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Region 5 Blog August 9th, 2022
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NNLM Region 5 Technology Equity Award

Posted by on August 17th, 2021 Posted in: Blog, Funding, News from NNLM Region 5, Technology

Technology Equity Award


The Network of the National Library of Medicine Region 5, under cooperative agreement with the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), announces the availability of funding through Technology Equity Awards to support infrastructure that improves equitable access to biomedical and health information.

Specifically, the Technology Equity Award seeks to address one or more of the following aims from the NNLM Region 5 cooperative agreement.

  • Support Digital Access, Digital Health Literacy, and Digital Health Equity ensuring that a variety of users, such as affiliated and unaffiliated health professionals, researchers, librarians and the public have equal access to, and the skills to benefit from, biomedical and health information.
  • Administer funding awards to support a highly trained workforce for biomedical and health information resources and data, improve health literacy, and increase health equity through information.


Applicants must be from institutions that are members of NNLM Region 5. Membership is free and open to institutions interested in improving equitable access to health information. To verify your membership, find out your NNLM ID or to apply for membership, contact Outreach and Access Coordinator Emily Hamstra via email: ehamstra@uw.edu.

Awards should focus on upgrading, replacing or adopting hardware or software technologies that will increase access to health information, and/or strengthen communications and connectivity for health,

Potential projects may include the following (other creative ideas are encouraged):

  • Installing high speed or broadband access to the Internet in areas where Internet is not presently available
  • Upgrading a slow Internet connection to a higher speed connection, or adding WiFi, mobile broadband or similar services
  • Purchasing equipment to establish telehealth services within a library or community organization setting
  • 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
  • Purchase of Wi-Fi lendable hot spots or lendable routers
  • Obtaining hardware or software to support virtual health programming.
  • 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 virtual reality instruction or hands-on computer-based instruction
  • Implementing a digital peer navigator program to offer personalized assistance in learning how to use a variety of digital tools to access NLM’s health information resources


Funding Period: November 8, 2021 – April 30, 2022

Amount: Up to $5,000

Number of Awards Available: Minimum of 6

Additional Funding Information: Maximum fixed price award is $5,000. A payment for the full amount of the award will be made when the agreement is signed.


Application Deadline: 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, October 15, 2021

Note: Applications submitted by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, October 15, 2021 will receive first consideration.

Application Instructions:

Step 1: Applicants should inform NNLM Region 5 of their Letter of Intent to apply by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, October 1, 2021, by emailing nnlm@uw.edu

Please follow these Letter of Intent (LOI) Guidelines:

  • Your LOI should be a brief, yet effective one-page letter that summarizes your full proposal.
  • Address your LOI to “NNLM Region 5” and email it to: nnlm@uw.edu
  • Include the name of your library/organization.
  • State the grant you are applying for, e.g. NNLM Technology Equity Award, and the approximate amount of money you are requesting.
  • Provide a short description of the project and how it fits NNLM’s purpose for the award. Include the population to be served and any relevant statistics.
  • Include major activities along with the names and titles of key project staff members.
  • Think of the letter of intent as a concept paper, not an absolute.
  • Questions about the Letter of Intent? Email NNLM Region 5 at: nnlm@uw.edu

Step 2: Download this Application Form and submit the completed Application Form to nnlm@uw.edu by the Application Deadline: 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, October 15, 2021

The Region 5 staff will acknowledge your application when received, and notification of awards will be given by November 8, 2021.

Budget Guidelines:

Maximum award is up to $5,000.

Applicants must complete the budget table in the application with detailed costs for each category, including a description for budgeted items, explaining the purpose of each item in the project.

Allowable expenses Personnel, equipment, supplies, travel and other costs such as reproduction of materials, software, Internet service provider fees. These are examples only and are not meant to be all-inclusive.

Expenses are also allowed to publicize a health information event or resource, including NLM or NNLM resources or services, but the allowable costs are limited to educational materials or publicity, such as posters, displays, flyers, bookmarks, or brochures. Please consult the policy at http://www.hhs.gov/grants/contracts/contract-policies-regulations/spending-on-promotional-items/index.html.

Non-allowable expenses: Furniture is not allowed and food is not allowed.

Indirect Costs (IDC) or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs: Indirect cost (IDC)/F&A can be included based on your institution’s federally approved IDC agreement (non-research rates apply). A 10% MTDC rate may be used if no IDC agreement exists.

Evaluation of Applications

Applications will be reviewed by: NNLM Region 5 staff and Network member volunteers.

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

  1. SIGNIFICANCE (40 points)

a. Are the significant contributions to NNLM goals checked by applicant?

b. Does the information provided support the need for the project, including information about the target population (worksheet provided in the Award Application), information resources or services currently available, information resources or services which are needed, and relevant barriers to be addressed?  Does the application discuss the program’s potential impact on addressing digital equity to advance an underrepresented population’s equal access to health information?


a. Are the methods, tools, or approaches suitable to demonstrate skill and value of the library, library staff or community organization and/or its staff to accomplish the project?

b. Is the ability to execute the milestones and overall project within the timeframe specified?

c. Does the application include an evaluation plan to measure indicators of desired outcomes?

  1. KEY PERSONNEL (10 points)

a. Are the qualifications and time commitments of key personnel to initiate new services and partnerships explained?

b. If applicable, do project partners bring experience to the team?

  1. BUDGET (10 points)

a. Is the budget reasonable and within funding limits?

b. Is the budget justification sound?

Additional Information

508 Compliance:

If web-based resources are developed using NNLM funding, developers are asked to ensure accessibility for the greatest possible number of people by adhering to standards described in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. For information on Section 508-compliant website development, see National Library of Medicine Web Pages & Accessibility  and HHS Section 508 policy .


  1. For any classes, training sessions, presentations, exhibits and/or site visits conducted as part of this project, a Region 5 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.
  2. A progress report summarizing activities and evaluation completed to date is due to the NNLM Region 5 staff no later than February 18, 2022. NNLM Region 5 staff will provide access to the report template to awardees.
  3. A final report is required to be submitted to NNLM Region 5 staff no later than May 27, 2022. NNLM Region 5 staff will provide access to the report template to awardees.

Technology Improvement Reporting: A Technology Improvement Report is required for projects receiving or purchasing technology. The Technology Improvement Report must be submitted within 30 calendar days upon completion of the project or no later than May 27, 2022. Access to the report template will be provided to awardees.

NIH Public Access Policy:

Final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts resulting from funded projects must be submitted to the digital archive PubMed Central (PMC) upon acceptance for publication. For more information, see NOT-OD-08-033 and the Public Access website.

Data Sharing and Development of Training Materials:

In order to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and information associated with the NNLM Cooperative Agreement Award, all 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:

  • National Networks of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) website;
  • Other site specifically designated by the NLM as part of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

In addition, award recipients are expected to use or adapt existing training materials before developing new materials. Consult with Region 5 staff prior to developing materials.

Publication and Copyrighting:

NIH must be given a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license for the Federal government to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the material and to authorize others to do so for Federal purposes, i.e. the ongoing development of the NNLM.

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. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”

Need additional information or help?

Contact Michele Spatz, Outreach and Engagement Coordinator, NNLM Region 5 at: mspatz@uw.edu Telephone: 206-543-8262

Image of the author ABOUT Michele Spatz
Michele is the NNLM Region 5 Outreach and Engagement Coordinator. She has extensive experience providing consumer health information and a passion for health literacy. Michele truly believes, "Because of you, Libraries Transform.®"

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Developed resources reported in this program are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012343 with the University of Washington.

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