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

COVID-19 Health Information Outreach Award

Description of Award

The award enables organizations to develop and offer programs, including pilot projects, that will impact health literacy and health information needs related to the COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic in the Pacific Northwest Region.


The mission of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) is 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.

The NNLM regional program is coordinated by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) and is carried out through a nationwide network of health science libraries and information centers. To accomplish the goals of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, funding opportunities are offered by the NNLM PNR to provide resources to libraries, community-based organizations, public health professionals, health educators, faith-based agencies, and other information partners throughout the Pacific Northwest Region of the United States. States served by the NNLM PNR include Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
The purpose of this award is to enable organizations to develop and offer programs that will increase access to and use of authoritative health information resources on that will impact health literacy and health information needs related to the COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic in the Pacific Northwest Region.

Description of the Award

The award enables organizations to develop and offer programs, including pilot projects, that will impact health literacy and health information needs related to the COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic in the Pacific Northwest Region. This award will provide funds for libraries and other community organizations to offer health information and related programming to their patrons as we continue to move through a global pandemic.

The proposal should be directed at ensuring patrons, healthcare consumers or trainers (for example: librarians, health educators, community health workers, etc.) are aware of and have access to, high quality electronic information resources to make informed health care decisions and manage mental health in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. This also includes tools and training to manage information overload or combat misinformation.

Priority will be given to proposals supporting NIH-designated U.S. health disparity populations.
Award Goals

  • Improve health information access for patients, patrons, and the public, relating to COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2.
  • Provide access to health information in a way that is meaningful to the target population.
  • Increase awareness and utilization of NIH, NLM, and other government agencies as authoritative resources on COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2.
  • Provide training, teaching skills, or creating resources relating to COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2.
  • Optional topics: combating health misinformation or information overload.

Network members in the NNLM PNR (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington) are eligible to apply. Network membership is free and open to institutions whose role includes providing access to authoritative health information. To apply for membership, submit an online membership application. Public librarians, community-based and faith-based organizations are encouraged to apply.

Disallowance of Human Subjects Research
Projects containing Human Subjects Research components will not be reviewed or considered for funding.

Potential Projects: 

The proposal should be directed at ensuring patrons, healthcare consumers or trainers (librarians, health educators, community health workers) are aware of and have access to, high quality electronic information resources to make informed health care decisions relating to COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2.

The goals of the COVID-19 Health Information Outreach Award is to fund 5 projects to provide information resources related to COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 and connect consumers to NIH, NLM and other government health information resources they need to make informed healthcare decisions.

A complete listing of NLM resources may be viewed at: https://wwwcf2.nlm.nih.gov/nlm_eresources/eresources/search_database.cfm.

NLM NCBI page on SAR- CoV-2 Resources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sars-cov-2/

NIH Resources specific to COVID-19: 

The program should increase awareness about the resources and services of the NLM by training in effective use of information resources relating to COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2. Projects can include (but are not limited to):

  • Train-the-Trainer projects that enhance the skills of librarians and other health information intermediaries
  • Designing COVID-19 instruction modules and elective courses
  • Integrating digital content, including alternatives to print materials, into the evolving online learning environment
  • Facilitating access to online medical education resources
  • Assisting communities or agencies in acquiring information technology to facilitate access to authoritative health information resources
  • Providing free access to health information related to the award topic.
  • Promoting health information literacy in health education and healthcare, including resources on how to effectively communicate with patients and caregivers
  • Improving access to electronic health information
  • Promoting and improving access to library and information services
  • Promoting and improving the use of technology for information access
  • Encouraging partnerships between public, hospital and school libraries, community, faith-based, and volunteer organizations, health clinics, public health departments, and other public venues
  • Promote outreach by network members to share their expertise and resources with a target audience not normally reached

Programming ideas (but not limited to):

  • Virtual or in-person* programming:
    • health fairs
    • exhibits
    • classes
    • story times
    • development of toolkits
    • train-the-trainer sessions or bootcamps
    • guest speakers for webinars or online lectures

*Dependent on your state, county, and institution’s policies on gatherings and travel, it may be prudent to have contingency plans with alternative virtual programming.

  • Expand e-services with technology to conduct distance programming such as (but not limited to):
    • equipping librarians or community health workers with mobile technologies to aid in providing remote instruction
    • installing high speed or broadband access to the Internet in areas where Internet is not presently available
    • Upgrading a slow dial-up Internet connection to a higher speed connection such as cable or broadband
    • Piloting a new distance learning software program or system

Preference will be given to proposals supporting NIH-designated U.S. health disparity populations as defined under the Evaluation Criteria section.


Funding Period: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 to Friday, April 30, 2021
Up to $15,000
Number of Awards Available: 
At least 5
Additional Funding Information: 

At least five (5) awards up to $15,000 each will be available.

If you plan to submit an application, a brief statement of intent to apply should be submitted to nnlm@uw.edu by Friday, October 16 at 5:00pm Pacific Time


Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 30, 2020 - 5:00pm
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.

Resources to assist applicants in writing proposals, can be found here:

Required Attachments:

  • Budget spreadsheet
  • Curriculum vitae of key personnel
  • Letters of support from applicant’s institution
  • Letters of commitment from partnering institution(s)/organization(s) - if proposed

The PNR staff will acknowledge your application when received, and notification of awards will be given within four weeks.

Budget Guidelines

  • Maximum award is up to $15,000. An upfront payment (50% of the award) will be made when the award agreement is signed. The balance will be paid after the PNR Office receives an invoice and the progress report (due no later than February 1st, 2021) is approved.
  • 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.
  • Allowable expenses: Personnel, equipment, supplies, travel and other costs such as reproduction of materials, software, Internet service provider fees. These are examples only and are not meant to be all-inclusive.
  • Expenses are also allowed to publicize a health information event or resource, including NLM or NNLM resources or services, but the allowable costs are limited to educational materials or publicity, such as posters, displays, flyers, bookmarks, or brochures. Please consult the HHS Policy on the Use of Appropriated Funds for Promotional Items(link is external).
  • Non-allowable expenses: Furniture is not allowed and food is not allowed.
  • Indirect Costs (IDC) or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs: Indirect cost (IDC)/F&A can be included based on your institution's federally approved IDC agreement (non-research rates apply). A 10% MTDC rate may be used if no IDC agreement exists.

Evaluation of Proposal

Applications will be reviewed by: PNR staff and Network member volunteers.

Reviewers will score applications based on the following categories and criteria.

Scored Review Criteria: Scale: 1-100 

The application will be scored in the following areas:

  • Significance (15 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?
  • Methodology/Approach (40 points max): Does the statement show the logic and feasibility of the technical approach to reaching the target group or community? Are the types of outreach services provided for the target population appropriate, creative and cost-effective? Does the project plan demonstrate sustainability or the ability to provide lessons learned for future programs? Does the proposed project add value to other initiatives? Does the project use local partners? Does the proposal include a timeline or implementation schedule for major events and activities? Does the program specify what NLM resources or NNLM national initiatives will be promoted and how they will be utilized throughout the project? 
  • Evaluation (15 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?
  • Project Staff (15 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. Do 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? Does it include money within allowable line items? Do they have line items that account for all the requested money?
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (5 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.

RML/Office staff and Network members will review and score applications using a standardized RFP scorecard. For more information, please review the RFP scorecard.
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.

The RML/Office 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 sent monthly.

Additional Information

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: 

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 28, 2021.  Reports will be entered and submitted to the NLM online reporting system. Additionally, successful applicants will be asked to contribute a blog post to the NNLM PNR Dragonfly in order to promote and raise awareness of their projects.
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 PNR 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.

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 NNLM PNR staff 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 resource developed with project funds must include an acknowledgment of NIH grant support and a disclaimer stating the following:

“Developed resources reported in this [publications, press releases, internet sites] are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012343 with University of Washington.  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: 

Cathy Burroughs, Associate Director, NNLM PNR, nnlm@uw.edu, Telephone: (206) 543-9261.

For assistance with writing proposals, please see Grants and Proposal Writing course materials.

See also previous projects funded.