Electronic Consumer Health Outreach Award
Request for Proposals

The goal of this award is to connect health professionals, their patients and the general public to the health information resources from the National Library of Medicine. This solicitation will focus on projects designed to improve access to electronic health information for such groups and organizations as consumers, the underserved and minority health care professionals, public health workers, public libraries, and community-based and faith-based organizations.


Network members in the NN/LM SCR (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas) are eligible to apply. Applications may include more than one Network member institution. Network membership is open and free to institutions interested in providing health information. To apply for membership:  Network Membership.


Two (2) projects up to $25,000 will be awarded.

Period of Performance

May 1, 2015 - April 30, 2016

Proposal Instructions and Submission Deadlines

A Letter of Intent must be provided no later than March 15, 2015.

The Letter of Intent can be submitted electronically, my mail, or by fax. Your expression of intent is not binding, but will greatly assist in planning for proposal evaluation.

Proposal instructions for the Electronic Consumer Health Outreach Award are available at:

Proposals must be received by April 15, 2015 4:00 pm CT.

October 2015 Update: Applications for this award are now being accepted for a second round of funding. Proposals must be received by October 30, 2015. 

Potential Projects

Proposed projects may include several of the following elements (these are examples only and not meant to be all-inclusive). Other creative ideas for improving access to health information are encouraged.

  • Developing or strengthening partnerships and connections among organizations (public, school, and/or state libraries; voluntary health agencies; community-based or faith-based organizations; health information resource centers, public health departments, etc.) that provide health information to the public;
  • Training staff of targeted organizations to search NLM's databases to identify, access, retrieve, evaluate, and use relevant print and electronic consumer health information resources and services;
  • Training staff of targeted organizations to train others to provide consumer health information services and/or to find and evaluate consumer health information on the Internet;
  • Training groups of consumers to locate good sources of health information on the Internet;
  • Training health professionals to refer consumers to MedlinePlus and other good sources of consumer health information on the Internet;
  • Enhancing access to MedlinePlus, ClinicalTrials.gov, and other consumer health information resources using the latest technology.

For a list of past awards, see NN/LM SCR funded projects at: NN/LM South Central Region Previously Funded Projects

Budget Guidelines

Indirect costs (IDC) up to 25% are allowed for this award; this award will not fund food or furniture costs. A maximum of 5% of the award may be used for materials such as books and databases.

All awards issued under the NLM Contract with the Houston Academy of Medicine, Texas Medical Center Library are subject to the Government's availability of appropriated funds in compliance of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.232-18, Availability of Funds. No legal liability on the part of the Government for any payment may arise until funds are made available to the Contracting Officer for this contract and until the Contractor receives notice of such availability, to be confirmed in writing by the Contracting Officer.

Please note that all awards are made as cost reimbursement subcontracts.

Evaluation Criteria

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

Criteria: Maximum 100 Points:

Criterion 1
Technical Approach: 50 Points

  • Suitability of project to the intent of this RFP;
  • Logic and feasibility of the technical approach to reaching the target group or community;
  • Types of outreach services provided for the target population with consideration given to the appropriateness, creativity and cost effectiveness of the methods proposed;
  • Inclusion of a timeline or implementation schedule for major events and activities;
  • Inclusion of partnerships with other libraries and organizations to improve the target population's access to health information;

Criterion 2
Community Targeted: 20 Points

  • Information on the target population should be provided. Estimates of the potential population and the portion expected to be reached should be included.
  • Target group or 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 group or population is discussed.

Criterion 3
Project Support: 15 Points

  • Experience of the proposed personnel in developing and conducting promotional and/or training programs in health information for patients, the public or health professionals. Preference will be given to bidders with prior experience in providing training on NLM consumer health websites and the Internet. 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.
  • Evidence of institutional facilities and resources adequate to support the proposed program.
  • Letter of commitment from bidder's institutional administration, and letters of commitment from administrations of all agencies involved or targeted in the project.

Criterion 4
Project Evaluation: 15 Points

  • Evaluation should measure project objectives and their outcomes. Proposed evaluation tools should reflect these measurements.
  • In developing an evaluation mechanism, attention should be given to how successful the project will be in meeting the information needs of the target group.

Reporting Requirements

Quarterly reports are required and will be entered and submitted to the Outreach Application and Online Contract Reports System at: https://outreach.nlm.nih.gov. Users of the System must first create an account before reports can be submitted. Contact the NN/LM SCR for additional information on the Online Contract Reports System.

Development of Training Materials

Successful applicants are expected to use or adapt existing training materials before developing new materials. Consult the Medical Library Association (MLA) Educational Clearinghouse, http://cech.mlanet.org, prior to developing materials. Training materials developed as part of the award should be submitted to the MLA Educational Clearinghouse.

Publication and Publicity

The awardee shall acknowledge the support of the National Library of Medicine whenever publicizing the work under this contract in any media by including an acknowledgment substantially as follows:

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under Contract No. HHSN-276-2011-00007-C with the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library.

NIH Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH-Funded Research

As of April 7, 2008, final peer-reviewed manuscripts arising from NIH funds must be submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.

The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central (upon acceptance for publication. To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.

Authors that publish NIH-supported, peer-reviewed articles in full PMC-participating journals (such as the Journal of the Medical Library Association) have fulfilled their obligations to NIH Public Access and have nothing else to do.

If an NIH-supported peer-review article is published in a non-PMC journal, the final manuscript must be submitted to PMC via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS). If the author was supported by an NIH contract, and the contract details are not available for selection in the NIHMS, the author should contact the NIHMS Help Desk to have this information added to the system. This lets the NIHMS Help Desk correlate requests with specific manuscript numbers and specific users, and helps us resolve the issue faster.

The NIHMS Help Desk will need the following information:

  • Contract number: HHSN-276-2011-00007-C
  • Contract title/name: National Network of Libraries of Medicine
  • Awarding NIH institution: National Library of Medicine

508 Compliance

The Department of Health and Human Services synopsis of Section 508 accessibility requirements, requires that all Federal agencies are obligated to make all electronic and information technology (EIT) that they develop, maintain or use compliant with Section 508. EIT purchases made on or after June 25, 2001, are subject to Section 508.

Federal regulations and guidelines (e.g., Section 501 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) require equal access for individuals with disabilities. Therefore, Federal agencies are required, upon request, to provide information and data to individuals with disabilities through an alternative means of access that can be used by the individuals.

The National Library of Medicine is a part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recipients of National Library of Medicine funding through the NN/LM must also meet these requirements.

More information on 508 Compliance is located at http://www.section508.gov.

For further information, contact:

Jon Goodell, Associate Director
National Network of Libraries of Medicine
South Central Region (NN/LM SCR)
Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library (HAM-TMC) Library
1133 John Freeman Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77030-2809
Phone: 713-799-7803
Email: jon.goodell@library.tmc.edu