Outreach & Engagement Award, Year 4


Period of Performance
June 1, 2024 - April 30, 2025
Number of Awards Available
minimum of 1
Application Deadline
April 2, 2024, 8:00 pm EDT
Additional Funding Information

1 award available, pending budget availability. Awards are cost-reimbursable and are issued to the institution, not the individual.

Description of Award

The purpose of the Outreach & Engagement Award is to increase access and use of quality online health information, improve health literacy and increase health equity through engagement and training for health information. 

The award can be used to support:

  • Instructional design and training of evidence-based health resources and information for healthcare, library or educator workforce development
  • Professional, public or consumer outreach and engagement for awareness, evaluation, use, and understanding of credible health information including MedlinePlusPubMed, or ClinicalTrials.gov but not limited to the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources (Refer to the NLM list of Databases, Resources, and APIs for a complete overview of resources by topic)
  • Online health information access and digital literacy skills training

The award supports the mission of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM), which is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public's health by providing U.S. researchers, health professionals, public health workforce, educators, and the public with equal access to biomedical and health information resources and data.

Proposal Requirements and Preferences

Priority is given in consideration of:

  • Communities determined to be experiencing health disparities due to race and ethnicity; biological sex, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation; cognitive and physical abilities; religious background, or identification; socio-economic status (past and current); education level; geographic location or other factors or demographics that create unequal access to the highest level of health. (Refer to the January 2019 Special Supplement by the American Journal of Public Health about health disparities research for more information).
  • Collaboration or partnerships with public health departments, clinics and hospitals, libraries, and non-profit or faith-based organizations.
  • Programs focused on confronting health misinformation, bridging the digital divide, or recognizing environmental determinants of health.
Potential Project Ideas

Potential projects may include but are not limited to (this list is not meant to be all-inclusive):

  • Assisting an organization with a social media campaign by repurposing Facebook or Twitter messages from MedlinePlus or adopting a social media toolkit from other NIH Institutes (e.g., National Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteGetting a Good Night’s SleepSocial Isolation, and Loneliness Outreach Toolkit)
  • Purchasing computers, electronic devices, or Wi-Fi hotspots for consumer health outreach of telehealthMedlinePlus, health insurance enrollment, or digital skills training. Technology purchased must be used to directly support the proposed outreach project.
  • Developing or implementing a curriculum or a tool for digital health literacy skills training for library or community staff, volunteers, or the general public. See NNLM Digital Health Literacy
  • Co-hosting a program with a local community health educator to engage for information and resources relevant to a priority community health need as identified in a local Consumer Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) or in consultation with community partners (e.g., maternal health, diabetes, COVID-19, substance misuse, mental health, advance directives, health misinformation, etc.) See Mental Health First Aid or Wellness Wednesdays in Winterset or the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General’s A Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation (PDF)
  • Collaborating with a public library, a public health department or a community clinic to promote a vaccination drive or a health fair. See Don’t Do It All Yourself: Creating Health Fairs through Partnerships
  • Working with a local county extension office to help raise community awareness about environmental health concerns while fostering science literacy skills. See Test the Waters Family Exploration KitSciStarter, or Cornerstones of Science
  • Organizing a reading club within your library or community organization around health topics relevant to local health information needs. Invite authors or local expert speakers to participate. See NNLM Reading Club 
  • Programs on locating and evaluating authoritative consumer health information.
  • Incorporating NLM health and science information resources into new or existing health programs.  See National Health Observances 
  • Train-the-Trainer projects that enhance the skills of the service-providing staff and other consumer health information intermediaries to train participants on locating and evaluating health information.
  • Establishing mobile digital access to be used to facilitate digital training or digital access to online health information when providing information services outside of the library (e.g. equipping a bookmobile with tablets and WiFi for public use).
  • Using mobile devices to support access to health information at the point of need, such as for emergency responders or patient care teams on bedside rounds.
  • Installing adaptive hardware and software to better enable individuals with disabilities to access computer-based health information.
  • Upgrading equipment in a computer lab or learning center to facilitate health-focused virtual reality instruction or hands-on computer-based instruction.

Learn more about more past NNLM-funded projects: NNLM Past Funded Projects webpage.


Generally, 501(c)(3) organizations, as well as local, county, or state funded entities, are eligible for funding from NNLM Region 5. Applicants must be from an institution that is a member of NNLM Region 5. Membership is free and open to institutions interested in improving equitable access to health information. To verify your membership and locate your institution’s NNLM ID, visit the NNLM Members Directory. If you have questions about your organization’s membership, or eligibility for funding, contact Emily Hamstra, Assistant Director via email: ehamstra@uw.edu.

Preference will be given to NNLM member organizations that have not already received an NNLM Region 5 funding award during the 2021-2026 NNLM cooperative agreement.

Prior to submitting an application, applicants are highly encouraged to meet with Region 5 staff to discuss the project idea and evaluation plan, and Region 5’s funding requirements. Contact Emily Hamstra (ehamstra@uw.edu) to schedule a meeting. 

Disallowance of Human Subjects Research
Projects containing Human Subjects Research components will not be reviewed or considered for funding. 

Applicants must submit documentation to their institutional IRB or a community IRB to request a determination letter stating that their project does not meet regulatory definitions of human subjects research.

Application Instructions

Online Application Overview

First, send a Letter of Intent to Apply via email to nnlm@uw.edu by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, February 14, 2024. Your letter of intent should include the name of your library/organization; the type of grant you intend to apply for (e .g. NNLM Region 5 Technology Improvement Award); the goal(s) of your project; the types of activities and strategies you plan to implement; the timeline for your project (start and end date); and the type of data you will collect to evaluate whether and how your project is successful. You will receive an email from nnlm@uw.edu to acknowledge receipt of your letter of intent.

Application Deadline: 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, April 2, 2024

IMPORTANT: Because the NNLM online application system has no “save” feature to pause and return later, it is recommended that you become familiar with all sections of the application and prepare your materials in advance using the following outline to draft your proposal, and then submit online. 

System Requirements

  1. Your organization must be a NNLM member to apply for funding. Confirm that your institution is a NNLM Member before applying for funding. If your organization is a member, it will be listed in the NNLM Members Directory
    1. Not sure if your institution is a Member?  Contact Emily Hamstra, Assistant Director at ehamstra@uw.edu  If your institution is not a NNLM Member, join the Network at least 3 weeks prior to the application deadline.  
  2. Confirm that you (the applicant) have an NNLM User Account. Here is a step by step guide to setting up a new user account.
    1. You must be logged in to your NNLM account to successfully submit an application.
    2. If you are submitting an application on behalf of the Project Lead, the Project Lead must also have an NNLM account prior to submission.
  3. Confirm that your NNLM account is connected to the NNLM Member record for your institution.
    1. To connect, fill in the “Organization” field on your NNLM account using the autocomplete function. When correctly filled, you will see a 5-digit NNLM ID in parenthesis beside the institution name. 
    2. If you are submitting an application on behalf of the Project Lead, the Project Lead must also be connected to the NNLM Member record for your institution prior to submission.

Please note: you cannot successfully submit an application without these system requirements. If you have questions, please contact Emily Hamstra (ehamstra@uw.edu) in advance of the application deadline.

Online Application Sections

  • Lead Organization: Select the institution that will lead and receive funding to conduct the proposed project.

If the drop-down list appears blank, confirm that your NNLM account is connected to the NNLM Member record for your institution. (See System Requirements above)

  • Institution Tax ID: Enter the 9-digit tax identification number for your institution
  • Institution Unique Entity Identification (UEI): Required. Enter your organization’s UEI number. UEIs are available through SAM Directory. If your organization does not have a UEI number, create an account for SAM Directory and follow the process for registering for a UEI. 

Have you/your institution previously received NNLM funding in the current grant cycle (2021 – 2026): from the pull-down menu, select Yes, No, or I don’t know.

  • Project Lead: If you are the Project Lead, select your own name from the drop-down list. If you are submitting this application on behalf of the Project Lead, select their name from the drop-down list. NOTE: If the name of the Project Lead does not appear in the drop-down list, confirm that their NNLM account is connected to the NNLM Member record for the institution. (See System Requirements above)
  • Partner Organization: If collaborating with another organization, use the autocomplete function to find and select up to three organizations that will partner with the Lead Organization to conduct/complete the project. If a record does not exist for a partner organization, click "Add a New Partner" and use the additional fields to provide an address for the institution. NOTE: You are required to submit as an attachment Letter(s) of Institutional Commitment of Support from each partnering institution (Accepted formats: DOC, DOCX, TXT, PDF)
  • Amount Requested: The amount specified should not exceed the $25,000 limit. Enter the amount to the nearest whole dollar. NOTE: This field will accept numbers only.
Project Proposal

Project Title: Describe the project with an external audience in mind. Funded projects are displayed on the NNLM website and are provided by NLM in response to data calls from NIH, HHS, OMB, Congress, and the White House.

Project Summary: Provide a one-paragraph description that summarizes the proposed project. Funded projects are displayed on the NNLM website and are provided by NLM in response to requests from NIH, HHS, OMB, Congress, and the White House.

Proposed Start and End Dates for the Project: Select the appropriate dates. Contact Emily Hamstra (ehamstra@uw.edu) before applying if your project will extend more than one year.

Will training be Provided as Part of this Award?: Select yes or no.

Evidence of Need: Provide a statement of how the project proposed will support the mission of NNLM, explain the need for the project, and describe the audience or population that will be reached through this project, per population(s) selected in the Demographics section, below. Please clearly document if this project will engage traditionally underrepresented populations and/or involve medically underserved areas. When possible, support the stated need using data such as known needs assessments or statistics. NOTE: A Medically Underserved Area (MUA) or a population Underrepresented in Biomedical Research (UBR) may include but is not limited to:

  • Racial and ethnic minority populations
  • Sexual and gender minority populations
  • Populations reported below the Federal Poverty Level
  • Populations with limited access to medical care
  • Populations with physical and/or mental disabilities
  • Soldiers, Veterans, and Military Families
  • Rural Populations

Project goals and objectives: State the goal(s) and specific objectives(s) of the proposed project. Goals should align to NNLM Goals and Objectives, and/or the NLM Strategic Plan. Please review the National Evaluation Center (NEC) resources for information on how to create evaluation plans and objectives.

Implementation: Describe what will be done to meet project objectives and its rationale. Include tasks to be performed and who will perform them.

Schedule/Timeline: In order to meet your objectives, include a detailed timeline that outlines when tasks will be completed, how long it is anticipated to take, and who will do the work.

Evaluation Plan: Describe how the project will measure success. Include data collection frequency, type of data to be collected, tools, and how data will be used or disseminated.

  • Limit your evaluation plan to collecting descriptive or process data such as: How many people participated in an event? If purchasing technology, is the new product being used, as measured by counts?  Did publicizing the opportunity go as planned? The evaluation plan should not include surveys, interviews or focus groups. (See “Disallowance of Human Subjects Research” above.)  

Publicity/Promotion: Briefly describe how you intend to promote your project to the target population. 

Continuity/Sustainability Plan: Describe the activities that will sustain project services and/or communication to the targeted community beyond the funding period.

Personnel QualificationsPersonnel Qualifications: List the project personnel who will be involved in the project and include their role(s) and applicable experience. Attach resumes for key personnel when submitting your application. (Accepted formats: DOC, DOCX, TXT, PDF)


Applicants are not required to budget to the maximum amount. You may request less. Only budget what is justifiable for the project.

Prepare the budget using the budget table and narrative justification. The completed budget table must be uploaded in the attachments section of the online application.

Complete the budget section in the online application using the numbers and narrative justification from your completed budget table. Enter each amount to the nearest whole dollar. If a budget category is not applicable for your project, you may leave it blank. The online application includes a field for inserting the narrative budget justification concisely describing the purpose of each budgeted item.  

The budget estimate should be categorized by the following, as they apply:

A. Personnel (may include professional or support personnel for the project): Include (hourly rate X estimated hours) or (% time X annual salary) in the budget worksheet description section for personnel. 

B. Consultant Costs: Estimated expenses from consultants, such as marketing firms or other agencies; Prior to hiring Consultants, submit the following information to the Region 5 office (nnlm@uw.edu): name of consultant, description of work, hourly rate, total amount/not to exceed amount, and period of performance.

C. Equipment: Quotes for items required, such as computers and other equipment. Include quotes received or other pricing information in the budget attachment.

Note: If mobile technology or computer hardware is proposed, please include the following as part of your cost proposal:

For technology or computer hardware purchases $5,000 or more per item – submit three (3) vendor quotes (valid preferably for 60 days, minimum of 30 days).  Quotes may include General Service Administration (GSA) price lists.

Vendor quotes are necessary to determine price reasonable for purchase of $5,000 or more.  The absence of competitive quotes must be documented and justified.

D. Materials & Supplies: Quotes for computer supplies, software, printing, general office supplies and other materials. For technology or computer hardware purchases under $5,000 per item – submit vendor quote or a printout of catalog pricing.

Categories less than $1,000 are not required to be itemized. Include description and any quotes for purchase of $5,000 or more in the attached budget.

E. Communications: Media, publicity or other communication costs, postage, parcel and other delivery services, and telephone/data line charges. Include description and any quotes in the attached budget.

F. Reproduction: Printing materials or other reproduction costs.

G. Travel (may include air travel, ground transportation, parking, hotel, per diem for meals).  Include the purpose, destination, dates of travel (if known), and number of individuals for each trip. If the dates of travel are not known, specify estimated length of trip (e.g., 3 days). Note: foreign travel is not allowed. 

H. Other: May include honoraria, exhibit fees, publication costs for preparing, publishing, or otherwise making available to others the findings and products of the work conducted under the award, or any other items that do not fit into one of the other lines.  Provide a description and breakdown of what has been included in this category in the attached budget.

  • Indirect Costs (IDC) or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs: Apply at your institution’s non-research rate (or, if your institution has no negotiated rate, a 10% Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) can be applied if you wish to claim it). Indirect Costs need to be factored into your overall budget. The total budget cannot exceed $25,000, including Indirect Costs.
  • Other Funding if Applicable: Other funds that will be used to support the project should be specified. This includes matching funds, other grants, etc.

Allowable expenses: Personnel, equipment, supplies, travel and other costs such as reproduction of materials, software, Internet service provider fees, or collection materials are permitted. These are examples only and are not meant to be all-inclusive. Expenses are also allowed to publicize a health information service, event or resource, including National Library of Medicine (NLM) or Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) resources or services, but the allowable costs are limited to educational materials or publicity, such as posters, displays, flyers, bookmarks, or brochures.

Non-allowable expenses: Furniture, food, clothing, commemorative items such as pens, mugs/ cups, folders/ folios, lanyards, and conference tote bags. Refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

  • Populations Served: Select all that apply, but these should be the primary populations targeted in your project. If not explicitly identified in the proposal section, please do not select it here.
  • Participant’s Roles: Select all that apply. These are the primary roles of the participants of your project. These should be explicitly identified in the proposal section.

The following attachments are required:

  • Budget Table including narrative justification for expenses in each budget line item.
  • Resumes of key personnel, e.g. project lead 
  • Letters of commitment from partnering institution(s)/organization(s)-if proposed
  • Letter of commitment from institutional leadership that includes acknowledgement of award requirements. This should be from someone authorized to sign a contract on behalf of the institution.

Gather the Budget Table and any other documents that will be attached to your application. You may only upload one file at a time. If you have more than one attachment, it is recommended that you combine all attachments into one document and upload it as a single file. Please note: file size for each attachment may not exceed the 40 MB limit. Allowed attachment types: gif, jpg, jpeg, png, pdf, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, xls, xlsx.


You are required to acknowledge the following statements before submitting an application:

  • You will share the information gained with colleagues in your institution/RML (Region 5) /Office, as required by the Request for Proposal.
  • You will submit regular, interim & final reports, as requested by the funding agency & stipulated in the Request for Proposal.
  • Any web-based resources developed for this project will ensure accessibility to the greatest possible number of people.
Proposal Submission

You will need to apply online using the button at the top of this page that says "Apply for this Grant."  You must be logged in with your NNLM account to begin the application and submission process. 

Need Assistance?

Contact Emily Hamstra, Assistant Director, ehamstra@uw.edu

Additional Information

Grant Writing Resources

For support in grant writing, please see the NNLM Grants and Proposal Writing Course for tips on award applications.

Please refer to the NNLM Resource Guides:

508 Compliance

Section 508 requires that all website content be accessible to people with disabilities. This applies to web applications, web pages and all attached files on the intranet, as well as internet. The National Library of Medicine is a part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recipients of National Library of Medicine funding through the NNLM must meet all requirements under Section 508. Information on 508 Compliance.

Reporting Requirements

For any classes, training sessions, presentations, exhibits and/or site visits conducted as part of this project, an NNLM Activity Report and a Participant Information Sheet are required and must be submitted to NNLM Region 5 staff within 14 days of the activity. NNLM Region 5 staff will provide access to the report templates to awardees.

A progress report summarizing activities and evaluation completed to date is due to the NNLM Region 5 staff no later than November 1, 2024. NNLM Region 5 staff will provide access to the report template to awardees.

A final report is required to be submitted to NNLM Region 5 staff no later than May 26, 2025. NNLM Region 5 staff will provide access to the report template to awardees.

NIH Public Access Policy

Recipients of NNLM funding are required to deposit any peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance for publication in PubMed Central in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Data Sharing and Development of Training Materials

To facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and information associated with the NNLM Cooperative Agreement Award, all sub-awardees are required to share any data or training material resulting from funding. This information must be submitted to the following collection sites as applicable:

Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) website;

Other websites specifically designated by the NLM as part of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (considering changes in the project and data repositories required to maintain sharing within the Network).

In addition, recipients of funding are expected to use or adapt existing training materials before developing new materials. Consult with Region 5 and the NNLM Training Office (NTO) prior to developing materials.

Publication and Copyrighting

Per Section 8.2.1. - Right in Data (Publication and Copyrighting) of the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH must be given a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license for the Federal government to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use any materials developed as a result of funding and to authorize others to do so for Federal purposes, i.e. the ongoing development of the Network of the National Library of Medicine. Data developed by awardees/consortium participants and consultants are also subject to this policy.

NIH Acknowledgement

Any resource developed with project funds must include an acknowledgment of NIH grant support and a disclaimer stating the following:

“Developed resources reported in this [publications, press releases, internet sites] are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM013725 with the University of Washington. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health."

Application Review and Scoring Criteria

Complete applications will be reviewed by the staff of the NNLM Region 5 and Network member volunteers.

Reviewers will score applications based on the following categories and criteria:

Significance (15 points maximum)

  • Application clearly explains the need for the project including demographic information about the target population or geographic area. (5 points)
  • Applicant effectively uses data (e.g., statistics, anecdotes, needs assessment) to demonstrate the project need. (5 points)
  • Application contributes to NNLM goals and objectives. See NNLM goals and objectives. (5 points)

Methodology (40 points maximum)

  • Application demonstrates the ability to execute the project within the proposed timeline. (5 points)
  • Application proposes an approach that is suitable for the target population and geographic area and includes data to support this. (5 points)
  • Application demonstrates appropriate use of NLM materials and products, if available. (5 points)
  • Application provides a rationale for selecting the proposed approach(es). (5 points)
  • Application is creative, original, or demonstrates the potential to serve as a model for a similar NNLM project. (5 points)
  • Application clearly outlines activities, milestones, and methods that are feasible and relevant to the project. (5 points)
  • Application provides a long-term plan to sustain and continue the project, sustain one or more key components, or incorporate lessons learned into future projects. (5 points)
  • Application provides an effective and/or creative plan to promote the project. (5 points)

Evaluation (15 points maximum)

  • Evaluation plan is well aligned with the project goals and objectives. (5 points)
  • Evaluation plan clearly indicates how to measure success and project outcomes. (5 points)
  • Evaluation clearly explains types of data that would be collected, who will collect the data, methods of data collection (instruments/ tools and frequency of data collection) and analysis, and how project findings will be shared and used. (5 points)

Project Staff (15 points maximum)

  • Application clearly explains qualifications (expertise and experience) of the project lead and the project staff. (5 points)
  • Application clearly identifies and outlines roles and time commitment of the project lead, project staff, (and project partners, if needed). (5 points)
  • Application provides information on institutional resources (e.g. equipment) and support to be utilized for the project. (5 points)

Budget (10 points maximum)

  • Proposed budget is appropriate with a budget narrative that justifies expenses. (5 points)
  • Proposed budget includes only expenses that are allowable under the Regional Medical Library or Office and NIH regulations. (5 points) See NIH Regulations.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (5 points if met, 0 points if not met)

  • Application identifies inequities and disparities and suggests appropriate approaches to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion *OR*
  • The target population of the project is underrepresented in biomedical research (UBR). See definitions of UBR populations.


Reviewer score sheets and comments will be shared with the applicant. If further clarification is needed, the applicant will be given 1 week to submit more information.

NNLM Region 5 will initiate a subaward agreement for all approved projects.

All subawards are cost reimbursable. Reimbursements are issued to the institution, not the individual. Line-item invoices must be submitted for reimbursement of expenditures. Only expenses incurred and invoiced within the performance period are eligible for reimbursement. Invoices may be submitted as frequently as monthly.

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