Contact Us | Donate | Advertise Follow us on TwitterFollow us on facebookFollow us on LinkedIn


Librarians without Borders® Ursula Poland International Scholarship

Ursula H. (Anker) Poland (1922–2009) was a distinguished MLA member, recipient of the Marcia C. Noyes Award, Fellow of MLA, and Janet Doe Lecturer. Poland's 1982 Doe Lecture is one of MLA's most important statements about MLA's international interests and accomplishments. Poland used the Doe Lecture forum, other publications and activities, and her own career as a model to encourage MLA members to enrich their careers and approach to the practice of health sciences librarianship through international connections and experiences.

The Librarians without Borders® Ursula Poland International Scholarship helps fund an international project by a US or Canadian health sciences librarian. Endowed in 2014, this award is designed to enable MLA to help fund a wide range of individuals whose projects are related to health sciences librarianship in an international context. The scholarship recipient receives a certificate at the MLA annual conference and a scholarship award of $1,000 to fund expenses associated with an international health sciences library project.


  • Applicants must be members of MLA.
  • Applicants will hold a professional library or information science qualification but in the case of exceptional candidates this criterion may be waived.
  • Applicants must be currently working in a US or Canadian health sciences library.
  • Applicants must have at least 5 years of continuous work experience in a US or Canadian health sciences library.
  • The scholarship award is contingent upon completion of the project within 18 months of notification of the award.
  • A project report to the Librarians without Borders® Committee is required upon completion of the project.

Submission Checklist

  • Completed application;
  • Detailed cover letter explaining the goals of the international project in the context of health sciences librarianship (practice, research, history); the cover letter must include a statement of how the scholarship funds will be used and the project timeline; allowable expenses can include international travel and accommodations of the scholarship recipient and other costs associated with completion of the project;;
  • Current curriculum vitae;
  • Three letters of reference;
  • Additional documentation related to the applicant’s qualifications to complete an international project including additional funding sources may be included in the cover letter.
  • Plans for reporting on the project, such as an MLA annual conference paper or poster.
  • Updated member profile page on MLANET.

The recipient will be notified in March and invited to attend the MLA annual conference in May at which the presentation of the scholarship will be made. The recipient assumes all costs of attending the conference and the ceremony at which the presentation is made. If there are no appropriate applicants, as judged by the scholarship jury, the association may elect not to fund a scholarship in a given year.

Ready to Submit an Application?

  • Applications will open next in August 2023.

Previous Grant Recipients

  • 2023: Jamie Furrh Quinn
  • 2022: none awarded
  • 2021: none awarded
  • 2020: none awarded
  • 2019: Erin RB Eldermire
  • 2018: Kristine M. Alpi, AHIP
  • 2017: Estelle Hu, AHIP
  • 2016: none awarded
  • 2015: Sue Espe, AHIP

Have a question? Contact MLA