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Eugene Garfield Research Fellowship

The Eugene Garfield Research Fellowship promotes and supports research in the discoverability and dissemination of information by incorporating the history of our profession. The fellowship was endowed by Eugene Garfield, AHIP, FMLA (1926-2017), founder and former chair of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Garfield is known for his innumerable and significant contributions to the practice of medical librarianship, including the creation of the Science Citation Index and the Journal Impact Factor. The fellowship, established in 2013, was intended to stimulate research into the history of information science in the medical or health sciences, recognizing that rediscovery, interpretation, and understanding of the rich history in this key knowledge area helps practitioners and researchers interpret the present and prepare for the future. In 2019, the fellowship was modified to expand on the concept of making information more discoverable, in honor of Dr. Garfield’s work.

The fellowship recipient or research collaboration group receives a certificate at the Medical Library Association’s annual conference and a stipend of $5,000 after the annual conference to be used for research-related purposes regarding the discoverability in information science. The research may incorporate topics such as informatics, expert searching, systematic reviews, critical appraisal, scholarly communication, data science, reference management, or other areas focused on ways to improve discoverability and dissemination of information.   

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


  • Garfield Fellowships are funded through a competitive annual grant program with applications due by November 15 of each year.
  • The award is not restricted to disbursement in a single year and funding may be disbursed over a period of up to two years depending on the needs of the research fellow or research collaboration group.
  • The award may be used to supplement or extend other awards, including other private or government-supported fellowships, but is not contingent on receiving other awards.
  • The successful applicant/group must submit an annual progress report to the MLA.
  • Research should normally lead to a publishable manuscript with the intention of submission to a peer-reviewed publication including the Journal of the Medical Library Association or other appropriate publication.

Grant Funds

The Garfield Research Fellow receives an unrestricted grant that is awarded to the applicant/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 as specified in the grant application. 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, regulations and to all applicable tax laws.


  • Applicants must be members of MLA. 
  • Health sciences librarians and information scientists, health professionals, researchers, educators, and administrators are eligible.
  • Applicants must have a master's or doctor's degree or be enrolled in a program leading to such a degree and demonstrate a commitment to the health sciences.
  • For group research applications, at least one of the group members must qualify according to the above criteria

Submission Checklist

  • The online application must be completed and all supporting documents uploaded no later than November 15;
  • Applicant’s curriculum vitae or biographical sketch (in the case of a group application, the primary investigator should submit her/his curriculum vitae or biographical sketch as well as information about each member of the research collaboration group including what role each individual will perform in the research process);
  • Detailed research proposal: The proposal should be five to ten pages in length, and it should include all critical elements of the proposed study including historical background and rationale, research aims, budget, research design and methodology, timeline, and plans for disseminating the results; 
  • The applicant must submit two reference letters from individuals not related to the applicant. The references must be persons who are knowledgeable about the applicant's character, education, and abilities. These letters should also address why the research is significant to the field. 
  • The applicant should update their MLA member profile page.

Review and Awards Criteria

The MLA Eugene Garfield Research Fellowship Jury will review applications for scientific and technical merit. The jury will follow modified review criteria based on those used for National Institutes of Health grant applications:

  • Research Proposal: The scientific merit of the proposal, its importance to the field of information science, a historical overview of the proposed research, and its alignment with the stated purposes of the Garfield Fellowship must be included. The proposal should be five to ten pages in length, single-spaced, with twelve-point type.
  • Candidate: An assessment of the candidate's/group's credentials, including previous academic and research performance, publication activity, or the candidate’s/group's potential for research.
  • Research Environment: An assessment of the quality of the research environment as it relates to the successful conclusion of the research proposal. 
  • Research Dissemination Plan: An assessment of the plan to disseminate the results within and outside the field of health sciences librarianship and health informatics.

Ready to Submit an Application?

  • Applications will open next in August 2023.

Previous Grant Recipients

  • 2023: Emily B. Kean, AHIP
  • 2022: Paije Wilson and Vojtech Huser, MD, PhD
  • 2021: none awarded
  • 2020: Toluwase Victor Asubiaro
  • 2019: none awarded
  • 2018: none awarded
  • 2017: Nicole Dalmer
  • 2016: Elizabeth Connor, AHIP
  • 2015: Alyson Gamble
  • 2014: Susan Crawford, AHIP, FMLA, Ann Weller, and John Brundage

Have a question? Contact MLA