Period of Performance
July 15, 2024 - April 1, 2025
Application Deadline
April 1, 2025, 6:00 pm EDT

Description of Award

The mission of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public's health by providing U.S. researchers, healthcare professionals, public health workforce, educators, and the public with equal access to biomedical and health information resources and data. NNLM’s main goals are to work through libraries and other members to support a highly trained workforce for biomedical and health information resources and data, improve health literacy, and increase health equity through information.

The NNLM Regional Medical Libraries (RMLs) and Offices rely upon partnerships. The award’s primary aims are to widen access to and awareness of health information resources, with a focus on those resources provided by the NLM. The programs are intended to help a variety of users:

  • With a focus on underrepresented populations and the healthcare professionals who serve them
  • Make the most effective use of information and decision-support resources to promote healthy behaviors 
  • Prevent costly and debilitating illness 
  • Improve health outcomes when disease occurs

The purpose of the Exhibit Award is to conduct outreach to the region through conferences or by hosting exhibits within their own institutions and to build professional capacity in support of the goals of the NNLM. Individuals may only be awarded once per annual performance cycle.

Potential Project Ideas

An exhibit typically refers to booths or tables but can include any type of display that promotes or demonstrates products, services, or other types of information in a public space, a conference, or a community event. When applying for this award, exhibit awards may be used to support:

  • Promoting awareness and use of health information resources and data. Particular focus should be on the goal of serving underrepresented populations and promoting health literacy. 
  • Conducting outreach activities such as presenting at local meetings or exhibiting at community health fairs to promote health information resources.
  • Educational exhibits designed to educate the public or equip professionals with the skills to serve their communities better, such as the cost of shipping for an NLM Traveling Exhibit.

Please note: Exhibit Awards are not intended to cover the costs of programmatic activities. 

NLM products and NNLM programs/services should be promoted whenever possible. RML staff may be available for consultation and training on applicable NLM resources and potential projects. Please contact us prior to applying to discuss your exhibit opportunity in advance; we want to help you succeed!


Eligibility for Individuals

  • Generally, individuals affiliated with NNLM member organizations are eligible to apply and must submit a W-9, but there are exceptions to this. For instance, students, the unemployed, or retired information professionals. Consult with your RML/Office/Center for specifics. 

Eligibility for Organizations 

  • You must be a Network Member of the NNLM. Not a member yet? Join now for free
  • Organizations, in most cases, are only eligible to apply for awards from the Regional Medical Library that serves the state in which they operate in. Please contact the RML/Office for further clarification.
  • Individuals are eligible to apply and must submit a W-9.

Application Instructions

Online Application Overview


Before submitting your application, you will need to ensure that your institution is an NNLM member and create a user account associated with your institution’s NNLM Member record by following these instructions: 

  1. Confirm that your institution is a NNLM Member with a NNLM Member record.
    1. Not sure if your institution is a Member or has a Member record? Contact NNLM Region 3 staff at
    2. If your institution is not a NNLM Member, apply for membership prior to submitting an Exhibit Award application. Membership is not automatic. A Member record is required to successfully submit an application.
  2.  Confirm that you (the applicant) have an NNLM 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 components. If you have questions about these or any other system requirements, please contact your Regional Medical Library or Office in advance of the application deadline. 

Application Overview 

Please include the following information in your application and follow these formatting standards. Adherence to font size, type density, line spacing, and text color requirements is necessary to ensure readability and fairness.

  • Text size: 12 point
  • Text color: black or other high-contrast color
  • Recommended fonts:
    • Arial
    • Georgia
    • Helvetica
    • Times New Roman
  • 1” margins
  • DOCX or PDF file format is acceptable 
  • Clearly formatted headings
Project Proposal

Project Information (do not exceed 1 page) 

Proposal (do not exceed 1 page; page limit does not include supporting documentation)

  • Program/Event Name: Enter the name of the event, program, or educational activity.
  • Program/Event Dates: Specify the dates of the program.
  • Travel Dates: Indicate your travel dates, if applicable.
  • Event URL: URL for the conference or event you would like to attend or hold, if available
  • Significant/Objectives: State the goal(s) of the exhibit and how it aligns with the NNLM Goals and Objectives. Provide 2-3 paragraphs about why this program/event would be necessary or useful for its intended beneficiaries. Detail how this information will be used and/or what you hope others will learn. 
  • Personnel Qualifications: Submit resumes or CVs for personnel listed as attachments with your completed application. 

(do not exceed 1 page)

Awards are cost-reimbursable and are generally issued to the institution, but in some cases are issued to the individual. The budget estimate should be categorized by the following, as they apply: 

  • Fees: Any fees associated with the educational activity/program or event.
  • Travel: Estimates for travel. Include description, justification, and any quotes in the budget worksheet or attach as additional documentation. 
  • Hotel: Costs associated with lodging.
  • Per Diem: Costs associated with meals and incidental expenses.
  • Other: Include description and any quotes in the attached budget or as other attachment.

  • Other Funding if Applicable: Other funds that will be used to support the project should be specified. This includes matching funds, other grants, etc. 

NOTE: You will need to submit a narrative to support your budget. 

  • Funding restrictions: Food, promotional items and furniture are not allowable expenses. Promotional items include but are not limited to: Clothing and commemorative items such as pens, mugs/cups, folders/folios, lanyards, and conference bags that are sometimes provided to visitors, employees, grantees, or conference attendees. Refer to the policy.

This award does not cover the costs of memberships or the costs to take certification exams.


Gather all documents that will be attached to your application, including personnel CVs and resumes, budget table, and narrative justification. 


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

  • You will share the information gained with colleagues in your institution/RML/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.
  • Additional documentations will need to be completed should your project be awarded. Please consult with your RML/Office for details.
Proposal Submission

In summary, your application will be comprised of the following items:

  1. Exhibit Proposal
  2. Budget Worksheet
  3. CVs/Resumes

The full application should be emailed to: 

Additional Information

Grant Writing Resources

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

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

Reporting Requirement



Activities and Participants –Submitted through the NNLM Data Reporting System (DRS)

Subawardees must add reports on their individual project page which is accessible via the institutional record.

Within 10 days of the activity.

Final Report –Submitted through the NNLM DRS

Same as above.

Within 30 days of project completion or 15 days after the end of the Project Period.

Required if Applicable

If offering Medical Library Association (MLA) Continuing Education (CE), contact the RML for training evaluation form.

If technology is purchased or provided: NNLM Technology Report

NNLM Technology Report


Submit before the final report

If funds are included for professional development: NNLM Professional Development Report

NNLM Professional Development Award Report



Within 30 days after the last day completed

Project Outcome: Optional tool for public libraries providing programming to patrons or community members

PLA Project Outcome



Immediately following program completion- be sure to check the box to ensure NNLM has access to the data.

Subawardees must complete a Subawardee Activity Report after each event. 

Submit report to within 10 days of final activity.  Reports will be made accessible via the institutional record on


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 subawardees 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 your RML/Office 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 a subawardees/consortium participants and consultants are also subject to this policy. 

NIH Acknowledgement

Any resources developed with project funds must include an acknowledgment of NIH grant support and a disclaimer:

“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 UG4LM012345. 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

Review and selection of proposals - reviewers selected by the RML/Office. Reviewers will make final recommendations for funding to the Executive Director of the RML/Office.

Scored Review Criteria: Scale: 1-25 

The application will be scored in the following areas:

  • Significance (15 points max): Does the proposed program/event/educational activity align well with NNLM Goals and Objectives?  Does the proposal provide justification for why the activity is needed? Is the proposal appropriate for the intended beneficiary/beneficiaries?
  • Budget (5 points max):  Is the proposed budget within funding limits? Is the budget justification sound? Does it include money within allowable line items? Do they have line items that account for all the requested money?
  • First-time applicant (5 points max): Is the applicant a first-time applicant in the five-year funding period? 
  • RML/Office staff and Network members will review and score applications using a standardized RFP scorecard. For more information, please review the RFP Scorecard.
  • 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.
  • The RML/Office will provide an agreement for all approved projects. All awards are cost reimbursement.