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Professional Development Award

Description of Award

The goals of the National Network of Libraries 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 individual's 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 Professional Development Award is to strengthen the professional knowledge and experience of individual network members to improve access to health information for healthcare providers and consumers and to build professional capacity in support of the goals of the NNLM.

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

  • Increase project evaluation skills
  • Increase awareness of and skills for locating high quality biomedical and health information
  • Increase the ability to expand health information literacy in health and science education
  • Increase data management skills and awareness
  • Improve the use of technology for health information access, especially to underserved and underrepresented 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 and 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:

  • Attend a meeting, conference, or class that increases professional knowledge in the areas of emergency preparedness, public health information sources, information technology, resource sharing, e-science, data management, health information outreach, health information literacy, or evaluation and assessment.
  • Support the costs associated for a guest speaker to present during a meeting, conference, or class in the areas of emergency preparedness, public health information sources, information technology, resource sharing, e-science, data management, health information outreach, health information literacy, or evaluation and assessment.


Funding Period: 
Friday, May 1, 2020 to Friday, April 30, 2021
Number of Awards Available: 
Up to 4 projects
Additional Funding Information: 

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


Professional Development Awards will be funded until funds are exhausted.
Application Instructions: 

Applications may be submitted until all funds are depleted.

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:​
  • Description of the professional development opportunity: Describe the class, event, conference, etc. [4000 characters]
  • Anticipated outcomesList anticipated outcomes of the opportunity: how will it affect the career, institution, or community of the applicant? [4000 character limit]
  • Evaluation Plan: Describe plans for evaluating the project's success. 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. Because your project includes professional development, you will need to report this standard information. Please refer to the NNLM Evaluation Office NNLM Evaluation Materials: Professional Development web page for the type of information you will   report. For the proposal, explain how and when you will use the NNLM forms to collect the required information. [4000 character limit]
  • 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.

Budget Guidelines

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

  • Registration
  • Travel (includes transportation, hotel, and per diem)
  • Other (please describe) [200 character limit]
  • 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]

Funding Restrictions

F&A/IDC, Food, promotional items and furniture are not allowable expenses. 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. Refer to the policy

Evaluation of Proposal

  • Three reviewers made up of NNLM SEA staff and Network members will review and score applications based on four possible criteria: Significance to the goals of the NNLM, Outcomes, Evaluation Plan, 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 Professional Development Project Award 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 four 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 subcontract agreement for all approved projects. All subcontracts 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.
  • NNLM Evaluation Office Professional Development Award Report must be submitted before the 5th day of each month following the end of the activity.
  • 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. This is in lieu of a Final Report.
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:

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

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. 

Professional Development