National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Outreach to Consumers Award

Description of Award

The goal of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) is to advance the progress of medicine, improve public health by providing U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information, and improve individuals' access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health. The NNLM is vital in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) outreach efforts to health professionals and the public to increase awareness of, facilitate access to, and provide training in the use of NLM's web-based information resources.


The purpose of the Outreach to Consumers Award is to support projects that improve health information literacy and increase the ability for patients, family members, students and members of the general public to find and use health information. Outreach should expand knowledge of health and science information resources, with an emphasis on those produced by the National Library of Medicine.

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.

Network members 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.

Potential Projects: 

Projects are encouraged that incorporate one or more of the following:

  • Increase awareness of and skills for locating high quality consumer health information
  • Promote health information literacy in health and science education
  • Encourage partnerships between health sciences, public, hospital and school libraries, community- and faith-based organizations, volunteer organizations and other public venues
  • Assisting communities or agencies in acquiring information technology to facilitate access to authoritative health information resources

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

  • Programs to educate on locating and evaluating consumer health information found on the Internet
  • Incorporating National Library of Medicine health and science information resources into new or existing health programs. See the NNLM MAR National Health Observances slide show for some ideas
  • Training on locating and evaluating health information found on the Internet
  • Development of curriculum or supplemental educational materials using National Library of Medicine resources for K-12 populations
  • Train-the-Trainer projects that enhance the skills of library/organization staff and other consumer health information intermediaries to train a target population on locating and evaluating health information
  • Conducting promotional activities, including health fairs, exhibits and demonstrations to increase awareness of National Library of Medicine information resources to the target population

All projects must incorporate one or more National Library of Medicine resources, such as:

Refer to the NNLM MAR Consumer Health Resource Guide for an overview of resources by population and topic.

MAR staff are available for consultation and training on applicable National Library of Medicine resources. Please contact to schedule.

Resources to assist applicants in writing proposals:


Funding Period: 
Thursday, November 1, 2018 to Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Up to $19,000
Number of Awards Available: 
Maximum of 2
Additional Funding Information: 
  • Awards are cost-reimbursable and are issued to the institution and not an individual.
  • Please read all sections fully before beginning application.


Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 5, 2018 - 11:00pm
Late applications will not be accepted
Application Instructions: 

One electronic version of the proposal must be submitted to Please include the name of the award in the subject line.

Required Attachments:

  • Curriculum vitae/resumes of key personnel
  • Letter of commitment from institution applying for funding
  • 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
  • Completed Beneficiaries and Goals Checklist

Note: do not include additional attachments unless requested.

Budget Guidelines

Proposals must include a budget table or 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
  • Consultant Costs (hourly rate)*
  • Equipment
  • Supplies
  • Travel
  • 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, 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.
  • Awards are cost-reimbursable. 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

Proposals will be reviewed by the NNLM MAR Review Committee. The Review Committee is made up of MAR staff and Special Advisory Group members. Applicants will receive a summary of reviewer comments along with a final decision regarding funding. If further clarification is needed, the applicant will be given 1 week to submit more information.

Scored Review Criteria: Scale: 1-100

  • Significance (30 points max)
    • Does the proposed program make a significant contribution to the mission of NNLM?
    • Is there information on the target population provided?
    • Are there estimates of the potential population and the portion expected to be reached?
    • Is the target group or population 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.
  • Methodology/Approach (50 points max)
    • The logic and feasibility of the technical approach to reaching the target group or community.
    • The types of outreach services provided for the target population with consideration given to the appropriateness, creativity and cost effectiveness of the methods proposed.
    • Statement or plan to continue support of services beyond the project period.
    • The extent to which the proposed project adds value to other initiatives to improve the target population's access to the Internet.
    • Does the project use local partners?
    • Inclusion of a timeline or implementation schedule for major events and activities.
    • Appropriate NLM resources are utilized or use of alternate information resources is justified.
  • Investigators (10 points max)
    • Does the proposed personnel have experience in developing and conducting outreach and/or training programs in health information for patients, the public or health professionals?
    • Does the proposed personnel have prior experience working with the target group?
    • Is there evidence of institutional facilities and resources adequate to support the proposed programs?
    • If applicable, do project partners bring experience to the project team?
  • Budget (10 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?

Overall Impact: reviewers will provide an overall impact assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained influence on the population targeted. Final recommendations include:

  • Application does not fit in the NNLM mission.
  • The project will not advance the goals of NNLM.
  • Limited impact or there are concerns about the proposed plan or quality.
  • Has strong potential.
  • Excellent Application. Will have major impact on NNLM goals.

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: 

The following reporting requirements are mandatory of award recipients:

  • Activity Reports: Activities held in support of project objectives must be submitted before the 5th day of each month following the end of the activity. Examples include training sessions held, presentations and site visits. Instructions will be sent to awardees.
  • Exhibit Reports: Recipients of Exhibit Awards will be required to submit data from the exhibit 30 days after the event. Data includes: attendance, materials distributed, and contacts made. More information is available in the NNLM Evaluation Office's Evaluation Materials under Exhibits/Health Fairs.
  • Technology Improvement Reports: If technology is provided to your organization through funding from an NNLM sub-award, you will complete a Technology Improvement Report by 1/15/19. More information is available in the NNLM Evaluation Office's Evaluation Materials under Technology Report.
  • Status Reports: Due 14 days after request, the report must address progress towards meeting objectives, recent activities, an ongoing evaluation or assessment of the project’s effectiveness, and an overview of future of work to be completed. 
  • Final Reports: A final report of project activities, outcomes, and evaluation findings must be submitted within 15 calendar days upon completion of the award.
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 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 National Network of Libraries 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, contact us at or (412) 648-2065.