National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Professional Development Award

Description of Award

This award supports the mission of the National Network of Libraries 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 advance the goals of the NLM Strategic Plan and 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.

The purpose of this award is to assist individuals working in MAR Network member organizations to enhance their ability to use NLM resources or keep current on topics related to NIH initiatives.

  • 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.
  • Awards are cost-reimbursable and are issued to the institution and not an individual.
  • Institutions are eligible for only one Professional Development Award per fiscal year (May 01, 2019-April 30, 2020).
Potential Projects: 
  • Attend a workshop on searching for systematic reviews for health sciences librarians that utilizes PubMed.
  • Sponsor an instructor to offer a CE session on National Library of Medicine resources or NIH All of Us Research Program related topics at state or regional meeting for librarians.
  • Attend a professional meeting and enroll in continuing education sessions on health information.
  • Create a training plan for a new health sciences library staff member that includes a combination of NNLM training and Medical Library Association, American Library Association and Association of College and Research Library webinars.
  • Provide a poster or paper on a previously funded NNLM project at a professional conference.

Funds are not to be used to attend a conference primarily for professional service, such as committee obligations. This funding is not available for the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting.

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: 
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 to Thursday, April 30, 2020
Up to $2,500
Number of Awards Available: 
Minimum of 14
Additional Funding Information: 

Please read all sections fully before beginning application.


Application Deadline: 
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 4:30pm
Continuous while funds are available
Application Instructions: 

Submit application, checklist and letter of commitment as one PDF file to Put Professional Development Award in the subject line.

Budget Guidelines

  • Funding will cover costs of professional development courses/conferences such as registration or speaker fees and travel expenses (airfare, hotel, per diem, etc.).
  • We encourage institutions to waive Indirect Costs (IDC) or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) whenever possible. If not waived, IDC and 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)
  • All NNLM MAR subawards are given to institutions, not individuals. 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. Invoices may be sent after completion of required reporting, no more than 60 days after the event.

Evaluation of Proposal

Review and Selection of Proposals
Proposals will be reviewed by NNLM MAR Staff.

Scored Review Criteria:
Scoring will be based on four criteria: Educational Activity Within Scope of Award, Value of Educational Activity, Budget and Evaluation Plan.
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 ten 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 high scoring 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: 
  • Recipients of funding are expected to use or adapt existing training materials before developing new materials. Materials about the All of Us Research Program will be provided. Consult with MAR prior to developing materials.
  • MAR staff availability and budget to provide in-person training is limited. MAR staff will provide a “train the trainer” webinar for awardees on relevant NLM resources. In-person training by MAR staff requires approval by Executive Director.
  • Subaward applicants should consult the NNLM MAR office for guidance in developing their evaluation plans.
  • If applicable, activity and exhibit reports will be required within 10 days of the event.
  • A final report will be required no later than May 15, 2020. 
  • Reports will be entered and submitted to the NLM online reporting system. Additionally, successful applicants may be asked to submit an interim report to ensure adequate progress of project goals.
  • If the project includes training, technology improvement, exhibiting/health fairs, or professional development activities, specific information must be submitted using forms provided by NNLM.
  • The NNLM MAR will provide additional information on the online reporting system and accessing the system upon award.
  • 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. Subaward applicants also might find other NNLM Evaluation Office publications and resources helpful in developing evaluation plan. 

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 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.

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

Professional Development