National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Health Literacy Award

Description of Award

The award enables organizations to develop and offer programs that will impact health literacy in the South Central Region.


The mission of the National Network of Libraries 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 impact health literacy in the South Central Region. Background information on health literacy is provided by NNLM here:

Award Goals

The goals of the Health Literacy Award is to fund projects to:

  • Help to train health care staff in the principles of health literacy and plain language.
  • Create collections or repositories of materials (e.g. insurance forms and instructions, informed consent and other legal documents, aftercare and medication instruction, and patient education materials) in several languages and review the materials with members of the target population.
  • Help to disseminate existing communication tools and resources for patients.
  • Provide materials that are multilingual, culturally appropriate and easy-to-read.
  • Develop methods and materials to teach consumers how to evaluate health information resources, especially those found on the Internet.
  • Improve patient communication.



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: Public librarians, community-based and faith-based organizations are encouraged to apply.

Potential Projects: 

Proposals should be directed at improving health information literacy and/or advancing the field of health literacy research and resources.

Projects may include the following (other creative ideas are encouraged):

  • Training in effective use of information resources to the target population.

  • Training on locating and evaluating health information found on the Internet.

  • Provide access to health information documents or other needed health information for the target population.

  • Develop clinical best practices or protocols to reduce clinician-patient communication barriers.

  • Develop partnerships with school librarians, primary and secondary school teachers (health, science, etc.), and school nurses to introduce health related tasks into the curriculum.

  • Work with consumer advocate organizations to increase vulnerable populations’ access and ability to navigate health information.

  • Collaborate with appropriate partners to provide health information literacy training for health educators.


Funding Period: 
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 to Thursday, April 30, 2020
Up to $40,000
Number of Awards Available: 
Additional Funding Information: 

Two (2) projects up to $40,000 will be available.


Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 1, 2019 - 5:00pm
Application Instructions: 

Electronically submit the Award Application, Direct Beneficiaries, and any supporting letters and documentation to NNLM SCR’s Executive Director.

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

  1. Significance/Impact (10 points)
    • How does the project support the mission of the NNLM and the aims of the SCR?
    • If the aims of this project are achieved, how would this project impact knowledge, reduce barriers, or otherwise impact this area?  
  2. Evidence of need for the project and involvement of the target audience in determining need(s) (10 points)
  3. Well defined description of the target population (10 points)
    • Estimates of the potential population and the portion expected to be reached should be included
  4. Goals and outcomes that can reasonably be accomplished and even sustained beyond the project period (10 points)
  5. Project plan that clearly indicates specific steps to be accomplished to fulfill objectives (10 points)
    • Inclusion of a timeline or implementation schedule for major events and activities
    • Planned outputs for the project: number of training session, participants, transactions, etc.
  6. Detailed plan to promote the project to the target population (10 points)
  7. Clear evaluation strategies to measure and assess outcomes and determine the project's success (10 points)
    • In developing an evaluation mechanism, attention should be given to how successful the project will be in meeting the information needs of the target group.
    • Evaluation should measure project objectives and their outcomes. Proposed evaluation tools should reflect these measurements.
    • NNLM members are strongly encouraged to consult the NNLM SCR or the NNLM Evaluation Office (NEO) publications and resources for assistance in developing an effective evaluation plan:
    • Award recipients conducting certain NNLM activities will be asked to collect specific information and report it at the end of the project using forms provided by the NNLM. If your project includes training, technology improvement, exhibiting/health fairs, or professional development activities, you will need to report this standard information. Please refer to the NNLM Evaluation Office’s NNLM Evaluation Materials web page for the type of information you will need to report. For the proposal, explain how and when you will use the NNLM forms to collect the information, and include any additional evaluation that you are planning for the project.
  8. Describe the activities that will continue project services to targeted community after completion of the award (10 points)
  9. Evidence of qualified personnel and organizational resources, including partnerships, to assure completion of the project and potential sustainability (10 points)
    • Evidence of institutional facilities and resources adequate to support the proposed program
    • Letter of support from applicant's institutional administration
    • Letters of commitment from administrations of all agencies involved or targeted in the project
  10. Budget plan that is complete, clear, and well justified to complete the project.

Proposal Review Process

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 regional network members. The proposals will be given a technical score (0-90 points) based on the listed evaluation criteria in this RFP. The budget and narrative budget justification will be separately reviewed by the NNLM SCR’s Budget Coordinator. The highest scored proposal will be funded as funding allows. Once funding recommendations are created, the proposals and review results will be routed to the NNCO for final approval. Applicants will receive their technical score and de-identified reviewer comments after the funding decisions have been made.

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

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, 2020.  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.

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.

Publication and Copyrighting: 

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.
All publications must be registered with PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication to be in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Need Assistance: 

Contact the Executive Director