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

Health Information Outreach Award

Description of Award

The goals of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) are to advance the progress of medicine, improve public health by providing U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information, and improve individuals’ access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health. The NNLM Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SEA) relies upon partnerships with network members to achieve these goals by providing training and funding for local outreach programs. The programs are intended to help a variety of users, with a focus on minority and other underserved populations and the health professionals who serve them, make the most effective use of information and decision-support resources that hold the promise of promoting healthy behaviors, preventing costly and debilitating illness, and improving health outcomes when disease occurs.


The purpose of the SEA Health Information Outreach Award is to provide support for projects that that improve health information literacy and increase the ability of patients, family members, students and members of the public to find and use health information; or improve health professionals’ access to, awareness of, and skills for locating high-quality biomedical and health information.

All projects must incorporate one or more National Library of Medicine resources like PubMedClinicalTrials.gov, or MedlinePlus. You can refer to the NLM list of Databases, Resources, and APIs for a complete overview of resources by topic.

Projects are encouraged that incorporate one or more of the following:

  • Support a NLM or NNLM major initiative: Research Data Management, NIH All of Us Community Engagement, Partnering with Public Libraries, Substance Misuse, Citizen Science, or Health Information Literacy
  • Increase awareness of and skills for locating high-quality biomedical and health information
  • Promote health information literacy in health and science education
  • Encourage partnerships between health sciences, public, hospital and school libraries, community- and faith-based organizations, volunteer organizations and other public venues
  • Promote and improve the use of technology for health information access, especially to underserved and underrepresented populations
  • Support for larger outreach projects and community partnerships
  • Promote and improve access to library and information services
  • Improve access to electronic health information

Preference will be given to projects that reach the following populations:

  • Libraries (all types)
  • Underserved, rural, minority, community health, or unaffiliated health professionals
  • K-12 schools and associations including school health professionals, or science and health educators
  • Community-based organizations
  • Health sciences students
  • Emergency responders
  • Public Health workers
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Social workers
  • Agencies serving underserved, minority and underrepresented communities including but not limited to
    • LGBTQ+ Communities
    • Soldiers, Veterans and Military Families
    • Rural Populations
    • Inner-city populations
  • Must be a SEA member in Alabama, District of Columbia, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • A Cost Reimbursement Research Subaward Agreement with the University of Maryland, Baltimore is required for this award.
  • A Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure is required for this award.
  • An A-133 Compliance acknowledgement is required for this award.
Potential Projects: 

Potential projects may include but are not limited to (this list is not meant to be all-inclusive):

  • Training unaffiliated, minority, urban or rural health professionals in effective use of electronic health information resources for evidence-based practice with an emphasis on NLM databases.
  • Placing web-accessible computers in locations where they can be used to research health information needs by unaffiliated health professionals such as free clinics, community health centers, etc.
  • Improving access to health information and information technology for those groups without adequate access to library and information services.
  • Exhibiting or presenting at local meetings or organizational events share completed outreach project and promote NLM products and services.
  • Evaluating health information and training needs of a target audience and implementing a training plan for that audience.
  • Programs on locating and evaluating consumer health information found on the Internet.
  • Incorporating NLM health and science information resources into new or existing health programs.  See National Health Observances slide show for some ideas.
  • Development of supplemental educational materials using NLM resources for educators/teachers.
  • Train-the-Trainer projects that enhance the skills of library/organization staff and other consumer health information intermediaries to train a target population on locating and evaluating health information.

SEA staff are available for consultation and training on applicable NLM resources. Please contact us at HSHSL-NLMsea@hshsl.umaryland.edu to schedule.


Funding Period: 
Friday, May 1, 2020 to Friday, April 30, 2021
Number of Awards Available: 
Up to 2 projects
Additional Funding Information: 

Awards are cost-reimbursable and are issued to the institution, not the individual.


Application Instructions: 

The application is divided into three sections:

  1. Administrative information. This information includes institution, name of project, lead, address, DUNS number, congressional district, and FEIN, etc.
  2. Direct beneficiaries, populations served, and project goals. This information is pre-populated and will be selected by check box.
  3. Project description. This section includes the following:​
  • Project Summary: a summary description to be placed on the SEA website if approved for funding. Include a statement on how the project will contribute to the mission of the NNLM. [2000 character limit]
  • Target Population: Describe the target population, including the need for the project, specific health issues of the population, and demographic information. [4000 character limit]
  • Project Objectives: Describes the changes the project will bring about in the target audience (example: “Participants will be able to find information on their prescriptions in DailyMed.”) and list anticipated accomplishments [4000 character limit]
  • Evaluation Plan*: The subaward applicants should consult the NNLM SEA for guidance in developing their evaluation plans. [4000 character limit]
  • Project Plan: Describe the tasks that will be performed to meet the project objectives, including a timeline and milestones (if applicable). [4000 character limit]
  • SustainabilityDescribe the activities that will sustain project services to targeted community or the institution's intent to maintain communication or service to the target population beyond the contract period. [4000 character limit]
  • Personnel: List persons who will work on this project, their roles in the project, and experience relevant to the project. [4000 character limit]
  • Institutional Support: Describe the support that will be provided by the host institution– facilities, time off, etc. [4000 characters limit]
  • Description of Training: If training is part of the plan, describe what will be taught, how many sessions will be provided, which NLM resources will be covered, which other topics will be covered, training materials to be used, and who will do the tasks. NOTE: recipients of NNLM funds are expected to use or adapt existing training materials. Consult with SEA prior to developing materials.  
  • Budget and Budget Justification: See Budget Guidelines for details.
  • Comments: Include any comments or information that are germane to the project, but not included in the categories above.

*Note on Evaluation Plans:

The subaward applicants should consult the SEA for guidance in developing their evaluation plans.

Award recipients conducting certain NNLM activities will be asked to collect specific information and report it by the end of the project using the forms provided on the NEO Evaluation Materials web page. If your project includes training, technology, exhibiting, or professional development activities, you will need to use these forms to collect and report this standard information. If you plan to do any of the outreach activities addressed on the Evaluation Materials page, describe how you intend to use the forms to collect the information in your evaluation plan.

For projects needing different or additional evaluation methods, the NNLM Evaluation Office provides templates and evaluation planning worksheets on the 4 Steps to an Evaluation Plan web page to help develop evaluation plans for your project. Subaward applicants also might find other NNLM Evaluation Office publications and resources helpful in developing evaluation plans.

Budget Guidelines

The budget estimate should be categorized by the following, as they apply:

  • Personnel 
  • Travel 
  • Equipment
  • Reproduction  
  • High speed internet access  
  • Other (please describe) [200 character limit]
  • (If desired) Indirect Costs (IDC) or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs apply at the applicant institution’s non-research rate (or, if the institution has no negotiated rate, a 10% Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) can be applied if the applicant wishes to claim it). This item is a portion of the maximum amount available per award. Costs, including IDC, may not exceed $15000.
  • Narrative justification for budget items—provide an explanation for each line item and how the item is needed for the project, tying to specific project goals [4000 character limit]

Evaluation of Proposal

  • Three reviewers made up of NNLM SEA staff and Network members will review and score applications based on ten possible criteria: Significance, Evidence of Need/Target Population, Methodology/Objectives, Promotion Plan, Evaluation, Sustainability/Continuation, Personnel/Qualifications, Institutional Support, Training Plan (if applicable), and Budget.
  • Criteria scoring will follow the following point scale for each criteria’s line item (NOTE: 5 is the highest score – the higher the score the better.)
    • 5 = Information is extremely relevant in support of NNLM goals as outlined in the award
    • 4 = Information is good in support of NNLM goals as outlined in the award
    • 3 = Information is satisfactory in support of NNLM goals as outlined in the award
    • 2 = Information is marginal in support of NNLM goals as outlined in the award
    • 1 = Information is poor and does not support NNLM goals as outlined in the award
  • View scoring criteria and criteria line items.
  • A separate, Overall Impact Score will indicate reviewer recommendation for funding as follows:
    • 5 = Excellent Application. The project will have major impact on NNLM goals.
    • 4 = Project has strong potential to satisfy NNLM goals.
    • 3 = Project has limited impact or there are concerns about the proposed plan or quality.
    • 2 = Project will not advance the goals of NNLM. 
    • 1 = Project does not fit in the Award goals and NNLM mission.
  • 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.
  • Applications with an average score of 3 or higher for each of the ten criteria AND an overall impact ranking of 4 or higher will be given priority until funds are expended.
  • The University of Maryland will provide a sub-award 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: 

The following reporting requirements are mandatory of award recipients

  • Activity Reports: Activities held in support of project objectives must be submitted before the 5th day of each month following the end of the activity. Examples include training sessions held, project partner meetings and updates.
  • Final Reports: A final report of project activities, outcomes, and evaluation findings must be submitted within 30 calendar days upon completion of the award.
  • Exhibit Report: Awardees who attend an exhibit will be required to submit a separate exhibit report detailing location, date, attendance, materials distributed, and contacts made.
  • Awardees will also share their project and lessons learned via a pre-arranged NNLM webinar or through the NNLM SEA electronic newsletter. This will be discussed, if awarded, with your assigned NNLM Coordinator.
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: 

In order to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and information associated with the NNLM Cooperative Agreement Award, all awardees 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 National Library of Medicine (NNLM) website;
  • Other site specifically designated by the NLM as part of the National Network of Libraries 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 SEA 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(link is external)

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 National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Data developed by a subawardees/consortium participants and consultants are also subject to this policy.  

NIH Acknowledgement: 

Any resources developed with project funds must include an acknowledgment of NIH grant support and a disclaimer stating the following:

Developed resources reported in this [publication, press release, internet site] are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012342 with the University of Maryland, Health Sciences and Human Services Library. 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: 

To request assistance, contact us at HSHSL-NLMsea@hshsl.umaryland.edu or (410) 706-2855.

Additionally, see the NNLM Grants and Proposal Writing Course for tips on award applications.