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Research Advancement in Health Sciences Librarianship Award

Established in 2017, the MLA Research Advancement in Health Sciences Librarianship Award recognizes organizations whose exemplary actions have served to advance health information research and evidence-based practice in health sciences libraries. Honorees will have created and sustained a culture of research that enables and recognizes the research engagement of health sciences librarians whose involvement has contributed significantly to clinical, educational, research, or administrative outcomes in their institutions. Awardees are selected only on occasions when the merits of an organization clearly recommend recognition by MLA.


  • The nominee must be a member of MLA or at least one person on the research team at the institution must be a member of  MLA.
  • The nominee may be hospital, academic, government, or corporate organizations.

The Research Jury will assess nominations and award points based on the following: 

  • The organization shows evidence of sustained commitment to librarian involvement in research activities, for example:
    • Job duties include research or assessment responsibilities
    • Research or assessment is included in librarians’ annual goals
    • The role of librarians as essential research partners in achieving clinical and institutional goals is promoted and recognized
  • The organization shows evidence of significant financial support for librarians’ research activities, for example:
    • Funding training in research methods
    • Providing adequate funding to support research projects
    • Funding travel to conferences to present research findings
    • Advocating for research dollars with other institutional partners
  • The organization shows evidence of providing librarians with opportunities that support research activities, for example:
    • Providing time to conduct research and writing, including paid time off
    • Encouraging research that supports service improvements and articulates the value of libraries and librarians
    • Participating in collaborative research that impacts clinical and institutional outcomes
    • Providing incentives for collaborative research
  • The organization shows evidence of the research engagement of librarians in institutional activities, for example:
    • Research grants
    • Research publications or co-authorships
    • Data management and curation
    • Systematic reviews
    • Surveys and assessments
    • Teaching and consulting on research
    • Applying research results to library practice
    • Supporting the research activities of users
    • Patient and employee safety research
    • Magnet Recognition Program: New Knowledge, Innovation, and Improvement requirement
    • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) support


  • The online form and supporting documentation must be received no later than October 15.
  • The nomination must contain at least the following elements:
    • a precise description and evidence of organizational achievement in at least one criterion listed above
    • any further supporting documentation that may assist the jury in the evaluation of the nomination and the selection of the recipient
  • A support letter from the organization’s health sciences librarian or information professional (required).
  • Up to two additional letters of support for this nomination (optional).
  • Library, institution, or organization's logo, for promotional purposes (optional).


  • The award recipient will be notified in March. 
  • The recipient library/institution 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 award in a given year.

Ready to Submit a Nomination?

  • The award application process is now closed.
  • Applicants and award recipients will be notified in March 2024 with the results.
  • The virtual awards ceremony will be held in April 2024.
  • Nominations for the 2025 award will open in August 2024.

Have a question? Contact MLA

Past Award Recipients

  • 2023: none awarded
  • 2022: Darnall Medical Library, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD and OHSU Library, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland, OR
  • 2021: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Research Medical Library, Houston, TX and The Yale University Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, New Haven, CT
  • 2020: Virginia Commonwealth University–Richmond and Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY
  • 2019: Providence St. Joseph Health System, Renton, WA
  • 2018: University of Illinois–Chicago and University of Saskatchewan–Saskatoon, Canada

Moving Forward with Research