National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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NNLM PSR Funding Guide

How to Apply

Proposals should include the following four elements:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Summary of the Project
  3. Budget
  4. Attachments (e.g., C.V., letters of recommendation)

The application process varies by the type of award; please consult the Funding Opportunities page for awards that are currently open and application forms. We recommend completing our online Award Interest Form or sending an email with a preliminary proposal before completing an application.

Funding Terminology

Period of Performance

The time frame during which the award recipient is expected to complete project work and incur any expenses. The period of performance for most PSR awards begins on May 1 and ends on April 30 of each year. However, PSR may approve awards at any time and a project may begin later in the award cycle.

Keep the period of performance in mind when planning a project. If the award recipient runs out of time to complete the project, PSR may be able to offer a no-cost extension, meaning that the recipient will be given additional time continue the work and complete the final report (no expenses can be incurred during the extension). If you have questions or concerns regarding the period of performance when planning a project, please email the NNLM PSR office.


An award provided by a pass-through entity, such as the PSR office, to a subrecipient to carry out as part of federal funding. It does not include payments to a contractor. A principal investigator (PI) has responsibility for programmatic decision-making and exercises judgment throughout the scope of a project.


An estimate of the costs of a proposed project, including direct costs and F&A costs. Budgets consist of an itemized list of expenses, an explanation of the expenses, and a justification of why those expenses are necessary.

Direct Costs

The costs of a project that can be clearly identified with that specific project (e.g., personnel fees, equipment and supplies, travel costs, etc.).

Indirect Costs 

Also called Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs, indirect costs cannot be easily charged to a specific project. These include facility maintenance, depreciation, utility costs, and general department administration. Since indirect costs cannot be itemized, they are calculated using a fixed percentage rate. It is common for institutions to have a negotiated indirect cost rate in place, but if not, a 10% Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) may be applied. For smaller awards, an institution may also choose to waive indirect costs entirely.

DUNS Number

A Dun & Bradstreet number (DUNS number) is a unique 9-digit number used to identify each physical location of a business and establish that business's credit file. This number helps UCLA predict the reliability and/or financial stability of your institution. If you need help finding your institution's DUNS number, your business office, Division of Sponsored Programs, or other equivalent department at your institution can likely provide you with this number. You can also use this form to request your DUNS number online.