be donated by the applicant’s institution.

Definitions and Instructions for Budget Narrative Justification

A narrative justification for each expense category in the budget is required. Use the following definitions to guide you:

May include professional and support personnel for the project.
May include paper, pens, software, and display items.
May include rental or purchase of equipment and software.
May include postage, parcel and other delivery services, and telephone and data line charges.
May include air travel, ground transportation, parking, hotel, and meals.
May include costs for printing/photocopying of project related materials.
Other Costs:
May include honoraria, exhibit fees, or any others items that do not fit into one of the other lines. Please provide a breakdown of what has been included in this category.

Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) are calculated by subtracting Capitalized Nonexpendable Equipment from the Total Direct Costs. Overhead (Indirect Costs) are applied only to the Modified Total Direct Costs. The total amount requested is calculated by adding Total Direct Costs to Overhead. If indirect costs are charged, they must be limited to no more than 20% of the MTDC, and must be included as part of the total, not charged in excess of the budget. Total cost for the larger subcontract must not exceed $40,000. Applicants are discouraged from including indirect costs in the smaller subcontracts.

Please Note: Funds requested to develop print collections of consumer health materials or to purchase access to any commercial electronic health information product may not exceed 5% of the total amount of the project budget.

For IT/Computer Hardware, please include the following as part of your cost proposal/application process:

  • For IT/Computer Hardware under $3,000, submit catalog pricing. List equipment type (printer, scanner, etc.), brand name and model number.
  • For IT/Computer Hardware of $3,000 or more, submit three (3) vendor quotes (preferably valid for 60 days, minimum of 30 days). Quotes may include General Service Administration (GSA) price lists (Reference: External Link Indicator). Vendor quotes are necessary to determine price reasonable for purchase of over $3,000 or more. The absence of competitive quotes must be documented and justified. An institutional policy that outlines preferred vendor requirements is an example of such documentation.
If Personal Appeal Items PDF file are requested, the following statement must appear in the budget justification:

The recipient of the funding agrees that there is a legitimate purpose for the personal appeal items and use of the items by the Subcontractor(s) will be managed in accordance with policy. Items will not be used in a way that would discredit the NN/LM, the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health or the applicable Institution.

Period of Performance

The Period of Performance shall be 18-24 months for the larger subcontracts and 12 months for the smaller subcontracts.

Proposal Review Process

Proposals are reviewed by the GMR staff, members of the Regional Advisory Council and, for the larger proposals, by the NN/LM National Network Office. Questions and comments from these review bodies may be sent to the applicant for clarification and revision of the proposal. The merits of each proposal will be carefully evaluated, based on responsiveness to the RFP and the thoroughness and feasibility of the technical approach proposed. Applicants must submit information sufficient to evaluate their proposals based on the criteria listed below.

Technical Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria will be used to evaluate proposals. The criteria are listed in the order of relative importance with points assigned for evaluation purposes. Proposals will be scored against these criteria, so be certain that all criteria have been addressed.

50 points

  • The technical approach to reaching the target group and/or communities is logical and feasible.
  • The types of outreach services provided for the target population are appropriate, creative, and cost effective.
  • A timeline or implementation schedule for major events and activities is included.
  • The evaluation plan is well defined and addresses measures of success for specific objectives as well as outcomes for the overall project.
  • Partnership with the other libraries and organizations are described in sufficient detail. (optional for smaller subcontracts)
  • Statement or plan to continue support of services beyond the project period is included.

30 points

  • Information on the target population is provided. Estimates of the potential population and the portion expected to be reached is included.
  • Target population is described and the actual or perceived need for the proposed program is discussed. Estimation of the program's potential impact on future information services to this population is discussed.

20 points

  • Proposal describes the experience of the personnel in developing and conducting promotional and/or training programs in consumer health information for patients, the public or health professionals. If the bidder has no prior experience in developing consumer health services or in developing and conducting MedlinePlus, other NLM consumer health resources, and Internet training, there is an indication of what steps will be taken to obtain adequate background or experience prior to carrying out the project.
  • There is evidence of institutional facilities and resources adequate to support the proposed program.
  • Letters of commitment from bidding institution’s administration and all agencies and organizations in the project are included.


Proposal Submission Requirements

The respondent should submit one electronic copy (Microsoft Word) and two hard copies of their proposal to:

Ruth Holst, Associate Director
NN/LM Greater Midwest Region
1750 W. Polk Street M/C 763
Chicago, IL 60612-4330
rholst at

Do not staple or bind the proposal. Proposals should be submitted in a format suitable for photocopying.


All reports must be submitted in electronic format (Microsoft Word) suitable for publication on the NN/LM website. GMR staff can convert Microsoft Office documents to PDF if necessary. Recipients will be asked to report on the experience in The Cornflower, the GMR blog. Subcontractors agree to allow the NN/LM GMR to republish reports and materials.

Quarterly Reports

Quarterly reports will include a brief 2-3 page narrative description of the activities during the reporting period, and the activities planned for the next reporting period.

Reporting Schedule

Quarterly reports are due on the 15th of the month following the end of the quarter as follows:

Period Covered Date Due
May 1 to July 31st August 15th
August 1 to October 31st November 15th
November 1 to January 31st February 15th
February 1 to April 30th May 15th
Final Report

The Final Report shall be submitted 30 days from the last day of the performance period.

Complete reporting guidelines will be provided to the recipient at the time the subcontract/award is made.


The summaries here are included for your convenience. Please follow the links provided to view the full policies.

The Use of Appropriated Funds for Educational (Promotional) Items
Promotional items may not be purchased with GMR funds.

Credit Statement
The awardee must acknowledge NLM's support in any media for this project.

508 Compliance
Any electronic and information technology developed must adhere to Section 508 accessibility requirements.

Publications Resulting from NN/LM Funded Projects
Any final, peer-reviewed manuscripts that arise from this project must be submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.

Development of Training Materials
Successful applicants are expected to use or adapt existing training materials before developing new materials.

Availability of Funding
All awards issued under the NLM Contract with University of Illinois at Chicago are subject to the Government's availability of appropriated funds.

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