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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 South Central 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 SCR to provide resources to libraries, community-based organizations, public health professionals, health educators, faith-based agencies, and other information partners throughout the South Central Region of the United States. States served by the NNLM SCR include Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
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 South Central 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 South Central 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 CDC 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: combatting health misinformation or information overload.

Network members in the NNLM SCR (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas) 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 visit: https://nnlm.gov/scr/members. 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 CDC 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.
  • Promote health information literacy in health education and healthcare, including resources on how to effectively communicate with patients and caregivers
  • Improve access to electronic health information
  • Promote and improve access to library and information services
  • Promote and improve the use of technology for information access
  • Encourage 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

*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 to patrons by providing technology for the applicant organization 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: 
Sunday, November 1, 2020 to Friday, April 30, 2021
Up to $20,000
Number of Awards Available: 
Additional Funding Information: 

Five (5) projects up to $20,000 each will be available.


Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 5:00pm
Application Instructions: 

Electronically submit the Award Application, Direct Beneficiaries, and any supporting letters and documentation to NNLM SCR Office via the application portal on this webpage below. If you have any issues with the online portal application process, contact us at nnlm-scr@unthsc.edu.

Budget Guidelines

Funding will be processed on a cost reimbursement basis through University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC).
Funding will cover (these are examples only and are not meant to be all-inclusive): Personnel, equipment, software, Internet service provider fees, supplies, travel and reproduction.
Food and furniture costs are not allowed.
IDC is allowable. The institution’s negotiated rate for other sponsored activities should be used. If your institution does not have a negotiated rate a maximum of 10% can be used for IDC.
All awards issued under the NLM Contract with the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library are subject to the Government's availability of appropriated funds in compliance of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.232-18, Availability of Funds. No legal liability on the part of the Government for any payment may arise until funds are made available to the Contracting Officer for this contract and until the Contractor receives notice of such availability, to be confirmed in writing by the Contracting Officer. These funds will be subject to regulations up to and including 2 CFR 200.
Invoicing and Reimbursement
This is a cost reimbursable agreement.  Detailed invoices shall be submitted on a monthly basis and final invoices will be submitted to the Institution no later than 60 days after the termination date of the Agreement.
Promotional Items
Promotional items are not allowable. 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.  Typically, items or tokens to be given to individuals are considered personal gifts for which appropriated funds may not be expended. More information is located at: HHS Policy on the Use of Appropriated Funds for Promotional Items

Evaluation of Proposal

Reviewers made up of NNLM SCR staff and potentially Network members will review and score applications based on the scoring criteria and criteria line items here: https://nnlm.gov/sites/default/files/shared/files/RFP_Scorecard_Yr_5.pdf

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth will provide an agreement for all approved projects. All sub-awards are cost reimbursement. Line item invoices must be submitted for reimbursement of expenditures.

NIH-designated U.S. health disparity populations: Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities (see https://www.nimhd.nih.gov/about/overview/).

After the proposal submission deadline, the proposals will be reviewed by a regional review committee. This committee will be composed of regional office staff and potentially regional network members. The proposals will be given a technical score (0-100 points) based on the listed evaluation criteria in this RFP. The highest scored proposals will be funded as funding allows. Once funding recommendations are created, the proposals and review results will be routed to NLM for final approval.

Additional Information

508 Compliance: 

The Department of Health and Human Services synopsis of Section 508 accessibility requirements, requires that all Federal agencies are obligated to make all electronic and information technology (EIT) that they develop, maintain or use compliant with Section 508.  Recipients of National Library of Medicine funding through the NNLM must also meet these requirements. More information on 508 Compliance is located at https://www.section508.gov/

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 15, 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 SCR Blogadillo 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 SCR 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: 

All publications must be registered with PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication to be in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy. If you have any questions regarding being in compliance with the Public Access Policy please contact NNLM SCR’s Executive Director.

Data Sharing and Development of Training Materials: 

Successful applicants are required to use or adapt existing NLM training materials if the curricular material will meet your needs. SCR staff is available to provide consultation on applicable NLM resources for your target audience if needed.
All materials developed should be 508 Compliant. The NIH must be given a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license for the Federal government to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the material and to authorize others to do so for Federal purposes, i.e. the ongoing development of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. All materials created for these projects should be uploaded to the NNLM Learning Object Repository.

NIH Acknowledgement: 

The awardee shall acknowledge the support of the National Library of Medicine in all publications, presentations, and posters by stating:
This project has been supported in part or in full by Federal funds through the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health under award number UG4LM012345 with the University of North Texas Health Science Center. The content is the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Need Assistance: 

Contact the NNLM SCR Office: nnlm-scr@unthsc.edu