Professional Development Awards ***New Category Added***


Period of Performance
September 2, 2021 - April 15, 2022
Number of Awards Available
minimum of 3
Application Deadline
February 16, 2022, 1:59 am EST
Additional Funding Information
  • Type 1: up to $2,000
  • Type 2: up to $3,000
  • Type 3: up to $2,000
  • Type 4: up to $200 (***NEW!***for online conference registrations only)

$5,000: Total Funds Remaining as of October 20, 2021

  • Awards are disbursed on a rolling basis
  • Funds will be available until they are gone for the NNLM Region 4 Program Year 1 (May 2021-April 2022) 
  • All applications must be submitted prior to February 16, 2021
  • All professional development activity for this year must be completed by April 30, 2021

Pro tip! Prepare your application for the NNLM Region 4 Program Year 2 (May 2022-April 2023) now so it is ready to submit when the call for applications is announced.   

Description of Award

The Network of the National Library of Medicine Region 4 (NNLM Region 4), under a cooperative agreement grant with the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), announces the availability of the Professional Development Award. The purpose of this subaward is to support the professional development needs of librarians at Network member institutions to improve their ability to grow and advance their skills as health information professionals. It also supports library and health occupation students interested in health information.

We are offering three types of professional development awards. Approximately eleven individual awards will be made. Maximum funding ranges from $2,000 to $3,000 depending on the award type.

  1. Type 1 Award (Up to $2,000) will be provided to individuals interested in attending a workshop, conference, or meeting. Examples include but are not limited to attending a patient safety conference, education to foster diversity and inclusion in instruction and/or the workplace, or attending health and data science-focused conference.
  2. Type 2 Award (Up to $3,000) will be provided to network member institutions to host a CE event, workshop, or speaker. Examples include but are not limited to paying for speaker fees or reading club materials, funding licenses to online training services, or hosting a virtual book club discussing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  3. Type 3 Award (Up to $2,000) will be provided specifically for currently enrolled library and information science, iSchool, or health occupations students interested in health information as a career path or the role that information plays in improving the knowledge of health care providers.
  4. ***NEW*** Type 4 Award (Up to $200) will be provided to cover online conference registration costs for Region 4 members interested in attending an online workshop, conference, or meeting that will result in them better able to support the health information access needs of their communities. SEE SPECIAL APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS BELOW

The Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah is the designated Regional Medical Library (RML) for Region 4 of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) serving the Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming

For all applicants submitting request for funding, we invite our regional members to align their institutional mission with that of the NNLM.

The mission of the NNLM is to provide U.S. researchers, health professionals, public health workforce, educators, and the public with equal access to biomedical and health information resources and data.

NNLM Region 4 offers funding for projects that improve access to health information, increase engagement with research and data, expand professional knowledge, and support outreach that promotes awareness and use of NLM resources in local communities.

Through partnerships with regional members and other organizations with aligning missions, the NNLM Region 4 works towards ensuring continuity for essential programs of the NNLM, and cooperatively design, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches to serving the biomedical and health information needs of researchers, health professionals, public health workforce, educators, and the public in communities across the U.S., including persons who experience health disparities and populations underrepresented in biomedical research.

The NNLM Region 4 commits to prioritizing support for underrepresented populations through meaningful engagement, which requires the support from all of our regional members and partners. Underrepresented populations are determined to be those experiencing health disparities as a result of their: race and ethnicity; biological sex, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation; cognitive and physical abilities; religious background or identification; socio-economic status (past and current); education level, health literacy, and linguistic needs; geographic location including underrepresented populations from medically underserved areas; or other factors or demographics that create unequal access to the highest level of health (please refer to the January 2019 Special Supplement by the American Journal of Public Health about health disparities research for more information). 

Proposal Requirements and Preferences
  • Priority will be given to projects that reach a Medically Underserved Area (MUA)* or an Underrepresented in Biomedical Research (UBR) population including but not limited to:
    • Racial and ethnic minority populations
    • Sexual and gender minority populations
    • Populations reported below the Federal Poverty Level
    • Populations with limited access to medical care
    • Populations with physical and/or mental disabilities
    • Soldiers, Veterans and Military Families
    • Rural Populations
  • Successful applications for Type 1 and Type 2 funding will demonstrate how attending will help them improve their performance as professionals and their ability to assist their users with accessing health information. Each awardee will be required to share back to other regional members about their experience.  Applications to attend MLA or an MLA Chapter meeting will only be considered for non-health science librarians.
  • Successful applications for Type 3 funding will demonstrate how they view health information as a potential career path or the role they see information playing for health care providers. Each awardee will be required to share back to other regional members about their experience. 

Specifically, the Professional Development Award seeks to address the following aims of the NNLM Region 4:

Administrative Core Aim 2: Construct a rich culture built on a foundation of inclusive programming designed to attract and engage a diverse regional network through effective membership management.

Program Core Aim 1: Use community-driven approaches to increase access to health information.

Program Core Aim 2: Work through libraries and other members to support a highly trained workforce in biomedical, health information, and data science resources.

Potential Project Ideas

Potential professional development ideas for funding:

  • Attend a public health educator’s conference or workshop.
  • Attend a state or regional library conference or workshop.
  • Attend a national library association conference, such as the Medical Library Association or American Library Association.
  • Host a reading club with learning outcomes focusing on health information access issues that can be used to improve library programming that are more impactful to your underrepresented communities.
  • Host a speaker(s) with learning outcomes designed to improve your library staff improve their understanding of health information issues that can be used to improve library programming more relevant to your underrepresented communities.

Additional Information:


Network member organizations in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming are eligible to apply. Membership is free, and open to any organization that provides or promotes health information. If your institution is not a NNLM Member, apply for Membership at least 2 weeks prior to the funding deadline. Membership is not automatic. A Member record is required to successfully apply.

Application Instructions

Online Application Overview

NOTE: All applications must be submitted as a word document. Please submit your application at

Project Proposal

Type 4 Awards ***NEW***

Prepare your proposal with the following information: 

  1. What are a) the primary learning objectives of the professional development event you hope to meet and b) how do they tie into improving health information access? PRO TIPS: a) Suggest lifting from conference website. b) Suggest describing their program’s connection to the provision of health information in ~ 40-50 words.
  2. Who will benefit after the knowledge gained by attending the PD experience? PRO TIP: Suggest describing who their key stakeholder are in ~ 40-50 words.
  3. What is a) the registration costs being requested and b) when is it due? PRO TIP: Suggest lifting from conference website.
  4. Do you agree a) you are an employee or student of a NNLM Region 4 member institution b) you will work with the NNLM Region 4 staff to register and pay the registration, c) attend the event, d) allow the NNLM Region 4 to promote your award, and e) report on your experience in the required NLM reporting system? PRO TIP: These are "yes" or "no" responses. If you respond with a "no" response, please explain why.
  5. Email the above to by February 15, 2022. PRO TIP: contact John if you'd like to discuss your proposal idea as soon as you can!

Type 1, 2, 3 Awards

Prepare your proposal with the following information:

  1. Applicant’s Name
  2. Applicant’s Position title
  3. Applicant’s email
  4. Applicant’s phone
  5. Applicant’s Institution/Library Name/Library or iSchool Name
  6. Institution/Library Address/ Library or iSchool Name
  7. To receive funding your organization must be a NNLM Region 4 member. Membership may be confirmed by visiting the NNLM Member Directory. Don’t see your organization’s name? Follow the instructions HERE. Joining is free.
  8. Has your institution received NNLM funding in the current grant cycle (2021-2026)?
  9. How did you learn about this award?
  10. Specify which award you are applying for: Type 1, Type 2, or Type 3.
  11. Amount requested (not to exceed $2,000 for Type 1, $3,000 for Type 2, or $2,000 for Type 3)
  12. Program/Event/Activity name
  13. Program/Event/Activity date(s)
  14. Professional development URL, if available.
  15. Significance: Describe how the professional development activity will enhance your ability and skills as a library professional, paraprofessional, or library/ health occupation student.
  16. Objectives: Describe how you will evaluate the success of the professional development opportunity.
    1. Describe how the professional development activity will enhance your ability and skills as a library professional, paraprofessional, or library/health occupation student.
  17. Evaluation: Describe how you will evaluate the success of the professional development opportunity.
    1. If applying for individual attendance, you will also need to complete the standard NNLM Professional Development form within two weeks of the end of the event.

Type 1, Type 3, and Type 4 awards are cost-reimbursable and may be issued to the institution or the individual.

Type 2 awards are cost-reimbursable and are issued to the institution, not the individual.

Budget and Justification

Describe your budget using a table or spreadsheet along with a budget narrative / justification that explains the purpose of each item in the budget table.  Enter each amount to the nearest whole dollar. If a budget line is not applicable for your project, you may leave it blank. The budget estimate should be categorized by the following, as they apply:

Budget Item                                                                                                                               Projected Costs 

Course fees/conference registration/or speaker fees/professional development supplies 

 Travel (Airfare, mileageetc.) 

 Hotel (rate X # of nights) 

 Per diem 

 Other (ground transportation, parking, etc.) 

 Total (not to exceed $2,000 for Type 1, $3,000 for Type 2, or $2,000 for Type 3) 

 NOTE: You will need to submit a narrative to support your budget. Please contact the RML to confirm the budget justification attachments to include.


Gather all documents that will be attached to your application, including personnel CVs and resumes, letters of institutional commitment or support, and budget template (if applicable).


You are required to acknowledge the following statements before submitting an application:

  • You will share the information gained with colleagues in your institution/RML/Office, as required by the Request for Proposal.
  • You will submit regular, interim & final reports, as requested by the funding agency & stipulated in the Request for Proposal.
  • Any web-based resources developed for this project will ensure accessibility to the greatest possible number of people.
  • Additional documentation will need to be completed should your project be awarded. Please consult with your RML/Office for details.
Proposal Submission

NOTE: We are accepting word document submissions only.

For Types 1, 2, and 3 applications, please submit your application to

For Type 4 applications, please submit your application to

Additional Information

Grant Writing Resources

For support in grant writing, please see the NNLM Grants and Proposal Writing Course for tips on award applications.

You also can find examples of Exemplary RFP Application Sections, which may inform your planning and writing process.

508 Compliance

Section 508 requires that all website content be accessible to people with disabilities. This applies to web applications, web pages and all attached files on the intranet, as well as, internet. 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 NNLM must meet all requirements under Section 508. Information on 508 Compliance.

Reporting Requirements

The following reporting requirements are mandatory of award recipients:

  1. Each awardee will be responsible for sharing their experiences with the NNLM Region 4 membership through a newsletter article, presentation, or other mutually agreed upon way.
  2. Each awardee will also complete the NNLM Professional Development form within 30 days after completing the professional development. NNLM Professional Development Award Report
NIH Public Access Policy

Recipients of NNLM funding are required to deposit any peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance for publication in PubMed Central in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Data Sharing and Development of Training Materials

To facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and information associated with the NNLM Cooperative Agreement Award, all subawardees are required to share any data or training material resulting from funding. This information must be submitted to the following collection sites as applicable:

  • Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) website;
  • Other websites specifically designated by the NLM as part of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (considering changes in the project and data repositories required to maintain sharing within the Network).

In addition, recipients of funding are expected to use or adapt existing training materials before developing new materials. Consult with your RML/Office and the NNLM Training Office (NTO) prior to developing materials.

Publication and Copyrighting

Per Section 8.2.1. - Right in Data (Publication and Copyrighting) of the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH must be given a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license for the Federal government to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use any materials developed as a result of funding and to authorize others to do so for Federal purposes, i.e. the ongoing development of the Network of the National Library of Medicine. Data developed by a subawardees/consortium participants and consultants are also subject to this policy.

NIH Acknowledgement

Any resources developed with project funds must include an acknowledgment of NIH grant support and a disclaimer. Please consult with your RML/Office for the specific acknowledgement statement to be used for your project award.

Application Review and Scoring Criteria

RML staff and Network members who represent the Region (i.e., public libraries, health science libraries, or community organizations) may be asked to review and score applications. Selected reviewers use a standardized RFP scorecard. For more information, please review the RFP scorecard.

  • You also can find examples of Exemplary RFP Application Sections, which may inform your planning and writing process.
  • Scored Review Criteria: Scale: 1-100
  • The application will be scored in the following areas:
  • Value of Educational Activity (25 points max): The significance of the professional development program, and/or the implementation of information learned.
  • Evaluation (25 points max): Is there an evaluation plan? Does the plan make sense given the goals and objectives? Is there a timeline and are individuals assigned responsibility for milestones or tasks? Are there other forms of evaluation that the project should consider or add? Is the plan thorough enough or feasible for the project?
  • Budget (25 points max): Is the proposed budget within funding limits? Is the budget justification sound? Could budget items be eliminated or reduced without jeopardizing the project? Does it include money within allowable line items? Do they have line items that account for all the requested money?
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (25 points max): Does the application identify inequities and disparities or target underserved populations? Is the organization using an inclusive, community-engaged process for planning and implementation if they are proposing community-based programming?
    • NIH-designated U.S. health disparity populations include Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, individuals with a physical or mental disability, sexual and gender minorities, individuals under 18 or over 65, and individuals with less than a high school degree.
  • The Review Committee will submit RFP scorecard and comments for funding to the Associate Director of the RML. If further clarification is needed, the applicant will be given one week to submit additional or revised information.
  • Reviewers will provide an overall impact assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained influence on the population targeted. Final recommendations will include at least:
    • Excellent Application. Will have major impact on NNLM goals.
    • Has strong potential.
    • Limited impact, or there are concerns about the proposed plan or quality.
    • The project will not advance the goals of NNLM.
    • Application does not fit in the NNLM mission.
  • Applicants will be notified of the funding decision and will receive a copy of reviewer score sheets and comments.
  • The RML will provide a subaward agreement for all approved projects. All sub-awards are cost reimbursement. Line-item invoices must be submitted for reimbursement of expenditures. Invoices may be submitted as frequently as monthly.
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