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MLA Research, Development, and Demonstration Project Grant

The purpose of this grant is to provide support for research, development, or demonstration projects that will help to promote excellence in the field of health sciences librarianship and information sciences. Grants range from $100 to $1,000. Grants will not be given to support an activity that is operational in nature or has only local usefulness. More than one award may be granted in a year.

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


  • The applicant must:
    • hold a graduate degree in library science.
    • be a practicing health sciences librarian/professional with at least two years of professional experience.
    • be a citizen of or have permanent residence status in either the United States or Canada.
    • be a member of the Medical Library Association. 
  • In the case of a research group, at least one person in the group must be an MLA member and meet the above criteria. 
  • Consideration may be given in exceptional cases to an outstanding candidate not meeting all the criteria above.


  • The online application must be completed and all supporting documents uploaded no later than November 15;
  • The applicant must submit the names of two references:
    • not related to the applicant/group
    • persons who are knowledgeable about the applicant/group's character, education, and abilities
  • Grant recipients are expected to submit a copy of the final report of their research to MLA with the understanding that MLA has the “first right of review” for publication. If the report is not accepted by MLA and is subsequently published by another publisher, recognition of association support must be given.
  • MLA will acknowledge applications upon receipt via email.
  • Depending on the qualifications of the candidates, the jury may recommend that awards not be presented in a given year.
  • Late and incomplete applications will not be considered.


  • The scope and nature of the proposed project should give evidence of an established methodology and a viable research design.
  • The application should show how the proposed project would contribute conceptually and practically to the applicant/group's competence and the well being of the library community.
  • The proposal should contain title, goals, objectives, methodology, significance, and budget of the project; vital and special qualifications of the research; knowledge of the state of the art and existing published literature on the proposed research topic; and proposed means of disseminating the results.


The grant jury will assess the application and score points based on the following: 

  • Applicant/Group:
    • education and training
    • experience
    • research competence
    • adequacy of knowledge of research field
    • research potential
    • previous productivity
  • Proposed projects:
    • relevancy to the association's purpose
    • originality
    • importance to the profession
    • soundness of experimental design and detail
    • feasibility of scope

Awarding of Grant

  • Not given to support work toward a degree or certificate program.
  • Maximum of two grants awarded per year, with a maximum (aggregate) award of $1000. 

Grant Funds

  • The grant may be used for activities in the areas of medical information services.  
  • All proposed expenses must clearly align with the intention of the grant and will be evaluated for relevance.
  • Funding may be used for reasonable and actual expenses that meet MLA guidelines:
    • 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)
    • Physical travel within North America, or international travel when specifically allowed (e.g., mileage, travel fares, lodging)
    • Costs to enable the awardee to travel (may allow for compensation for reasonable expenses, e.g., family caregiving)
  • The funds may not be used for institutional overhead, other indirect costs, or income tax payments.
  • The recipient receives a grant that is awarded to the applicant and/or research collaboration group and not to an organization or institution. 
  • Acceptance of the grant may be subject to institutional rules and regulations and to all applicable tax laws. 


  • The grant recipient and non-recipients will be notified in March. 
  • The recipients will receive grant funds after expense statements, receipts, and verification of program completion are submitted to MLA headquarters in June.   
  • The amount requested and actual grant awarded may not necessarily be the same amount. The amount reimbursed will not exceed actual expenses.
  • The period of disbursement of grant funds will not exceed one year past the date of the MLA annual conference. 
  • 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 grant application process is closed.
  • Recipients will be announced in March 2024.
  • Applications will open next in August 2024.

Grant Recipients

  • 2024: Elizabeth R. Lorbeer
  • 2023: Lisa M. Acuff, AHIP
  • 2022: Joey Nicholson
  • 2021: Sarah Wade, AHIP, Sarah Abboud, Courtney Calhoun, A’Llyn Ettien, AHIP, Rebecca Hedreen, Layla Heimlich, Jean Hillyer, AHIP, Annie Nickum, AHIP, Emily N. Spinner, Eleanor Truex, Susan Vonderheid, and Grace Wolf
  • 2020: Robin Champieux
  • 2019: Rachel Koenig
  • 2018: Emily Brennan; and Nadine Dexter, AHIP; Shalu Gillum, AHIP; Deedra Walton, AHIP; Natasha Williams, AHIP; Pamela R. Herring, AHIP; and Terri Gotschall
  • 2017: Amanda Ross-White, AHIP
  • 2016: none awarded
  • 2015: Misa Mi, AHIP
  • 2014: none awarded
  • 2013: Trish Chatterley and Heather Cunningham
  • 2012: none awarded
  • 2011: Kristine M. Alpi, AHIP
    "Scanning technology selection impacts acceptability and usefulness of image-rich content"
  • 2010: Catherine Mary Boss, AHIP
    "A research study: does exemplary library services to patients and their family members, friends, and caregivers influence patient satisfaction scores?"
  • 2009: Naomi Broering, AHIP, FMLA
    "The efficacy of digital conversion of audiotape collection to CD format measuring change in use and evaluating user satisfaction"
  • 2008: none awarded
  • 2007: Fern Cheek, AHIP, and Lynda Hartel, AHIP
    "An investigation of electronic book use in an Academic Medical Center"
    Sally Harvey
    "The publication rate of poster entries and abstracts from MLA annual meetings in peer-reviewed or respective professional and trade journals"
  • 2006: none awarded
  • 2005: Peggy Mullaly-Quijas, PhD, AHIP
  • 2004: Ellen Crumley
  • 2003: none awarded
  • 2002: none awarded
  • 2001: Shelly Paden and Mary C. Congleton, AHIP
    "A study of the experiences and opinions of Loansome Doc libraries and end-users in the Midwest United States"
  • 2000: Jolene M. Miller, AHIP
    "Issues surrounding the administration of a credit course for medical students: survey of US academic health sciences librarians"
  • 1999: Catherine Graber
    "Survey of health sciences faculty use of library computer systems"
  • 1998: Mary M. Howrey
  • 1997: none awarded
  • 1996: Alexandra Dimitroff
    “The use of problem based learning in a health sciences librarianship course”
  • 1995: Monica Unger
    “Comparison of information retrieval methods in an academic medical library”
  • 1994: none awarded
  • 1993: Jennifer M. Bayne and Joan L. Leishman
    “A study to measure the impact of a problem-based learning curriculum on the teaching hospital library of the University of Toronto”
  • 1992: none awarded
  • 1991: Joanne G. Marshall, FMLA
    Study of the impact of information on clinical decision making
    Barbara Carlson and Robert Poyer
    “An investigation of a rational binding schedule based on use and indexing patterns”
  • 1990: Paul Wrynn, Van Afes and Diane Schwartz
  • 1989: Karen Hackelman, Virginia A. Lingle, and M. Sandra Wood
  • 1988: none awarded
  • 1987: none awarded
  • 1986: Mark Funk, Carolyn Anne Reid, and Audrey Powderly

Have a question? Contact MLA