English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Hindi Japanese Korean Persian Portuguese Russian Spanish

Data Award

Description of Award

This award supports the mission of the Network of the National Library of Medicine, to advance the progress of medicine, and improve the public health by providing all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving the public's access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.

Awards to NNLM MAR members help us achieve two National Network Performance Measures:

  • Engage Network members in carrying out the mission of NNLM.
  • Maintain a robust outreach and education program reaching the region’s communities and responsive to their needs.

Awards also help advance the goals and objectives of the NLM Strategic Plan.

Projects should include collaboration between a library and at least one other department within the institution or community group.


The purpose of the Data Award is to support data sharing and open science, and foster the development of information professionals in data science.

Up to $20,000 of funding per award is available for three or more projects within the region.

  • Network member organizations in the Middle Atlantic Region (Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania) 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, submit an application for Membership at least 3 weeks prior to the funding deadline. Membership is not automatic. A Member record is required to successfully submit an application.
  • Awards are cost-reimbursable and are issued to the institution and not an individual.
Potential Projects: 

Projects may include the following (other creative ideas are encouraged):

  • Training for library staff, clinicians and/or researchers on best practices for data management
  • Regional Library Carpentry workshop
  • Promotion of institutional data catalog
  • “Data Day” or Citizen Science event at a public library

Resources to assist applicants in writing proposals:

Interested organizations are invited to review these technical assistance webinars:

MAR staff are available for consultation and training on applicable National Library of Medicine resources and potential projects. Complete the NNLM MAR Award Interest Form, and someone will respond within three business days.


Funding Period: 
Friday, May 15, 2020 to Friday, April 30, 2021
Up to $20,000
Number of Awards Available: 
Minimum of 3
Additional Funding Information: 

Please read all sections fully before beginning application.


Application Deadline: 
Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 12:00pm
Continuous while funds are available.
Application Instructions: 

Applications will only be accepted via the NNLM Online Applications System. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the Outreach application template before entering information into the online system.

When the RML is accepting applications, you can scroll to the bottom of the browser window to access the online application. You must be logged in with your NNLM account to begin the submission process.

Required Attachments:

  • Budget spreadsheet
  • Curriculum vitae/resumes of key personnel.
  • Letter of commitment from institutional leadership that includes acknowledgement of award requirements. This should be from someone authorized to sign a contract on behalf of the institution.
  • Letters of commitment from partnering institution(s)/organization(s).
  • If technology is being purchased, include letter of commitment from the person in charge of supporting technology for the applicant’s institution.

Note: Additional attachments beyond the requested items will not be reviewed.

Budget Guidelines

Proposals must include the budget spreadsheet for the costs in each category. Include a narrative justification for budget items, explaining the purpose of each item in the project.

The budget estimate should be categorized by the following, as they apply:

  • Personnel
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Travel
  • Consultant Costs (hourly rate)
  • Other
  • Direct Costs
  • Indirect Costs (IDC) or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs apply at your institution’s non-research rate (or, if your institution has no negotiated rate, a 10% Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) can be applied if you wish to claim it)
  • Total cost of project

Funding restrictions:
Food (with few exceptions), promotional items and furniture are not allowable expenses. Promotional items include, but are not limited to: clothing and commemorative items such as pens, mugs/cups, folders/folios, lanyards, and conference bags that are sometimes provided to visitors, employees, grantees, or conference attendees. Refer to the HHS Policy on the Use of Appropriated Funds for Promotional Items.

The University of Pittsburgh will provide a sub-contract agreement for all approved projects. All subcontracts are cost reimbursement. Line item invoices must be submitted for reimbursement of expenditures. Institutions submit invoices monthly, based on satisfactory progress.

Note: prior to hiring consultants, submit the following information to MAR:

  • Name of Consultant
  • Description of Work
  • Hourly Rate
  • Total Amount/Not to Exceed Amount
  • Period of Performance

Evaluation of Proposal

Review and Selection of Proposals:
Proposals will be reviewed by the NNLM MAR Review Committee. The Review Committee is made up of MAR staff and network members.

Scored Review Criteria:
Scoring will be based on eleven criteria: Significance, Evidence of Need, Project Goals and Objectives, Implementation, Schedule/Timeline, Evaluation Plan, Publicity/Promotion, Continuity/Sustainability Plan, Personnel Qualifications, Institutional/Partner Support, and Budget.

Criteria scoring will follow the point scale for each criteria’s line item (NOTE: 5 is the highest score – the higher the score the better.)

5 = Information is extremely relevant in support of NNLM goals as outlined in the award
4 = Information is good in support of NNLM goals as outlined in the award
3 = Information is satisfactory in support of NNLM goals as outlined in the award
2 = Information is marginal in support of NNLM goals as outlined in the award
1 = Information is poor and does not support NNLM goals as outlined in the award

A separate, Overall Impact Score (1-5 scale) will indicate reviewer recommendation for funding as follows:

5 = Excellent Application. The project will have major impact on NNLM goals.
4 = Project has strong potential to satisfy NNLM goals.
3 = Project has limited impact or there are concerns about the proposed plan or quality.
2 = Project will not advance the goals of NNLM.
1 = Project does not fit in the Award goals and NNLM mission.

Reviewer score sheets and comments will be shared with the applicant. If further clarification is needed, the applicant will be given 1 week to submit more information.

Applications with an average score of 3 or higher for each of the eleven criteria AND an overall impact ranking of 4 or higher will be given priority until funds are expended. In the event that there are more worthy applications than available funds, institutions that have not received NNLM MAR funding since May 1, 2016 will be given priority.

Note: at the discretion of the MAR Executive Director, previous awardees that did not comply with award requirements may not be funded regardless of score.

Additional Information

508 Compliance: 

Web-based resources developed for the project should strive to ensure accessibility to the greatest possible number of people by adhering to standards described in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Reporting Requirements: 
  • Subaward applicants should consult the NNLM MAR office for guidance in developing their evaluation plans.
  • Activity Reports: Activities held in support of project objectives must be submitted in the NNLM Data Reporting System before the 5th day of each month following the end of the activity. Examples include training sessions held, presentations and site visits.
  • Interim reports: Successful applicants may be asked to submit an interim report to ensure adequate progress of project goals.
  • Final Reports: A final report of project activities, outcomes, and evaluation findings must be submitted by May 15, 2021.
  • Additional reporting may be required to meet NNLM Evaluation Goals.
  • The project leader shall provide copies of all materials produced, press releases, advertisements, photographs and articles for newsletters related to the project. In accepting the award, the project leader gives permission for use of such materials by the NLM and NNLM.
  • Applications should acknowledge agreement to comply with these requirements if funded.

For projects needing different or additional evaluation methods, the NNLM Evaluation Office provides templates and evaluation planning worksheets on the 4 Steps to an Evaluation Plan web page to help develop evaluation plans for your project.

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: 

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

In addition, recipients of funding are expected to use or adapt existing training materials before developing new materials. Consult with MAR 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 stating the following:

Developed resources reported in this [publication, press release, internet site] are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012342 with the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Library System. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Need Assistance: 

To request assistance with the online application form, contact us at nnlmmar@pitt.edu or (412) 648-2065.

MAR staff are available for consultation and training on applicable National Library of Medicine resources and potential projects. Complete the NNLM MAR Award Interest Form, and someone will respond within three business days.