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Funding FAQs


How is applying for funding from NNLM different than other NIH funding?

The University of Washington has a Cooperative Agreement with the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. NNLM PNR awards are subawards under that Cooperative Agreement. If funded for more than $20,000, your institution will sign a Cost Reimbursement Research Sub-award Agreement with the University of Washington Office of Sponsored Programs. If the funded amount is less than $20,000, your institution will sign a Statement of Work agreement with the NNLM PNR.  

How many applications will be funded?

It depends on how many quality applications are received and the budget amounts requested.

Who can I contact with additional questions?

If after reading through the RFP and these questions, you have additional questions, please email us at nnlm@uw.edu.

What are the 9 common mistakes in proposal writing?

1.  Not following instructions – please follow all instructions and guidance that is given to you from us for your grant application.
2.  Waiting until the last minute – start as early as you can on the grant application; give yourself time to edit and make corrections as necessary.
3.  Not doing your research – it’s important that you adequately prove your need for the project grant.
4.  Careless editing – remember to make sure things look good and that you watch out for typos; this is all part of making a good impression.
5.  Not utilizing planning resources from funder – use all of the resources that are recommended from us for your application.
6.  Budget narrative is complete or the figures in the narrative do not match the budget - make sure that the narrative asks for thing that are covered in the application.
7.  Submitting a proposal late – NNLM PNR will not review late applications.
8.  Assuming reviewers are experts – be sure to make the content understandable at all comprehension levels as internal and external reviewers are not always subject experts.
9.  Ideas not equal to purposes of award – make sure your great idea meets the award purpose!

Who Can Apply?

If my organization has received funding in the past, can we reapply?

Yes. Please note that organizations that have not been funded since May 2016 will receive priority if there are more quality applications then available funds. 

Our application for funding was not accepted last year, can I reapply?

Yes. Make sure that any reviewer concerns were addressed. Read RFPs, instructions and review criteria carefully, as they have changed since last year.

My organization is not a "Library of Medicine." Can we still be a member of NNLM and apply for funding?

Yes! Any organization in the state of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington that provides or uses health information is eligible for membership. Members include medical libraries and also public libraries, community colleges, health departments, community based organizations, clinics, associations, and K-12 schools.

Can individuals be members and apply for funding?

Only organizations can be members of NNLM. Individuals can have accounts to take classes and update their organizational records. However, only organizations can be funded.

Submitting an Application

What are the deadlines for proposals?

Applications will be accepted until the date and time specified on the funding page: https://nnlm.gov/pnr/funding/  Note - late submissions will only be reviewed if funds remain after review of on-time applications.

How and when will applicants be notified of the review committee decisions?

The Primary Contact will be sent an email about the status of the application review within 5 weeks of submission. Reviewers may have questions that need to be answered to proceed with funding - if so, responses will be due within 5 business days. 

Who reviews applications?

Each application is reviewed by a committee of at least two NNLM PNR staff members. Applications over $5,000 are also reviewed by an outside reviewer. Outside reviewers come from member organizations and are usually previous awardees or advisory group members. 

Are applications blinded?

No. However, reviewers will be asked to disclose any conflicts of interest or bias that would prevent them from fairly and objectively rating an application.

Who should write the required "Letter of commitment from institutional leadership that includes acknowledgement of award requirements"?

The letter should come from a person 1) who is empowered to sign contracts on behalf of the institution and 2) who is able to commit the needed staff time and resources to successfully complete the proposed project and comply with award requirements.

Do I need to apply for the maximum amount listed?

No! Ask for the amount that is needed to fulfill project objectives.

Where do I find the Institution Tax ID or DUNS number?

Institution Tax ID: think about reaching out to your institution about this piece of information; takes a couple of days to research.

DUNS Number: this is required for federal grants and we recommend that you check with your institution’s Grants Office/Office of Research/CFO.  If you don’t have a DUNS number you can get one here but it can take up to 2 business days so plan ahead!

Award Recipients

What paperwork will be required of awardees?

Awardees will receive a list of award requirements and reporting instructions from the NNLM PNR staff member who will oversee their project. It may take a month or two to execute contracts. If awardees will not be able to start work without an executed contract, they should include a timeline that reflects an expected 6-8 week delay.

How will award funds be dispersed?

The currently available outreach awards are fixed price.  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 October 1, 2020) is approved.