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RTI Changes

Submitted by the RTI Leadership Team

For the past three years, the MLA Research Training Institute for Health Sciences Librarians (RTI) has been funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). We were very grateful to have this funding, but in July 2020, this funding will come to an end. Even though IMLS support is ending, MLA is committed to continuing this successful learning model that educates health sciences librarians to become knowledgeable and confident in conducting research that contributes to library and health improvements.

To continue the program, we are working with our partners to identify ways to keep the cost of attendance as low as possible, recover the costs incurred for hosting the weeklong institute, and maintain the high-quality learning experience. Thanks to our University of Illinois–Chicago (UIC) partner and other scholarship donors, we will be able to offer the 2020 institute at a reasonable cost that is less than other comparable continuing education programs.

The tuition fee for the 2020 institute covers:

  • the cost of instruction for the weeklong research workshop
  • refreshment breaks, lunches, and an evening social event
  • a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus pass (7 days)
  • membership in the RTI community of practice

We are also offering a fee option for participants who prefer convenient and inexpensive housing on the UIC campus.

2020 institute fees:

  • MLA Member Registration Fees:
    • Tuition: $1,525
    • Tuition with lodging: $1,875
  • Non-MLA Member Registration Fees:
    • Tuition: $1,775
    • Tuition with lodging: $2,125

The RTI application process for the 2020 institute has also been streamlined. Applicants will be expected to submit their research topics and explain how that research topic fills an existing gap in the literature and/or builds on existing research. Next year’s applicants will develop and refine their research plans in collaboration with instructors and peers during the RTI program. The admission process remains competitive, and all applications will be reviewed and ranked by the RTI Jury. Admission to the program and scholarship awards will be based on this ranking.

RTI Program Success Story

The RTI program has been a huge success. Both 2018 and 2019 pilots showed that the advanced research methods curriculum and in-depth research support structure are sound and effective. Because the RTI was federally funded, we are assessing almost every aspect of the program. Results show statistically significant increases in the research skills and confidence of all participants. You cannot get better results than that! Results also show that almost all of the 2018 Fellows’ projects have been completed, and reports on four projects will soon be published in peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, RTI training has positively impacted RTI Fellows’ professional internal and external relationships, built influence with user communities, and enhanced library services at their libraries. One RTI Fellow says it best, “The Research Training Institute has been one of the most productive and professionally fulfilling milestones of my career thus far.”

The RTI program is not only successful, but it is also unique among continuing education programs. The RTI is the only advanced research skills program in the country that is geared toward practicing health sciences librarians. The program has several other unique features, such as strong mentor-based support after the workshop, a unique capstone presentation experience at the MLA national meeting, and widespread scholarship support from MLA unit and affiliates.

Applications are now being accepted through January 17, 2020, for the 2020 cohort of RTI research fellows. Admission is competitive. Accepted applicants will be notified in March 2020. See the RTI website for eligibility requirements and selection criteria. The institute also offers a growing number of scholarship opportunities. If you would like to learn more about the institute, please visit the RTI website or contact project director Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA.

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A Special Thank You to the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL)