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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 conference 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.


  • 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 following criteria will be used to evaluate the applications:

  • 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

Additional Information

  • The applicant should update their MLA member profile page.
  • 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.

Grant Funds

  • Grants range from $100 to $1,000 and are paid in a single payment.
  • More than one grant may be offered in a year.
  • The amount requested and actual grant awarded may not necessarily be the same amount.
  • The grant will be distributed as a reimbursement for actual expenses incurred, within the limits described above.
  • The amount reimbursed will not exceed actual expenses and the amount requested.
  • The grant will not exceed $1000 (or $500 in the case of two recipients)
  • Expense statements, receipts, and verification of program completion must be submitted to MLA headquarters.
  • The period of disbursement will not exceed one year past the MLA annual conference.

PLEASE NOTE: The grantee receives an unrestricted grant that is awarded to the applicant and/or research collaboration group and not to an organization or institution. The grant may be used for salaries, supplies, equipment, travel, fees, insurance, salaries for research assistants, and other research-related costs. The grant may NOT be used for institutional overhead, other indirect costs, income tax payments, or tuition. Acceptance of the grant may be subject to institutional rules and regulations and to all applicable tax laws. 

Ready to Submit an Application?

  • Applications will open next in August 2023.

Previous Grant Recipients

  • 2023: Lisa M. Acuff, AHIP and Denise Smith
  • 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

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