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Sneak Peek on MLA Award for Research Advancement

By Margaret Bandy and Michelle Kraft, Research Imperative Task Force (RITF)

Does your organization support your involvement in research activities? The MLA Board has approved a new award that will recognize organizations fostering librarian-led research through dedicated time, funding, statistical support, and other research-friendly policies.

We hope to encourage employers to provide supportive and flexible employment conditions for health sciences librarians to:

  • develop research competencies
  • apply research to practice
  • conduct research projects, and
  • communicate research results 

MLA members will soon be able to nominate their organizations for a new award called the MLA Award for Research Advancement in Health Sciences Librarianship. The institution nominated for an award must be an MLA member, or at least one person on the research team at the institution must be an MLA member. Nominees may be hospital, academic, government, or corporate organizations. Evidence of achievement might include:

  • commitment to librarian involvement in research activities
  • significant financial support for librarians’ research activities
  • providing librarians with opportunities that support research activities
  • research engagement of librarians in institutional activities 

This award will encourage employers of health sciences librarians to enhance and expand their support of librarian-led research. Librarian-led research contributes to an evidence-based culture that benefits the institution, as well as bolstering the quality of library service, clinical care, and education. The award will not be monetary. Rather, it will publicly recognize institutions that have created positive research environments for their health sciences librarians. 

Awardees will be selected only on occasions when the merits of an organization clearly recommend recognition by MLA. As with other MLA awards, an application process will be developed, as will guidelines for the award jury. The first cycle for this award will likely be in 2018. Watch for an announcement when applications for the award can be submitted!

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