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MLA Librarians without Borders®/ Elsevier Foundation/ Research4Life Grants

The Medical Library Association (MLA) has established the MLA Librarians without Borders®/ Elsevier Foundation/ Research4Life Grants for 2016 to 2021. As of 2020, twenty grants have been awarded. Funded by the Elsevier Foundation, up to five awards per year will support HINARI/R4L training activities that promote the use of the programs’ scientific research resources in emerging/low-income countries. The grants will benefit the users in the eligible countries as these individuals will obtain skills to effectively and efficiently use the HINARI/R4L resources and become a training resource for their institutions or country. 

This grant is an expansion of the Elsevier Foundation funded Librarians without Borders®/E-library Training Initiative that has conducted HINARI/R4L training activities and developed/updated training material since January 2007. The MLA objective is to develop a community of librarians and information professionals that will continue to support HINARI/R4L training and related development of instructional material.

  • Find more information on MLA's global initiative at the Librarians without Borders® web page and blog.
  • The MLA Research Mentoring Program offers research assistance and advice to MLA members.
  • Discounted MLA Membership fees are offered to international health information practitioners from HINARI-eligible Group A or Group B countries.   

Examples of possible proposals include:

  • Due to the current COVID-19 environment, we encourage individuals to submit digital-based proposals. Possible applications could include: institution, country or regional based Hinari/Research4Life virtual/distance training; evidence-based medicine/point of care teaching; topic-based instruction (i.e. COVID-19, gender/health issues, food insecurity, global health disparities, maternal/child health, etc.) or publishing and communication research training. 
    • Such proposals can include expenses for software, digital access at the host institution and for participants and IT support plus follow-up activities. 
  • Conduct workshops within your institution, country or region or at an institution where the applicant/organization has current ties. 
    • The trainer will need to demonstrate institutional support and a commitment to continue to work in the workshop’s institution or country– as a facilitator for further activities.
    • Such proposals could include transportation and per-diem plus expenses for a workshop and a discretionary fund to support subsequent  training.
  • Create a new training module, distance learning course or training video or develop other virtual/distance learning formats.
  • Increase mechanisms for promoting/marketing of HINARI & R4L programs and their training resources.
  • Develop measurement tools regarding outcomes of training activities.


  • Applicants are required to hold a professional library or information science qualification, but in the case of exceptional candidates, this criterion may be waived. Transcripts or a copy of the diploma should be sent with all applications.
  • Applicants must be currently employed in a health and/or sciences/law library or a related science/legal information organization or retired from such establishments, or individuals in ‘information science’ academic positions or from non-governmental agencies focusing on R4L disciplines.
  • Applications will be accepted from previously funded individuals or institutions.
  • Individuals and/or institutions are eligible to submit proposals.
  • Applicants are not required to be members of MLA.  


  • The grant award is contingent upon completion of the project within 15 months of notification of the award.
  • Agreement to submit an interim (9 months) and final reports to MLA’s Librarians Without Borders® The final report that focuses on the results of the project will be posted on the LWB Blog and may be published in other health/science-related information venues or journals.
  • More than one grant may be offered in a year. Grants range from $1500 to $5000 and are distributed in one payment.
  • To maximize the impact of the grant funds in emerging/low-income countries, MLA will not accept institutional overhead fees/indirect costs in project budgets.
  • Projects that require travel will be reimbursed only for actual travel after the trip; expense statements and receipts must be submitted to MLA. 
  • Grant funds (excluding travel) are distributed in June following the MLA annual conference.
  • If there are no appropriate applications, as reviewed by the jury, the association may elect not to fund a grant or multiple grants in a given year.
  • MLA will acknowledge applications upon receipt via email.

Application Checklist

  • A detailed proposal limited to six single-spaced pages and if applicable, a spreadsheet and timeline appendices. The proposal must explain the following:
    • The objectives of the project in the context of the training activities and how these relate to the goals of Research4Life. 
    • A project timeline that clearly notes the proposed activities to be conducted within 15 months.
    • A separate budget document/spreadsheet, including any additional funding sources.  The document will include detailed information on how the grant funds will be used.
    • Detailed budget information, including additional funding sources.
      • Note: allowable expenses depend on the project submitted. In the case of a physical workshop, it can include international travel and per diem for a trainer and other costs associated with the completion of the program.  Regarding a virtual training program, it can include software, digital access costs and IT support, etc.
    • Inclusion of measurement/evaluation tools during the project and, if possible, post-project outputs.
    • Plans for reporting on the project, such as an MLA annual conference paper or poster or health/science related venues including relevant journals.
  • Current curriculum vitae of the applicant or principal contact.
  • Academic transcripts, or a copy of the diploma, from the applicant or principal contact.
  • Up to three reference letters from individuals, not related to the applicant, that include observations regarding the project’s feasibility. (optional)
  • Additional documentation related to the applicant’s qualifications to complete the project.  
  • Inclusion of in-kind contributions or additional direct funding from the institution or organization and/or identification of key participants besides those submitting the grant.
  • The completed online application and all additional documentation must be received no later than December 1.

NOTE:  Incomplete submissions will not be considered. 

Ready to Submit an Application?

  • The grant application process is closed.
  • Applications will open next in September 2021.

Past Grant Projects

2021 Grant Recipients

  • Alison Annet Kinengyere, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda 
    • Improving the use of Hinari through capacity building in selected R4L institutions in Uganda

  • Susan KellerChildren's National Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA
    • Enhancing skills on how to access and use Research4Life/HINARI Resources and scientific writing for health professionals at CMHS, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia
  • Neema Florence MoshaNelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology Library, Arusha, Tanzania
    • Interactive videos with quizzes to enhance the accessibility and usability of Research4Life electronic resources in Higher Learning Institutions of Tanzania.
  • Felicitas Ciabere RatanyaEgerton University, Kenya
    • Scaling up access and utilization of  Research4life resources for Graduate Students, Lecturers and Library Staff  at Egerton University, Kenya

  • Daniel Jesugnon Setondji Bossikponnon, Centre de Recherche Agricole et Promotion des Expertises Rurales/ Agricultural Research Center and Promotion of Rural Expertise, Montreal, QC, Canada
    • Project for Research4Life usage scattering among the scientific community in Benin

2020 Grant Recipients

  • Francina Ngula Simataa Makondo, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
    • Training of Trainers Workshop in the Use of HINARI/GOALI and ARDI Research4Life Resources in Zambia
  • Biliamin Oladele Popoola, University Library, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo City, Nigeria
    • Continuing Education Course and Training for Nigerian Medical Librarians and Research4Life Workshop
  • Deodatus Sabas, Library, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
    • Increasing and Promoting the Use of HINARI/Research4Life Resources among Health Care Professionals for Evidence-Based Practice and Systematic Reviews in Tanzania
  • Fred Kwaku Hayibor, Library, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Volta Region, Ghana
    • Increasing Access and Use of Research4Life HINARI and AGORA Resources by Health and Agriculture Professionals and Students in the Volta Region of Ghana
  • Chandra Bhushan Yadav, Library, Nepal Health Research Council, Kathmandu, Nepal
    • HINARI/Internet Resources Workshop for Librarian and Researchers Improving Access to Research4Life Programmes to Establish Research Culture in Nepal

2019 Grant Recipients

  • Karin Saric, Norris Library, University of Southern California–Los Angeles; Sarah Young, Hunt Library, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA; Erin RB Eldermire, Flower-Sprecher Library, Veterinary College, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Masimba Clyde Muziringa, College of Health Sciences Library, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe; and Israel Mbekezeli Dabengwa, Library, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
    • Accessing Evidence-based resources and Conducting Systematic Reviews in Resource-limited Settings
  • Alan Fricker, St. Thomas’ House Library, St. Thomas’ Hospital, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom
    • The project will focus on Hinari training at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, Sierra Leone (COMAHS). 
  • Ebele Nkiru Anyaoku, Medical Library, College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Nigeria
    • Training on Online Search for Healthcare Literature Using Research4Life HINARI Resource for Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria

2018 Grant Recipients

  • Emily J. Glenn, McGoogan Library of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center–Omaha
    • The project will conduct training on HINARI and R4L resources in Gitwe, Rwanda/February 2019 for the University of Gitwe.  

  • Xan Goodman, AHIP, Lied Library, University of Nevada–Las Vegas and Jill Barr-Walker, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Library, University of California, San Francisco
    • By conducting training at the organization’s conference, the project will enhance research capacity for members of the Nigeria Implementation Science Initiative (NISA).
    • See September 2018 Report and Evaluation
  • Phuntsho Norbu, Faculty of Nursing and Public Health Library, Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan
    • R4Life training workshop for the librarians of tertiary institutions in Bhutan to improve access to R4Life programs.
    • See November 2018 Report.

  • Mboni Amiri Ruzegea, Library Services, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
    • Developing Research4Life interactive online training videos and open learning platform (OLP) to enhance research, teaching-learning experiences in higher learning institutions.

2017 Grant Recipients

  • Israel Mbekezeli Dabengwa, Library, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
    • Information Literacy Skills Training and Digital Fluency in HINARI/Research4Life Resources for Healthcare Practitioners 
    • See April 2018 report.

  • Irena G. Dryankova-Bond, Blais Family Library, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Science–Worcester, USA and Nguyen Hai Ha, Library and Information Center, Hanoi University of Public Health, Hanoi, Vietnam
    • Improving Access and Use of HINARI/Research 4Life Resources by Health Professionals in Vietnam
    • See October 2018 report.
  • Lydia Hull Witman, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia–Charlottesville, USA
    • Develop and deliver an integrated program of in-person and remote-site HINARI/R4L training. 
    • See October 2018 report.
  • Sarah Young, Mellon Institute Library, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    • Building Systematic Review Capacity in Developing World Librarians Using Research4Life Databases
    • See June 2018 report.

2016 Grant Recipients

  • Martha Cecilia Garcia, Coordinator National Library of Medicine, Honduras, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras
    • E-Library Training and Access Enhancement to Research For Health Resources, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras, 2016-2017
  • Karin Saric, Information Services Librarian, Norris Medical Library, University of Southern California, USA
    • Coordinate and conduct three HINARI workshops that support use of HINARI by specific user groups, and certify local trainers in Ghana.  
    • See April 2017 report.
  • Alemayehu Bisrat, Health Informatics Expert and Project Coordinator, Center for eHealth, College of Health Sciences, Tikur Anbessa Specialized Teaching and Referral Hospital, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
    • HINARI/R4L Training Workshop for Postgraduate students of College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
    • See April 2018 report.
  • Dativa Tibyampansha, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Tanzania and Megan von Isenburg, Duke University, North Carolina, USA
    • Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College – Duke University Collaboration for Online Videos
    • See March 2017 report.

Have a question? Contact MLA