Contact Us | Donate | Advertise Follow us on TwitterFollow us on facebookFollow us on LinkedIn


Donald A. B. Lindberg Research Fellowship

The Medical Library Association (MLA) believes that access to high-quality information improves decision making by health professionals, scientists, and consumers and is a major determinant in the quality of care and improved health for the nation and the world. MLA is interested in supporting individuals and research collaboration groups whose research will extend the underlying knowledge base of health sciences information management or enhance the practice of the information professions, particularly health sciences librarianship. Areas of interest include the organization, delivery, use, and impact of information and knowledge on:

  • health care access and delivery;
  • public health services;
  • consumers’ use of health information;
  • biomedical research;
  • education for the health professions.

The Donald A. B. Lindberg Research Fellowship is named in honor of Donald A. B. Lindberg, MD, former director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), in recognition of his significant national and international achievements at NLM and its National Center for Biotechnology Information. The Lindberg Research Fellowship Endowment, established in 2003, will provide a $10,000 grant, awarded annually by MLA through a competitive grant process. The purpose of this fellowship is to fund research aimed at expanding the research knowledge base, linking the information services provided by librarians to improved health care and advances in biomedical research. The fellow program is administered through the Lindberg Research Fellow Jury.

Do you want to present the best application possible and improve your chances of receiving this fellowship? 


  • To apply for support, an individual/group must be sponsored by an institution or an organization. One or a combination of the following institutions or organizations may sponsor applicants: MLA Board, committees, caucuses, and chapters; graduate schools of library and information science; university deans or department chairs in health professions schools or health care organizations; library organizations; or scientific academies and societies.
  • Applicants must
    • be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or Canada or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment.
    • be members of MLA (membership options). 
    • be health sciences librarians, health professionals, researchers, educators, and administrators are eligible.
    • have a bachelor's, master's, or doctor's degree or be enrolled in a program leading to such a degree and demonstrate a commitment to the health sciences. The fellowship is not designed to support research for a doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis.
  • An applicant/group may resubmit an application for the Lindberg Research Fellowship for up to a two-year period.  


  • Lindberg Fellowships are funded through a competitive annual grant program with applications due by November 15
  • The award is not restricted to disbursement in a single year, and funding may be disbursed over a period of up to five years depending on the needs of the research fellow and/or research collaboration group.
  • The award may be used to supplement or extend other awards, including other private or government-supported fellowships, but is not contingent on receiving other awards.
  • The successful applicant/group must submit an annual progress report to MLA according to guidelines for grant reporting procedures established for the Lindberg Research Fellowship.

Grant Funds

  • The awardee/group receives an unrestricted grant that is awarded to the applicant/group and not to an organization or institution.
  • All proposed expenses must clearly align with the intention of the fellowship and will be evaluated for relevance.
  • Funding may be used for reasonable and actual expenses that meet MLA guidelines:
    • Physical travel within North America, or international travel when specifically allowed (e.g., mileage, travel fares, lodging)
    • Direct costs related to profession development or conference attendance (e.g., registration fees, books)
    • Direct costs related to the project, where applicable (e.g., scans of library resources or interlibrary loans, teleconferencing fees, virtual polling software)
    • Costs to enable the awardee to travel (may allow for compensation for reasonable expenses, e.g., family caregiving)
  • The grant may be used for salaries, supplies, equipment, fees, insurance, salaries for research assistants, and other research-related costs that clearly align with the intention of the fellowship.  
  • The funds may not be used for institutional overhead, other indirect costs, or income tax payments.
  • Acceptance of the grant may be subject to institutional rules, regulations, and to all applicable tax laws.

Review Criteria

The Lindberg Research Fellowship Jury will review applications for scientific and technical merit. The jury will follow modified review criteria based on those used for National Institutes of Health grant applications:

  • Research Proposal: The scientific merit of the proposal, its importance to the field of health information management, and its alignment with the stated purposes of the Lindberg Research Fellowship and MLA’s research agenda, including the top-ranked research questions. The proposal should be 5–10 pages in length, single-spaced, with 12-point type.
  • Candidate: An assessment of the candidate/group's previous academic and research performance or publication activity and the candidate’s potential research and/or mentoring contributions to health sciences librarianship or health informatics.
  • Research Environment and Capabilities: An assessment of the quality of the research environment and the capabilities of the sponsor organization related to the successful conclusion of the research proposal. 
  • Research Dissemination Plan: An assessment of the plan to disseminate the results within and outside the field of health sciences librarianship and health informatics. 

Submission Checklist

  • The online application must be completed and supporting documents uploaded no later than November 15.
  • Applicant’s curriculum vitae or biographical sketch.
  • In the case of a group application, the primary investigator should submit their curriculum vitae or biographical sketch as well as information about each member of the research collaboration group including what role each individual will perform in the research process.
  • Detailed research proposal:
    • 5–10 pages in length, single-spaced, with 12-point type.
    • include all critical elements of the proposed study including background and rationale, research aims, budget, research design and methodology, timeline, and plans for disseminating the results.
  • Letters of support:
    • from the applicant/group’s home institution or from sponsoring institutions or organizations such as the board, committees, caucuses, and chapters of MLA; graduate schools of library and information science; university deans or department chairs in health professions schools or health care organizations; library organizations; or, scientific academies and societies.
    • should address why the research is significant to the field and why the applicant/group is qualified to do the research.
  • Updated MLA member profile.


  • The recipient and nonrecipients will be notified in March
  • The recipient will receive grant funds in June, after required documents are submitted to MLA. 
  • The amount requested and actual grant awarded may not necessarily be the same amount.
  • The recipient will be asked to share a photo and video for the virtual awards ceremony held in April. 
  • If there are no appropriate candidates, the association may elect not to present the grant in a given year.

Ready to Submit an Application?

  • The fellowship application process is closed.
  • Recipients will be announced in March 2024.
  • Applications will open next in August 2024.

Previous Fellowship Recipients

  • 2024: Carrie Adams
    Improving the health literacy of community members using microlearning.
  • 2023: Jacqueline Gunther
    Research aimed at expanding the research knowledge base, linking the information services provided by librarians to improved health care and advances in biomedical research.
  • 2022: Jonathan Eldredge, AHIP, FMLA
    Evidence Based Practice: A Practical Guide for Health Information Professionals"
  • 2021: Brandon Patterson and Kerri Shaffer
    "Implicit Bias in Health Care: Exploring the Upstream and Downstream Effects with Virtual Reality"
  • 2020: Antonio P. DeRosa, AHIP
    "Shared Decision-Making (SDM) Among Breast Cancer Patients: A Phenomenological Study and Exploration into Health Literacy Interventions"
  • 2019: Mary Grace Flaherty
    "Using an Emerging Condition to Understand Health Information Use, Diagnostic Delay and Health Services Utilization"
  • 2018: Sue Yeon Syn and JungWon Yoon 
    "Investigation of the Impact of Text and Visual Formats on Facebook Health Communication Based on User-Centered Evidence from Eye-movement Analysis"
  • 2017: None Awarded
  • 2016: Alisa Surkis
    "Measurement of Translational Success through Publication Analysis"
  • 2015: Lorie Kloda
    "Effectiveness of Teaching Students in Occupational and Physical Therapy PICO vs. an Alternative Framework Questions Formulation: A Randomized Controlled Trial"
  • 2014: Deborah H. Charbonneau
    "NIH Public Access and Data Sharing Policies: A Mixed-Methods Study"
  • 2013: Kristi L. Holmes
    "A Cross-Sectional Study Approach to Understanding Information Needs in Genomic Medicine"
  • 2012: Mary J. Moore
    "The Investment in Health Sciences Libraries in Relation to US National Rankings for Medical Education and Research"
  • 2011: Thane Chambers
    "To Understand How Health Sciences Librarians in North America are Involved in Health Research"
  • 2010: Joanne Gard Marshall
    "The Value of Library and Information Services for Patient Care: Results of a Multisite Study"
  • 2009: Sujin Kim
    " A Study of Microscopic Imaging Description Through Captions Published in Academic Biomedical Journals"
  • 2008: Mark Puterbaugh
    "Evaluate a Virtual 3-D Environment as a Tool to Enhance Student Nursing and Facilitate Access to Nursing, Medical and Healthcare Information"
  • 2007: Michele R. Tennant
    "Assessment of User Skills and Efficiency in the Application of Bioinformatics Resources to Answer Biological Questions"
  • 2006: Indra Neil Sarkar
    "Research to Develop a Federated Resource That Links Biomedical and Biodiversity Knowledge, as Represented in Published Literature"
  • 2005: Yin Aphinyanaphongs
    "Research to Build and Evaluate a Novel Medical Information Retrieval System for Answering Clinical Questions"
  • 2004: Timothy Patrick
    "Evidence-Based Information Retrieval in Bioinformatics"
  • 2003: Catherine Arnott Smith
    "Ten Thousand Questions: Understanding How Consumers Express Their Health Information Needs"

Have a question? Contact MLA