Funding FAQs
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Membership

Learn about the benefits of joining our network, and find tools, resources and services for NNLM members.

Funding

Find information about NNLM funding, and other sources you can explore beyond NLM and NNLM.
Proposal Writing Support
Use our proposal writing resources to boost your expertise in grant-writing, and learn about general best practices for submitting proposals to NNLM.
Tools and Resources
Need some assistance? Explore our funding guides, FAQs, and templates and tutorials for submitting web-based applications and activity reports.

Training

Explore resources related to NNLM's wide variety of training opportunities.
Class Resources
Already registered? Find a resource guide to supplement your upcoming NNLM or NLM class.
NLM Resources
Learn more about tools and resources from the National Library of Medicine.
Specializations
Looking for free Continuing Education? Learn more about CE and specializations you can obtain through NNLM classes.

Topics

Browse our complete catalog by topic.
All of Us
Explore tools and programs supported by the NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Network, and learn more about this initiative with the All of Us Research Program.
Citizen Science
Find tools and programs you can use to promote citizen science and crowdsourcing in your institution, and learn more about this NNLM priority area.
Consumer Health
Looking for health resources you can share? Check out NNLM's consumer health guides to promote quality sources of health information for any audience.
Data Science / Data Management
Review subject primers and programs related to managing, storing and sharing data, and learn more about this NNLM priority area.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Explore resources for developing institutional practices around diversity, equity and inclusion, and learn more about this NNLM initiative.
Disaster and Emergency Preparedness
Find tools and programs you can use for emergency preparedness, and learn about quality sources of disaster health information.
Graphic Medicine
Learn more about graphic medicine as a medium for sharing health information, including tools you can use for developing comic-based programs.
Health Literacy
Find resources for interpreting health information online, understanding health information, and evaluating literacy levels for health websites.
HIV/AIDS
Explore resources for organizations that provide HIV/AIDS information services, and learn more about this NNLM priority area.
Student Engagement
Learn how you can champion health sciences librarianship and increase diversity in the Library and Information Sciences pipeline through this NNLM priority area.
Public Health
Find localized public health resources, and free programs and tools supported by public health departments.
STEM Initiatives
Bolster your Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives with quality health information resources, and explore programs and tools you can use to help students consider a career in STEM or the health professions.
Substance Use Disorder / NIH HEAL
Find resources and programs you can use to support patrons living with substance use disorders, and learn more about the NIH HEAL initiative.
Scholarly Communication
Review guides for accessing and utilizing electronic journals, and other published resources of health information and health research.

Audiences

Browse our complete catalog by audience.
Academic Libraries
Find guides and resources for academic libraries and library staff, including community colleges, universities, and other post-secondary educational institutions.
Hospital/Health Sciences Libraries
Find guides and resources for hospital libraries, health sciences libraries, and library staff.
Public Libraries
Find guides and resources for public libraries and library staff, and learn more about the NNLM public libraries initiative.
Other Library or Information Professionals
Find guides and resources geared toward other library or information professionals.
Community-based Organizations
Find guides and resources for community-based organizations and their staff.
Data Resource or Tool Developers
Find guides for data resource and tool developers.
Data Scientists
Find guides and resources for data scientists.
College & Post-grad Educators
Find guides and resources for college and post-grad educators, such as faculty and staff who provide health programming and instruction to adults.
College & Post-grad Students
Find guides and resources for college and post-grad students, including those seeking supplemental learning opportunities.
K-12 Educators
Find guides and resources for K-12 educators, such as faculty and staff who provide health programming and instruction to children.
K-12 Students
Find guides and resources for K-12 students, including children who are seeking supplemental learning opportunities or information about careers in the health professions.
Healthcare Providers
Find guides and resources for healthcare providers and clinicians.
Public Health Professionals
Find guides and resources for public health professionals, public and community health workers.
Researchers
Content focused on serving the needs of researchers.

Regional Focus

Explore resources and programs for specific geographic populations in the United States.
Region 1
Guides and resources for members in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. 
Region 2
Guides and resources for members in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Region 3
Guides and resources for members in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Region 4
Guides and resources for members in Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
Region 5
Guides and resources for members in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States in the Pacific.
Region 6
Guides and resources for members in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Region 7
Guides and resources for members in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Resource Sharing

Explore tools you can use for scholarly communication and interlibrary loan.
DOCLINE
Learn how your institution can use DOCLINE, the National Library of Medicine’s Interlibrary Loan request routing system.
Public Health Collections
Learn about public health and other subscription-based resources for members of the NNLM Public Health Digital Library.

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about NNLM funding and related topics.

Scope of Funding

What can or cannot be purchased with NNLM funds?

NNLM funding supports outreach programs and professional development activities. You may use subaward funds to pay for personnel, travel, conference and event fees, consulting services, equipment, supplies, communications, and other things that are necessary to support the project or activity. Generally, NNLM funding may not be used:

  • to support entertainment expenses, such as the purchase of alcohol,
  • to purchase Intellectual Properties, such as copyrights or patents,
  • to purchase general-use real estate or furniture, or
  • to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

We recommend reviewing the NIH Grants policy statement to learn what other items may be limited or prohibited.

What is an IRB?

Under Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, an Institutional Review Board (IRB) is an appropriately constituted group that has been formally designated to review and monitor biomedical research involving human subjects. In accordance with FDA regulations, an IRB has the authority to approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or disapprove research. This group review serves an important role in the protection of the rights and welfare of human research subjects.

For more detailed information on IRBs, use the IRB Frequently Asked Questions information sheet from the FDA.

Is my project considered "human subjects research"?

According to Title 45, Code of Federal Regulations 46, a human subject is "a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research:

  • Obtains information or biospecimens through intervention or interaction with the individual, and uses, studies, or analyzes the information or biospecimens; or
  • Obtains, uses, studies, analyzes, or generates identifiable private information or identifiable biospecimens."

If you are unsure if your project meets these criteria:

Please note that some NNLM funding does not support human subjects research. Refer to the specific Request for Applications for award guidance and restrictions.

Does NNLM fund research studies?

NNLM primarily funds direct health information outreach. All projects should include direct outreach activities, such as training, health fairs, or programs for the public.

For federal research awards, please search Grants.gov.

How is applying for funding from NNLM different than other NIH funding?

NNLM Regions, Offices and Centers (ROC) have Cooperative Agreements with the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. NNLM awards are subawards under these Cooperative Agreements. If funded, your institution will sign a Cost Reimbursement Research Sub-award Agreement with the ROC’s sponsoring institution.

Unlike most NIH funding, NNLM funding does not support projects for clinical intervention.

Eligibility Guidelines

How many applications will be funded?

It depends on how many quality applications are received, the budget amounts requested, and the number of awards available from the Region, Office or Center. Refer to the specific Request for Applications for more details.

Who can I contact with additional questions?

If you have additional questions after reading through the Request for Applications and these FAQs, please request a consultation with NNLM staff. You will receive a response within 3 business days.

If my organization has received funding in the past, can we reapply?

Yes. Please note that organizations that have not been funded since May 2021 will receive priority if there are more quality applications then available funds. Priority may also be given to more recent subawardees who are applying for a different type of award than previously received. Previous awardees that did not comply with award requirements will not be funded at the discretion of the Associate/Executive Director.

Our application was not accepted last year, can I reapply?

Yes. Make sure that any reviewer concerns were addressed. Read the Request for Applications, instructions, and review criteria carefully, as they may have changed since last year.

If you have concerns about reapplying or about your application, you can request a consultation to discuss it with the Region, Office or Center.

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

Any NNLM Member Organization is eligible for funding opportunities in their region, and any organization in the United States that has health information access as part of its work is eligible to become a Network member. Members include public libraries, community colleges, health departments, community based organizations, clinics, associations, K-12 schools, and more.

Can individuals apply for funding?

Consult with your Regional Medical Library if you are not associated with an NNLM Member. There may be specific professional development opportunities for which you are eligible to apply.

Application Process

Where can I find the deadline for an application?

Specific due dates and deadlines are listed on the Request for Applications.

Where/How do I submit an application?

You can submit an application from the specific Request for Applications to which you are responding. View the NNLM Proposal Writing Toolkit for more detailed instructions on the submission process, including tutorials and templates you can use to build your application offline.

Are there any requirements for submitting an online application?

Yes. Refer to our system requirements in the NNLM Proposal Writing Toolkit for detailed information.

Do I need to apply for the maximum amount listed?

No! Ask for the amount that is needed to fulfill project objectives.

Can we include Indirect Costs (IDC) or Facilities and Administration (F&A) fees in the project budget?

Yes. However, it is factored into the total budget for the project. It can not exceed the maximum amount listed for the award.

I wanted to apply for a specific award type, but I don't see it listed. Did you stop offering it?

Award opportunities change throughout the cooperative agreement period. Contact your Region, Office or Center to discuss the project and determine what current awards may be comparable to previous offerings.

Review and Selection Process

Who reviews applications?

After the application deadline, your project proposal will be reviewed by the staff of the funding Region, Office or Center (ROC), and/or external reviewers that are selected by the ROC. The Review Committee is made up of Network members who represent the Region; public libraries, a variety of health science libraries, and community organizations.

Applications over $50,000 are subject to additional review by the National Library of Medicine. 

How and when will applicants be notified of the review committee decisions?

After scoring is complete, the Review Committee will meet and make final recommendations for funding to the Associate/Executive Director of the Region, Office or Center. Applicants will receive a copy of reviewer comments along with a final decision regarding funding.

Are applications blinded?

No. However, reviewers will be asked to disclose any conflicts of interest or bias that would prevent them from fairly and objectively rating an application.

Who should write the "Letter of commitment from institutional leadership that includes acknowledgement of award requirements"?

The letter should come from a person 1) who is empowered to sign contracts on behalf of the institution and 2) who is able to commit the needed staff time and resources to successfully complete the proposed project and comply with award requirements. 

Selected Projects

What paperwork will be required of awardees?

Requirements differ between funding institutions and can change over time. Consult with the funding Region, Office or Center to determine what documentation will be required.

How will award funds be dispersed?

All awards are cost-reimbursable. Your institution pays for budgeted expenses and then sends line item invoices to get reimbursed. As long as an awardee is up to date with reporting and is complying with other award requirements, invoices can be sent to us as frequently as once a month.

How should we recognize the receipt of this grant in press releases and developed materials?

Awardees must acknowledge the support of the National Library of Medicine whenever publicizing the work under an award in any media by including an acknowledgment substantially as follows:

"Developed resources reported in this [publication, press release, website] are supported by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, under Cooperative Agreement number XXXXXX. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health."

Contact your funding Region, Office or Center to get the cooperative agreement number.

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