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Funding FAQs


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

The University of Pittsburgh has a Cooperative Agreement with the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. NNLM MAR awards are subawards under that Cooperative Agreement. If funded, your institution will sign a Cost Reimbursement Research Sub-award Agreement with the University of Pittsburgh.

Does NNLM fund research studies?

NNLM MAR primarily funds direct health information outreach. All projects should include direct outreach activities, such as training, health fairs, or programs for the public. To determine whether your proposal contains Human Subjects Research, please consult your local Institutional Review Board. For federal research awards, please search Grants.gov.

How many applications will be funded?

It depends on how many quality applications are received and the budget amounts requested. 

Who can I contact with additional questions?

If after reading through the RFP and these questions, you have additional questions, please fill out the Funding Inquiry Form. You will receive a response within 3 business days.

Who Can Apply?

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

Yes. Please note that organizations that have not been funded since May 2016 will receive priority if there are more quality applications then available funds. Previous awardees that did not comply with award requirements will not be funded at the discretion of the Executive Director.

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

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

My organization is not a "Library of Medicine." Can we still be a member of NNLM and apply for funding?

Yes! Any organization in DE, NJ, NY, PA that provides or uses health information is eligible for membership. Members include public libraries, community colleges, health departments, community based organizations, clinics, associations, and K-12 schools.

Can individuals be members and apply for funding?

Only organizations can be members of NNLM. Individuals can have accounts to take classes and update their organizational records. However, only organizations can be funded.

Submitting an Application

What are the deadlines for proposals?

All proposals for the 2020-2021 funding cycle are due on April 30, 2020 at 12:00 PM ET. Note the time - After that, we will review applications on a rolling basis until available funds are expended.

Where/How do I submit an application?

As of 2020, you can submit an application on our website at the bottom of the Request for Proposal (RFP). On each RFP you will find application and budget templates that can be used to write the application before coming to our website to submit it.

Are there any requirements for submitting an online application?

Yes! Refer to the overview of the NNLM Online Applications System for detailed system requirements and to watch a brief tutorial about submitting your application.

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

The Primary Contact will be sent an email with the funding decision by 5pm on May 15, 2020. Reviewers may have questions that need to be answered to proceed with funding - responses will be due within 5 business days.

Who reviews applications?

Each application is reviewed by a committee of at least two NNLM MAR staff members. Applications over $2500 are also reviewed by an outside reviewer. Outside reviewers come from member organizations and are usually previous awardees or advisory group members. Applications over $20,000 are subject to additional review by the National Library of Medicine. 

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 required "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. 

Do I need to apply for the maximum amount listed?

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

I wanted to apply for a Consumer Health Outreach Award, but I don't see it listed. Did you stop offering them?

In the past, NNLM MAR has offered as many as nine separate award categories. Our current award categories simplify the application and review process, and include the kinds of projects covered by former award categories.

Award Recipients

What paperwork will be required of awardees?

Awardees will receive a list of award requirements and reporting instructions from the NNLM MAR staff member who will oversee their project. A Cost Reimbursement Research Subaward Agreement, Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure, an A-133 Compliance acknowledgement will be required. It may take a month or two to execute contracts. If awardees will not be able to start work without an executed contract, they should include a timeline that reflects an expected 6-8 week delay.

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.