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Submission Process

Why You Should Attend

The MLA Research Training Institute provides librarians with the opportunity to work on research design and planning to conduct research that improves practice and adds to the professional knowledgebase. Institute training is geared for health sciences library professionals who have a strong interest in research but do not possess the skills and confidence to conduct research on their own. It also provides a unique opportunity to network with colleagues for future research learning, collaboration, and success.

Institute Activities

Participants will be expected to:

  • participate in pre-institute learning activities - May 2022
  • attend the RTI Core institute modules, Tuesdays - May 31–July 26, 2022 See schedule.
  • commit to conducting their research- August 2022–June 2023
  • attend the RTI Monthly institute modules - September 2022–April 2023. See schedule.
  • attend periodic mentor group meetings - June 2022–June 2023. See schedule.
  • participate in Research Poster Presentation @ MLA '23 - May 2023
  • participate regularly in the online community of practice that supports them after the workshop
  • update institute instructors and peers on the status of their research project and offer support to the others conducting their research
  • share their research by submitting it for an MLA annual meeting presentation or a peer-reviewed publication
  • participate in program assessment activities, providing the project director with periodic updates on research activities that have been completed and on presentations or publications resulting from their research

Application Procedures

Each institute is limited to ensure an environment that fosters group interaction, participation, and cohesion.  While there is no limit to the number of applications that may come from one institution, only one applicant will be selected from a single institution per year.

Using a competitive process, an MLA Research Training Institute Jury will review and select applicants based on scholarship and institute eligibility requirements. The selection criteria will focus on commitment to learning research skills, the quality and promise of the research topic submitted, work experience, and professional contributions. All application materials and selection processes will be handled confidentially.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet all of the following requirements:

  • employed as a health sciences library professional or as a library professional who provides health information, support, and services to health care professionals, researchers, educators, students, patients, consumers, or the public
  • completed a graduate program in library and information studies or have equivalent graduate credentials in related information science disciplines
  • able to attend the Research Training Institute May 31, 2022–June 30, 2023
  • ability to pay the institute registration fee of $750 by April 1, 2022, in order to hold their space in the institute (unless applicant receives scholarship)
  • a citizen and have permanent residence status, in the United States
  • membership in MLA is NOT required

Scholarships and Research Funding

A variety of scholarship opportunities are available to Research Training Institute applicants in need of financial support. MLA also offers an array of funding opportunities to enable practicing health sciences librarians to pursue research and professional development.

Applicants applying for scholarships or other research funding should note the following:

  • The research project proposed for the institute must not have been previously funded by MLA.
  • Applicants may apply for additional funding opportunities available through MLA or other funding institutions (i.e., MLA chapters, MLA sections, National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), etc.).

Application Instructions 

Please thoroughly review the instructions below before beginning the application process.


  • Applications for the Research Training Institute are accepted until January 31, 2022.
  • Applicants accepted to the institute will be notified in March 2022. 
  • Incomplete or late submissions will not be reviewed.
  • Accepted applicants must confirm invitation to attend the institute by April 5, 2022.


The application process consists of submitting the following documents: 

  • application form
  • CV or biosketch
  • letter of support

Some information should be prepared for a blind review. This means that on designated blind documents, the applicant's name and institution should not be included in the file names, headers, or body of the text. 

Materials for Blind Review:

  • Some responses to application form questions, including:
    • demographic questions on the form
    • response to questions on learning goals (no more than 300 words)
    • response to question on research topic (no more than 300 words)
    • response to question on past research and key studies (no more than 200 words)
    • response to questions on the significance of research topic (no more than 200 words)
  • See application preparation for details on the components.

Non-Blinded Materials:

  • Non-blinded questions on the application form, including a signed statement of terms and conditions.
  • Curriculum vitae or biographical sketch.  A good source of information for formatting CVs is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Biosketch Format.
  • Letter of support from director, dean, or administrator indicating support for participation in the yearlong institute. 

Application Preparation:

Applicants will need to provide extended answers to 4 questions on the RTI application.

  • Applicants will be asked to describe their learning goals. They will be asked to explain why they are applying and what they hope to gain from participation in the institute; also, they will describe how they will manage their time and balance research tasks with workplace demands throughout the year-long process. (no more than 300 words)
  • Applicants will be asked to describe the research topic that they would like to develop while in the RTI program, including one potential research question they would like to explore in relation to the topic. Note that research topics and questions may evolve and change during the Institute. (no more than 300 words)
  • Applicants will be asked to answer questions about past research and key studies? They will be asked to include citations (no more than 5 citations) of past research that are relevant to your research topic. Including only key findings and conclusions of past research. And to briefly summarize the key findings the topic.(no more than 200 words)
  • Applicants will be asked to answer questions about the significance of the research topic. How does the research topic address a significant issue in health sciences librarianship? Identify gaps of knowledge that can be addressed by the research topic?

PLEASE NOTE that the research topics of accepted applicants will be developed during the institute as they acquire knowledge and explore various approaches and methodologies. Participants will develop and refine their proposals in collaboration with institute instructors and peers, with the goal of having a well-constructed research project soon after they return to their home institutions.


As you prepare and revise your answers, please perform a self-assessment or ask a colleague or mentor to consider the following:

  • Does the applicant provide specific learning goals, reasons of interest, and outcomes from attending the program?
  • Does the applicant provide specific time management strategies?
  • Does the applicant provide a clear, focused and achievable research topic?
  • Does the research topic address an important issue in health sciences librarianship or fill a gap in the health sciences information sciences knowledgebase?
  • Are the literature citations relevant and supportive of need for the proposed research topic?
  • Are the applicant’s answers clear, logical, and well-written?

Ready to Submit an Application for the Research Training Institute?

  • MLA members must login.  
  • Non MLA members must create a guest user profile to login.
  • Choose the 2022 Research Training Institute online application form. (Now Closed)
  • Complete online form and upload all documents no later than January 31, 11:59 p.m. (central time).
  • Incomplete and late submissions will not be considered.
  • Questions? See Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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