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MLA Scholarship for Underrepresented Students

A scholarship of up to $5,000 is awarded annually by the Medical Library Association (MLA) to a student who shows excellence in scholarship and potential for accomplishment in health sciences librarianship. The scholarship is announced at the annual conference of the association, where the recipient will also receive a one-year MLA student membership and free inclusive student registration at the association’s annual meeting.

The title of this scholarship was modified in 2019 to comply with updated MLA terminologies. The term Minority” was removed and replaced with the term “Underrepresented.” 


  • The applicant must be a member of an underrepresented group, such as Black/African-American, Latinx, Asian, Aboriginal, North American Indian or Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.
  • The applicant must be entering a master’s program at an American Library Association (ALA)–accredited graduate library school or, at the time of the granting of the scholarship (March), have completed no more than one-half of the academic requirements of the graduate program.
  • The applicant must be a citizen of or have permanent residence in either the United States or Canada.
  • The recipient may receive only one MLA scholarship in a given year.   
  • Past recipients of the MLA Scholarship or the MLA Scholarship for Underrepresented Students are not eligible to apply.
  • Membership in MLA is not required. (discounted student membership is available)


  • The online application must be completed and all supporting documents uploaded no later than December 1.
  • The disbursement of funds will not exceed one year past the date of the annual meeting. Payments will be made in two equal installments. The first in June after the annual meeting. The second payment is made after the fall semester when updated transcripts are received by MLA.
  • The recipient will be notified in March before the annual meeting at which the public announcement is made. The recipient assumes all costs of attending the meeting and the ceremony at which the announcement is made. The association will underwrite the meeting registration fees.
  • Depending on the qualifications of the candidates, the jury may recommend that the scholarship not be presented in a given year.
  • MLA will acknowledge applications upon receipt via email.

Submission Checklist

  • Completed application;
  • Two letters of reference sent directly to MLA’s grants manager from persons who are knowledgeable about the applicant’s character, education, and abilities;
  • Official transcripts sent directly to MLA’s grants manager from each college or university attended, including community college, undergraduate and graduate colleges attended; and
  • Copy of library school’s catalog or web page, which states the number of credits needed for the degree.

NOTE: One application serves for both the MLA Scholarship for Underrepresented Students and MLA Scholarship. One jury reviews all submissions to both scholarships. Duplicate submissions are not necessary. 

Ready to Submit an Application?

  • Choose the 2021 scholarship application.
  • Once saved, the application form remains open for changes until December 1, 2020, 11:59 p.m., central time. 
  • Incomplete and late submissions will not be considered. 

Scholarship Recipients

  • 2020: Christiana Julsaint
  • 2019: Bradrick McClam
  • 2018: Donna Baluchi
  • 2017: Kelsa Bartley
  • 2016: Luz E. Crespo
  • 2015: Tyler Moses
  • 2014: Christina Meejung Czuhajewski
  • 2013: Kimberly Tate
  • 2012: Ligia Patricia Groff
  • 2011: Phill Jo
  • 2010: Maria Tan
  • Michele Mason Coles (Annual Meeting Scholarship)
  • 2009: Vivian Okyere
  • Margarita Shawcross (Annual Meeting Scholarship)
  • 2008: Manju Tanwar
  • Elana Churchill (Annual Meeting Scholarship)
  • 2007: Paula Maez
  • Lisa Chow (Annual Meeting Scholarship)
  • 2006: Monique Escamilla
  • Ivonne Martinez (Annual Meeting Scholarship)
  • 2005: Shamsha Damani
  • 2004: Rebecca Davies-Venn
  • 2003: Martha Preddie
  • 2002: Crystal Smith
  • 2001: Felicia Smith
  • 2000: Cheryl L. Jacocks-Terrell
  • 1999: Tomeka Oubichon
  • 1998: Barbara Ferrer Kenney
  • 1997: Yan Hong Li (Amy)
  • 1996: Jean Chung
  • 1995: Lora Gault
  • 1994: Hua Yi
  • 1993: Velora Avis Jernigan
  • 1992: Jenifer Lyn Grady
  • 1991: Louis Lik-Fu Tong
  • 1990: Judith V. Rogers
  • 1989: none awarded
  • 1988: Jacquelyn Patricia Cenacveiira
  • 1987: none awarded
  • 1986: Joy E. Summers
  • 1985: Sheila M. Johnson
  • 1984: Eric Brasley
  • 1983: Kathleen Love
  • 1982: Mamie McCain Doss
  • 1981: Omia G. Smith
  • 1980: Phillip E. Tolbert
  • 1979: none awarded
  • 1978: Eleanor Hill
  • 1977: Barbara Best Nichols
  • 1976: Ernestine Andrews
  • 1973: Carol Jean Yates

Have a question? Contact MLA