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Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program - FY16 Notice of Funding Opportunity

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program– FY16 Notice of Funding Opportunity

Federal Awarding Agency:

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Funding Opportunity Title:  

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

Announcement Type:   

Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Number: 

LB21-FY16

Catalog of Federal Financial Assistance (CFDA) Number: 

45.313

Preliminary Proposal Due Date:

Submit through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on October 1, 2015

Full Proposal Due Date:

Submit through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on January 15, 2016 (by invitation only)

Anticipated Date of Notification of Award Decisions:

March 2016 (subject to the availability of funds and IMLS discretion)

Beginning Date of Period of Performance: 

Not earlier than May 1, 2016

Equal Opportunity

IMLS-funded programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. For further information, email the Civil Rights Officer at CivilRights@imls.gov or write to the Civil Rights Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services, 1800 M Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20036-5802.

A. Program Description

What is this grant program?

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) supports professional development, graduate education and continuing education to help libraries and archives develop the human capital capacity they need to meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public.

We anticipate two FY16 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program funding opportunities with two separate deadlines. In addition to the opportunity described in this Notice of Funding Opportunity, an additional LB21 funding opportunity is anticipated to be announced in December 2015 with an application submission due date in February 2016.

What are the characteristics of successful projects?

We are especially interested in supporting proposals to address the following agency priorities:

  • National digital platform
  • Learning in libraries

We conducted a series of IMLS Focus convenings in 2015 that identified issues in the National Digital Platform and Learning in Libraries areas, among other topics. The reports synthesizing key takeaways from this year’s Focus convenings may help inform the development of projects.

In particular, we wish to support academic programs, professional development and continuing education programs that address the issues raised at these convenings. These include:

  • Digital services (content curation, user services, and infrastructure design & management)
  • Participatory or lifelong learning services (maker spaces, learning labs, digital media studios, etc.)
  • Community engagement, especially engagement that leads to broadband adoption
  • Applied research that fosters meaningful connections among researchers, practitioners, and constituencies
  • Mentorship, service learning, and practical models for development
  • Supporting STEM learning
  • Supporting projects that build capacity to embrace open-ended design challenges and proactive service developments.

What are the IMLS Agency-level goals? 

The mission of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. We provide leadership through research, policy development, and grant making.

U.S. museums and libraries are at the forefront in the movement to create a nation of learners. As stewards of cultural and natural heritage with rich, authentic content, libraries and museums provide learning experiences for everyone. In FY2016, each award under this program will support one of the following three goals of the IMLS strategic plan for 2012-2016, Creating a Nation of Learners:

  1. IMLS places the learner at the center and supports engaging experiences in libraries and museums that prepare people to be full participants in their local communities and our global society.
  2. IMLS promotes museums and libraries as strong community anchors that enhance civic engagement, cultural opportunities, and economic vitality.
  3. IMLS supports exemplary stewardship of museum and library collections and promotes the use of technology to facilitate discovery of knowledge and cultural heritage.

The goals focus on achieving positive public outcomes for communities and individuals; supporting the unique role of museums and libraries in preserving and providing access to collections and content; and promoting library, museum, and information service policies that ensure access to information for all Americans.

What are the funding categories and project categories for this program?

Funding categories
The four Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program funding categories are as follows:

Project Grants support fully developed projects for which needs assessments, collaboration development, feasibility analyses, prototyping, and other planning activities have been completed.

Planning Grants allow project teams to perform preliminary planning activities, such as analyzing needs and feasibility, solidifying collaboration, developing project work plans, or developing prototypes or proofs of concept. These activities should have the potential to lead to a full project, such as those described in Project Grants above.

National Forum Grants provide the opportunity to convene qualified groups of experts and key stakeholders to consider issues or challenges that are important to libraries or archives across the nation. Grant-supported meetings are expected to produce reports for wide dissemination with expert recommendations for action or research that address a key challenge identified in the proposal. The expert recommendations resulting from these meetings are intended to guide future applications to IMLS grant programs. National Forum Grant recipients are required at the end of the project to submit to us a brief whitepaper for public distribution summarizing those expert recommendations, which we will post online.

Research Grants support the investigation of key questions important to library or archival practice, including research to support the successful recruitment and education of the next generation of librarians. The term “research” includes systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied.  It.also includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function.

Project Categories
Your application must designate one of the following three project categories on the Program Information Sheet. The same proposal may not be submitted to IMLS under more than one category.

Note: If your application has a recruitment component, you should address ways to bring to the profession skills required to enhance library and/or archives services; and broaden participation in the library profession, including but not limited to members of traditionally underserved groups and communities.

1.   Masters-level and Doctoral-level Programs

       Master’s Programs

  • Educate the next generation of librarians and archivists in nationally accredited graduate library programs to meet the evolving needs of the profession and society.

       Doctoral Programs

  • Develop faculty to educate the next generation of library and archives professionals. In particular, increase the number of students enrolled in doctoral programs that will prepare faculty to teach master’s students who will work in school, public, academic, research, and special libraries and archives.
  • Develop the next generation of library and archives leaders to assume positions as managers and administrators.

2.   Research and Early Career Development

       Research

  • Investigate issues and trends affecting library and archival practices.
  • For all research projects, except Early Career Development Projects, all eligible library entities may apply, either individually or collaboratively. 

       Early Career Development

  • Support the early career development of new faculty members in library and information science by supporting innovative research by untenured, tenure-track faculty. (Proposed research should be in the investigator’s own field of inquiry and need not relate to library education or librarianship as a career.) 

For more information on the Early Career Development category, contact Mary Alice Ball (mball@imls.gov or 202-653-4730) or Sandra Toro (storo@imls.gov or 202-653-4662), and see Special Conditions of Eligibility for Institutions of Higher Education. See also the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the IMLS Early Career Development Program.

We encourage internships and residency programs and are especially interested in increasing diversity in professional employment in libraries and archives developing a diverse workforce of librarians and archivists.

3.   Continuing Education and Programs to Build Institutional Capacity

      Continuing Education

  • Improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities of library and archives staff through programs of continuing education, both formal and informal, including post-master’s programs such as certificates of advanced study, residencies, enhanced work experiences, and other training programs for professional staff.

      Programs to Build Institutional Capacity

  • Develop or enhance curricula within graduate schools of library and information science to better meet the needs of cultural heritage and information professionals.
  • Broaden the library and information science curriculum by incorporating perspectives from other disciplines and fields of scholarship.
  • Develop projects or programs of study to increase the abilities of future library and archives professionals in developing the 21st century skills of their users, including information and digital literacy skills. (See Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills.)

Only eligible graduate programs in Library and Information Science or School Library Media may apply to this category (see Article C: Eligibility).

Applicants may choose to submit a Project Grant, Planning Grant, or National Forum Grant proposal in any of the three LB21 project categories. Your application must designate one of these project categories. The same proposal may not be submitted to IMLS under more than one category.

How much money can my institution apply for?

The award amount limitations for each funding category are as follows:

  • Project Grants: $50,000 - $1,000,000
  • Planning Grants: up to $50,000
  • National Forum Grants: up to $100,000
  • Research Grants: up to $500,000

Where can I find additional examples of projects funded by this program?

Click here to search awarded grants by program, category, and/or key word.

Where can I find the Authorizing Statute and Regulations for this Funding Opportunity?

Statute: 20 U.S.C. §9101 et seq.,in particular §9162 (Laura Bush 21stCentury Librarian Program)

Regulations: 45 CFR Chapter XI and 2 CFR Chapter XXXI

You are required to follow the IMLS regulations that are in effect at the time of the award.

PLEASE NOTE: The recent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) final guidance on Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Grant Reform) has streamlined and consolidated grant requirements.  The Grant Reform can be found at 2 CFR Part 200. With certain IMLS-specific additions, IMLS regulations at 2 CFR Part 3187 formally adopt the 2 CFR Part 200 Grant Reform. The Grant Reform as adopted by IMLS at 2 CFR Part 3187 will be effective for all awards made after December 26, 2014.

B. Federal Award Information

Total amount of funding expected to be awarded

$10,000,000

Anticipated number of awards

22

Range of awards

$50,000-$1,000,000

Average amount of funding per award

$336,000

Type of assistance instrument

Grant

Anticipated start date

Not earlier than May 1, 2016.

Anticipated period of performance

May 2016-April 2019. The actual completion dates of periods of performance may vary; project activities generally last between one to three years.

The funding in the above Federal Award Information is subject to the availability of funds and IMLS discretion.

C. Eligibility Information

What are the eligibility requirements for this program?

What are the eligibility requirements for this program?

To be eligible for LB21, you must be either a unit of State or local government or a private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code and be located in one of the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau.

In addition, you must be one of the following six types of organizations:

  • A library or a parent organization, such as a school district, a municipality, a State agency, or an academic institution, that is responsible for the administration of a library. Eligible libraries include the following:
    • Public libraries
    • Public elementary and secondary school libraries
    • College and university libraries
    • Research libraries and archives that are not an integral part of an institution of higher education and that make publicly available library services and materials that are suitable for scholarly research and not otherwise available (Research libraries must be under the supervision of at least one permanent professional staff and must be either generally recognized as possessing unique scholarly research materials and services that are made available to the public, or able to demonstrate that such is the case when submitting an application to IMLS.)
    • Private or special libraries that have been deemed eligible to participate in this program by the State in which the library is located
  • An academic or administrative unit, such as a graduate school of library and information science that is part of an institution of higher education through which it would make application (See below for additional conditions of eligibility that might apply to such applicants)
  • A digital library, if it makes library materials publicly available and provides library services, including selection, organization, description, reference, and preservation, under the supervision of at least one permanent professional staff person
  • A library agency that is an official agency of a State or other unit of government and is charged by the law governing it with the extension and development of public library services within its jurisdiction
  • A library consortium that is a local, statewide, regional, interstate, or international cooperative association of library entities that provides for the systematic and effective coordination of the resources of eligible libraries, as defined above, and information centers that work to improve the services delivered to the clientele of these libraries
  • A library association that exists on a permanent basis; serves libraries or library professionals on a national, regional, state, or local level; and engages in activities designed to advance the well-being of libraries and the library profession

We recognize the potential for valuable contributions to the overall goals of the LB21 program by entities that do not meet the eligibility requirements above. Although such entities may not serve as the official applicants, they are encouraged to participate in projects. Federally operated libraries and museums may not apply for LB21 grants, but they may participate with applicants. Contact us before submitting a proposal involving a federal agency or federal collection. Non-Federal entities may serve as subrecipients or contractors and may receive IMLS grant funds as a result of the project. Consult with us about any eligibility questions before submitting an application.

Are there special conditions for institutions of higher education?

Yes, institutions of higher education have the following special conditions:

Programs to Build Institutional Capacity

All graduate schools of library and information science and school library media graduate programs are eligible to apply for funding to build institutional capacity, either individually or collaboratively. Libraries, library associations, and other library entities are not eligible for funding in this category.

Doctoral Programs

  • Only graduate schools of library and information science offering programs of study at the doctoral level are eligible to apply for funding of doctoral level scholarships and fellowships, either individually or collaboratively.

Master's Programs

  • Graduate schools of library and information science and graduate schools that provide school library media certification programs are eligible to apply for funds to educate students at the master's level only if they apply in a collaboration that includes one or more eligible library entities. Any of the eligible applicants in the collaboration may serve as the lead applicant.

Research

  • For all research projects, except Early Career Development Projects, all eligible entities may apply, either individually or collaboratively.

Early Career Development Projects

  • Projects must have a single principal investigator with no co-investigators. Consultants and students may be included in the project.
  • Only tenure-track, untenured faculty in graduate schools of library and information science and graduate school library media education programs that prepare master's and doctoral-level students are eligible to serve as principal investigators/project directors on Early Career Development projects.
  • The principal investigator/project director must hold a doctoral degree and have both educational and research responsibilities.
  • A letter of departmental endorsement, including verification of principal investigator eligibility, must be included in the application packet.

Note to applicants: In order to receive an IMLS award, you must be in compliance with applicable requirements and be in good standing on all active IMLS awards.

What are the requirements for cost sharing?

In order to receive an LB21 Project Grant, you must provide funds from non-federal sources in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount of the grant after subtraction of student support costs. Cost sharing is not expected for Research Grants, Early Career Development Grants, or for applications for grants under $250,000, and will not be considered in the review of the application. Click here for further information on cost sharing.

How many applications can we submit to this program?

You may submit as many applications as you wish; however, the same proposal may not be submitted to IMLS under more than one category. Generally, single institutions will receive only 1-2 grants per program during any one cycle.

What if I fail to meet the eligibility requirements?

We will not review or make awards to ineligible applicants. In order to receive an IMLS award, you must be eligible and in compliance with applicable requirements and be in good standing on all active IMLS awards.

Additional Eligibility Information

Only invited full proposals will be considered for funding. (Please see “What is the process for applying” section and further related information below).

D. Application and Submission Information

Are there registration requirements in order to submit an application?

Before submitting an application, your organization must have a current and active D-U-N-S® Number, SAM.gov registration, and Grants.gov registration. Check your materials and registrations well in advance of the application deadline to ensure that they are accurate, current, and active.

If your D-U-N-S® and SAM.gov registrations are not active and current at the time of submission, your application will be rejected; if they are not active and current at the time of an award, your application cannot be funded.

What is a D-U-N-S® Number and how do I get one?

Before submitting an application, your organization must have a current and active D-U-N-S® Number, SAM.gov registration, and Grants.gov registration. Check your materials and registrations well in advance of the application deadline to ensure that they are accurate, current, and active.

Click here to learn more about getting a D-U-N-S® Number.

What is the System for Award Management (SAM.gov) and how do I register?

Click here to learn more about SAM.gov Registration.

If your DUNS and SAM.gov registrations are not active and current at the time of submission, your application will be rejected; if they are not active and current at the time of an award, your application cannot be funded.

What is Grants.gov?

Grants.gov is your place to FIND and APPLY for federal grants.

The Grants.gov program management office was established, in 2002, as a part of the President's Management Agenda. Managed by the Department of Health and Human Services, Grants.gov is an E-Government initiative operating under the governance of the Office of Management and Budget.

Under the President's Management Agenda, the office was chartered to deliver a system that provides a centralized location for grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities. Today, the Grants.gov system houses information on over 1,000 grant programs and vets grant applications for 26 federal grant-making agencies.

How can I find the application package on Grants.gov?

Use one of the following identifiers to locate the  Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant program package in Grants.gov:

  • CFDA No: 45.313, or 
  • Funding Opportunity Number: LB21-FY16

You must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting your application package. The multi-step registration process generally cannot be completed in a single day. If you are not already registered, you should allow at least two weeks for completing this one-time process. Do not wait until the day of the application deadline to register.

You do not need to complete the registration process to download the application package and begin to prepare your material. However, you will need your Grants.gov User ID and password that you obtain during the registration process to submit your application when it is complete.

We require all applicants to apply through Grants.gov. Please note that the entire completed application must be submitted online through Grants.gov.

Click here to learn more about Grants.gov registration and Tips for Using Grants.gov.

Can I request an audio recording of this publication?

Upon request, we will provide an audio recording of this publication. Use Teletype (TTY/TDD) (for persons with hearing difficulty): 202-653-4614

Can I request a paper copy of this publication?

If needed because of difficulty using Internet or for other accessibility reasons, you may also request paper copies of the materials. Use the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program web page for IMLS contact information. We are available by phone at 202-653-4700.

What is the process for applying?

The application process for this round of the LB21 program is a two phase process. In the first phase, all applicants must submit a two page preliminary proposal by October 1, 2015, describing the proposal, its relevance to one of the two agency priorities (if applicable), its potential impact, its projected performance goals and outcomes and its estimated budget. Those applicants, whose preliminary proposals are the most promising and best aligned with the IMLS’s funding priorities, will be invited to participate in the second phase of the process by submitting a full proposal and complete application by January 15, 2016. The review process and criteria are described in section E.

What federal laws do I agree to comply with when I submit my application?

Click here to read the IMLS Assurances and Certifications

When and where must I submit my application?

For the first phase (Preliminary Proposals) of the FY16 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant Program, Grants.gov will accept applications through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on October 1, 2015.

For the second phase (invited Full Proposals) of the FY16 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant Program, Grants.gov will accept applications through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on January 15, 2016.

We strongly recommend that you REGISTER EARLY for DUNS and SAM.gov and COMPLETE AND SUBMIT THE APPLICATION EARLY. We make grants only to eligible applicants that submit complete applications, including attachments, through Grants.gov, on or before the deadline.

What happens after I submit my application to Grants.gov?

Once Grants.gov has received your submission, Grants.gov will send email messages regarding the progress of your application through the system. Over the next two business days, you should receive two emails. The first will confirm receipt of your application by the Grants.gov system and the second will indicate that the application has either been successfully validated by the system prior to transmission to the grantor agency (IMLS) or has been rejected due to errors. Once your submission is retrieved by the grantor agency, you will receive a third email. You can check the status of your application(s) after submission in Grants.gov, by using the "Track My Application" feature. You may also check the status of a submission by logging into your Grants.gov account using the Applicant Login and clicking on the "Check Application Status" link.

What documents are required to make a complete Preliminary Proposal application?

The required documents for the first phase of the application process (“Preliminary Proposal”) are: a completed SF-424S form; a two-page preliminary proposal description; and the Program Information Sheet. These documents must be submitted through Grants.gov, on or before the deadline of October 1, 2015. A Preliminary Proposal application is required in order to be considered for invitation for a Full Proposal application (“Full Proposal”).

The Table of Application Components (Preliminary Proposal) below will help you prepare a complete and eligible application. You will find links to more information and instructions for completing each application component in the table. Applications missing any Required Documents from this list will be considered incomplete and will be rejected from further consideration.

How should the application components for the Preliminary Proposal be formatted, named, and sequenced?

  • Document format: Aside from the SF424 listed below which is created in Grants.gov, all application components must be submitted as PDF documents.
  • Page limits: Note page limits listed below. We will remove any pages above the limit, and we will not send them to reviewers as part of your application.
  • Naming convention: Use the naming conventions indicated in the table. IMPORTANT: You are limited to using the following characters in all attachment file names: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore (_), hyphen (-), space, period. If you use any other characters when naming your attachment files, your application will be rejected.
  • Document order: In Grants.gov, attach all application components in the sequence listed below. Use all available spaces in the "Mandatory Documents for Submission" box first. Attach any remaining application components using the "Optional Documents for Submission" box.
  • Complete applications: Use the table below as a checklist to ensure that you have created and attached all necessary application components.

Any document you create must be converted to PDF format before submitting it. Click here for assistance in converting documents to PDF. Do not send secured or password-protected PDFs; we cannot process these files.

 

Note that IMLS does not permit the authorized representative to be the same person as the project director on the SF-424-S.

Table of Application Components (Preliminary Proposal)

Component

Format

File name to use

Required Documents

The Application for Federal Assistance/Short Organizational Form (SF-424S)

Grants.gov form

n/a

Preliminary proposal description (two pages, max.)

 PDF document

Preliminaryproposal.pdf

IMLS Program Information Sheet

IMLS PDF form

Programinfo.pdf

 

Required Documents

The Application for Federal Assistance/Short Organizational Form (SF-424S)

Click here for instructions on:
How to Fill Out the SF-424S

Preliminary Proposal

To frame a Preliminary Proposal, you may wish to review the documentation from the IMLS focus meetings, research the issues identified as critical and work with other professionals to develop a practical, collaborative proposal. The Preliminary Proposal should be no longer than two pages and should describe the project director and partners; the proposed work plan; its relevance to one of the two agency priorities (if applicable) its potential impact; its projected performance goals and outcomes; and its estimated budget.

IMLS Program Information Sheet

Download IMLS Program Information Sheet:
Adobe® PDF (318 KB)

1. Applicant Information:

  1. Legal Name: From 5a on the SF424S.
  2. Organizational D-U-N-S® Number: From 5f on the SF424S.
  3. Expiration date of your SAM.gov registration: Enter the expiration date of your SAM.gov registration in the fill-in field. Please note that before submitting an application, your organization must have a current SAM.gov registration.
  4. Organizational Unit Name: If you cannot apply for grants on your own behalf, then enter your organizational unit’s name and address in these spaces. For example, if your library is part of a parent organization, such as a university, then enter the name of the university under Legal Name, and the library as the Organizational Unit.
  5. Organizational Unit Address: Be sure to include the four-digit extension on the ZIP code.
  6. Organizational Unit Type: Select the one that most accurately describes your organization.

2. Organizational Financial Information: a-d. All applicants must provide the information requested.

3. Grant Program Information: Select a. Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

4. Performance Goals: Select one of the three IMLS agency-level goals (a – c). Check at least one of the performance goals listed beneath it. Note: If you select a performance goal(s) under agency-level goals a) Learning or b) Community, click on the link below it to review the specific performance measure statement choices and the information you will be required to collect and report on throughout the award period of performance.  

5. Funding Request Information:

  1. IMLS Funds Requested: Enter the amount in dollars sought from IMLS.
  2. Cost Share Amount: Enter the amount of non-federal funding you are providing.
    In order to receive an LB21 Project Grant, you must provide funds from non-federal sources in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount of the grant after subtraction of student support costs. Cost sharing is not expected for Research Grants, Early Career Development Grants, or for applications for grants under $250,000, and will not be considered in the review of the application. Click here for further information on cost sharing.

6. Population Served: Check the boxes that reflect the population(s) to be served by your project.

7. and 8. Skip this section, as it pertains only to Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums Applicants.

Full Proposal

What documents are required to make a complete Full Proposal application?

If you are invited to submit a Full Proposal you must submit a complete application by January 15, 2016. We make grants only to eligible applicants that submit complete Full Proposal applications through Grants.gov, on or before the deadline. Complete applications will be accepted only from applicants who have submitted Preliminary Proposals and have been invited to submit a Full Proposal.

The Table of Application Components (Full Proposal) below will help you prepare a complete and eligible application. Links to more information and instructions for completing each component are provided in the table. Applications missing any Required Documents or Conditionally Required Documents from this list will be considered incomplete and will be rejected from further consideration.

How should the application components for the Full Proposal be formatted, named, and sequenced?

  • Document format: Aside from the SF424 listed below which is created in Grants.gov, all application components must be submitted as PDF documents.
  • Page limits: Note page limits listed below. We will remove any pages above the limit, and we will not send them to reviewers as part of your application.
  • Naming convention: Use the naming conventions indicated in the table. IMPORTANT: You are limited to using the following characters in all attachment file names: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore (_), hyphen (-), space, period. If you use any other characters when naming your attachment files, your application will be rejected.
  • Document order: In Grants.gov, attach all application components in the sequence listed below. Use all available spaces in the "Mandatory Documents for Submission" box first. Attach any remaining application components using the "Optional Documents for Submission" box.
  • Complete applications: Use the table below as a checklist to ensure that you have created and attached all necessary application components.

Any document you create must be converted to PDF format before submitting it. Click here for assistance in converting documents to PDF. Do not send secured or password-protected PDFs; we cannot process these files.

 

Note that IMLS does not permit the authorized representative to be the same person as the project director on the SF-424-S.

 

Table of Application Components (Full Proposal)

 

Component

Format

File name to use

Required Documents

The Application for Federal Assistance/Short Organizational Form (SF-424S)

Grants.gov form

n/a

Abstract (one page, max.)

 PDF document

Abstract.pdf

IMLS Program Information Sheet

IMLS PDF form

Programinfo.pdf

Organizational Profile (one page, max.)

PDF document

Organizationalprofile.pdf

Narrative (ten pages, max.)

PDF document

Narrative.pdf

Schedule of Completion (one page per year, max.)

PDF document

Scheduleofcompletion.pdf

IMLS Budget Form

IMLS PDF form

Budget.pdf

Budget Justification

PDF document

Budgetjustification.pdf

List of Key Project Staff and Consultants (one page, max.)

PDF document

Projectstaff.pdf

Resumes of Key Project Staff and Consultants that appear on the list above (two pages each, max.)

PDF document

Resumes.pdf

Conditionally Required Documents

Proof of Nonprofit Status

PDF document

Proofnonprofit.pdf

Federally Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement

PDF document

Indirectcostrate.pdf

Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information Form

IMLS PDF form

Digitalstewardship.pdf

Sample curriculum or equivalent description of training activities

PDF document

Curriculum.pdf

Service Expectations/Recruitment Documentation (if applicable)

PDF document

Serviceexpectations.pdf

Student Placement Documentation (if applicable)

PDF document

Studentplacement.pdf

Supporting Documents

Information that supplements the narrative and supports the project description provided in the application

PDF document

Supportingdoc1.pdf
Supportingdoc2.pdf
Supportingdoc3.pdf
etc.

Partner Letter of Commitment

PDF document

PartnerCommitment1.pdf
PartnerCommitment2.pdf
PartnerCommitment3.pdf
etc.

 

Required Documents

The Application for Federal Assistance/Short Organizational Form (SF-424S)

Click here for instructions on:
How to Fill Out the SF-424S

Abstract

A project abstract must be no more than one page and address the following:

  • Who is the lead applicant and, if applicable, who are the formal collaborators?
  • What do you plan to accomplish and why?
  • What is the time frame for the project?
  • What community needs will the project address?
  • Who is the intended audience for the activities? For projects where the intended outcomes involve building capacity of a program or organization, what are the targeted outcomes from intended project activities in terms of measurable, quantitative indicators?
  • For projects where the intended outcomes involve audience members, what are the targeted outcomes from intended project activities in terms of measurable, quantitative changes in knowledge, attitudes and/or behaviors?
  • For projects involving research and/or plans, what are the targeted results and products from project activities?
  • How many students or individuals will benefit from the scholarship or training activity?

This abstract may be used for public information purposes, so it should be informative to other persons working in the same or related fields, as well as to the lay reader. The abstract must not include any proprietary or confidential information.

IMLS Program Information Sheet

Download IMLS Program Information Sheet:
Adobe® PDF (318 KB)

1. Applicant Information:

  1. Legal Name: From 5a on the SF424S.
  2. Organizational D-U-N-S® Number: From 5f on the SF424S.
  3. Expiration date of your SAM.gov registration: Enter the expiration date of your SAM.gov registration in the fill-in field. Please note that before submitting an application, your organization must have a current SAM.gov registration.
  4. Organizational Unit Name: If you cannot apply for grants on your own behalf, then enter your organizational unit’s name and address in these spaces. For example, if your library is part of a parent organization, such as a university, then enter the name of the university under Legal Name, and the library as the Organizational Unit.
  5. Organizational Unit Address: Be sure to include the four-digit extension on the ZIP code.
  6. Organizational Unit Type: Select the one that most accurately describes your organization.

2. Organizational Financial Information: a-d. All applicants must provide the information requested.

3. Grant Program Information: Select one funding category under a. Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program..

4. Performance Goals: Select one of the three IMLS agency-level goals (a – c). Check at least one of the performance goals listed beneath it. Note: If you select a performance goal(s) under agency-level goals a) Learning or b) Community, click on the link below it to review the specific performance measure statement choices and the information you will be required to collect and report on throughout the award period of performance.  Performance Measure Statements and Information to be Collected and Reported for Learning and Community Projects

5. Funding Request Information:

  1. IMLS Funds Requested: Enter the amount in dollars sought from IMLS.
  2. Cost Share Amount: Enter the amount of non-federal funding you are providing.
    In order to receive an LB21 Project Grant, you must provide funds from non-federal sources in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount of the grant after subtraction of student support costs. Cost sharing is not expected for Research Grants, Early Career Development Grants, or for applications for grants under $250,000, and will not be considered in the review of the application. Click here for further information on cost sharing.

6. Population Served: Check the boxes that reflect the population(s) to be served by your project.

7. and 8. Skip this section, as it pertains only to Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums Applicants Only.

Narrative

Write a narrative that addresses the components listed and explained below. Limit the narrative to ten single-spaced, numbered pages. We will remove any pages above the ten-page limit and we will not send them to reviewers as part of your application.

  • Use Supporting Documents to provide supplementary material.
  • Make sure your organization’s name appears at the top of each page. Use at least 0.5-inch margins on all sides and a font size of at least twelve points.
  • Be certain that your narrative clearly states how it fits into IMLS funding priorities.

 

Be certain to address the bullet points under each of the narrative sections as you write. Address the sections of the narrative separately and in the same order in which they are listed below.
Please be advised that reviewers may also choose to visit your organization’s website, as listed on the SF-424S form provided with this application.

1. Statement of Need

Provide a justification for the proposed project as it relates to a field-wide need or challenge. Include information such as the following:

  • Awareness of similar projects completed by other institutions and a clear statement of whether and how this project replicates, improves or expands upon past practice
  • Identification of the audience(s) that will benefit from the project
  • Assessment of the audience’s needs along with a description of the process used to determine those needs
  • Statement of how the proposed project, as planned, will meet the identified need
  • Early Career Development applicants should clearly explain how the proposed research will address current issues in the research literature and how the findings can be used to improve the services of libraries and archives. 

 

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the literature review includes relevant research and/or projects
  • Evidence that the needs assessment clearly articulates the project audience and its needs
  • Evidence that project activities and goals directly address the needs of the identified audience

 

2. Impact

Describe the intended performance goals and benefits of this project for the library or archive fields, as follows:
Address issues such as the following:

  • How the project will build greater skills and abilities in the library and archives workforce
  • How the project is likely to contribute to results or products that will benefit multiple institutions and diverse constituencies
  • How the project will transform practice
  • The likelihood that the project will be adopted by other institutions
  • For each benefit, what performance indicators will be measured, and how will they be assessed against the originally stated goals?

 

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the project will increase the number of qualified professionals for employment as librarians or archivists
  • Evidence that the project will build greater skills and abilities to meet the needs of today’s library and archives workforce
  • Evidence that the project will contribute to results or products that can extend beyond a single institution to benefit multiple institutions and diverse constituencies
  • Evidence that project outcomes will meet library service needs not only in the communities served but also be generalizable to libraries of similar size and type
  • Evidence that the benefits of the project justify the costs
  • Evidence that this project will transform practice (innovative approaches will be given high consideration)
  • Strength of the proposed indicators as well as their target values (i.e. the targets you aim to reach)

 

Incorporating Evaluation into Your Project
Click here for helpful information about evaluation.

 

3. Project Design

Describe the proposed project's design. Include information such as the following:

  • Clearly stated project goals and objectives
  • The activities required to implement the project and the applicant’s plan to ensure that normal operations are not disrupted
  • The design, integration, and implementation of an evaluation approach that will measure project results, findings, or products
  • Information about the roles and commitments of  any collaborators, if applicable
  • Information about any preliminary work or planning (If the project or one closely related to it has been supported by IMLS or other funding agencies, indicate what has been accomplished and the degree to which the project has met its established goals. List any print or electronic publications produced so far, with web addresses, statistics on use, and other relevant information. Submit this list as a Supporting Document if necessary.)
  • Rationale for using any procedures that deviate from accepted practice and explanation of whether the results would be compatible with other resources that follow existing standards
  • Description of how the project will test the potential applicability of any innovative techniques and procedures that the project is likely to develop. For training projects, description of the proposed curriculum, including training materials, training methods, audience served, and intended benefits for the applicant and trainees. For projects involving distance education, you should include information about both the synchronous and asynchronous elements of any courses designed (e.g., face-to-face, streaming audio or video, webinars, web-based course content, etc.). Explain the technical requirements for the institution and for the students and describe the course management system, if any, that will be used to offer or support the course. Describe who will be able to take the course both during and after the grant period; how the course and course content would be made available to other entities who might wish to use or adapt the courses (including the conditions of use and any assistance that would be provided to users); what costs would be charged to students both during and after the grant period; and how potential students and/or providers will be made aware of the course, e.g., through a searchable portal or clearinghouse.

 

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence of a cost-effective approach that will support a clear return on investment
  • Evidence of sound project management principles that adequately address budget, timeline, and personnel
  • Evidence that the project uses existing or emerging standards or best practices in the technical or disciplinary area to which the project relates
  • Evidence of a sound evaluation plan that clearly explains how the project will be assessed, using methods and procedures that result in valid, reliable, and/or generalizable findings

 

Additional Review Criteria Specific to Early Career Development Proposals:

  • Evidence that the proposal clearly articulates research questions and adequately addresses timeline and personnel
  • Evidence that methods chosen are the most appropriate for addressing the research questions that were posed based on the current scientific literature

 

4. Diversity Plan [if applicable]

Describe how the project engages diverse communities and their shared experiences, world views, and ways of learning. Include information such as the following:

  • Identification of the diverse communities that will be served by the project
  • Description of the unique service needs for the identified population that will be served by the proposed project
  • Explanation for why this particular population was chosen
  • Explanation of how the proposed project will address the library service needs of those communities, particularly the needs of traditionally underserved groups and/or communities.

 

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the institution has the capacity to serve the identified diverse communities based on past performance or other relevant criteria
  • Evidence of how, exactly, the identified diverse communities will benefit from the proposed project in ways that would not be possible without IMLS support
  • Evidence that the proposed activities will serve the needs of diverse communities

 

5. Project Resources: Personnel, Time, Budget

Describe the resources required to implement and complete the project, including both those funded by the grant and those funded by the applicant organization as cost sharing (Early Career Development, Planning, and Research Grants, as well as grants under $250,000 ,are not expected to provide cost sharing). Include information such as the following:

  • Identification of key project staff, their duties, and their qualifications for successfully completing their project tasks;
  • Identification of consultants and service providers involved in project activities, the process for selecting them, and how they will work with project staff;
  • Qualifications of personnel assigned to manage project finances;
  • A timeline for specific activities, showing how the results of one stage of the project carry over into the next one;
  • The amount of time that key project staff will devote to the project and how they will balance project responsibilities with other ongoing duties;
  • The facilities, equipment, and supplies necessary to support the project;
  • Source(s) of matching funds and/or in-kind contributions, if applicable;
  • Source(s) and use of revenues that will be derived from the project, if applicable; and
  • Contributions to and benefits from the project for both the applicant and partner organization(s), if applicable.

 

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the applicant will complete the project activities in the time allocated through the effective deployment and management of resources, including personnel, money, facilities, equipment, and supplies
  • Evidence of sound financial management coupled with an appropriate and cost-efficient budget
  • Evidence that the applicant has the ability to meet any applicable cost share requirement
  • Evidence that the project personnel have appropriate experience and expertise and will commit adequate time to accomplish project activities
  • If the project includes collaborators, evidence that all are active contributors to the project activities

 

 6. Communications Plan [Not required for Planning Grants]

Describe the project’s communication plan. Include information such as the following:

  • The variety of media and other means the project will use to reach library, archive, museum, and other audiences that might benefit from its work
  • Description of the steps this project will take to ensure that new products and services will reach the target audiences (See www.imls.gov/grants/grant-recipients/grantee-communications-kit for ideas.)
  • The extent to which results, products, models, findings, processes, and other benefits of this project will be transparent, adaptable and accessible through effective communication channels to the library field and to other professional organizations and communities that might benefit
  • Examples of communications methods might include but are not limited to webcasts, podcasts, e-mailings, press releases, conference presentations, publications, websites, project blogs, and community outlets. Multiple and interactive dissemination methods that extend throughout the life of the project, from initial funding through final evaluation, are desirable. You are encouraged to develop communication plans that have the potential to reach beyond your usual communities of interest.

 

Review Criteria:

  • Evidence that the results, products, models, findings, processes, and benefits of this project will be communicated effectively to the library field and to other professional organizations and communities
  • Evidence that communication activities will be ongoing throughout the project lifecycle rather than occur simply at the end of the project
  • Evidence that the project will seek feedback from various stakeholders
  • Evidence that the communities described in the Needs Assessment section can be reached and served through the proposed communications plan
  • Evidence that the project will make every reasonable attempt to communicate lessons learned and the results of the project beyond standard professional audiences and communities of interest

 

7. Sustainability [Not required for Planning Grants, National Forum Grants, or Research Grants]

Describe how the project, or portions or impacts of the project, will continue after the end of the funded grant activities. Include information such as the following:

  • The extent of ongoing institutional support of project activities or products, including websites
  • The continuing benefits resulting from the development of institutional expertise and capacity or through continuing access to project findings or products
  • The extent to which the project can lead to systemic change within the institution as well as within the library field
  • For education and training projects, you should identify who would own copyright on the course content and describe any restrictions placed on use of the course and course content during and after the grant period. You should also describe plans for preservation and maintenance of the course and course content during and after the grant period.

 

Review criteria:

  • Evidence that the project’s benefits have the potential to be sustained beyond the grant period
  • Evidence that the project plan addresses issues of copyright and access on the course and course content during and after the grant period
  • For projects involving distance education, evidence that there are plans for preservation and maintenance of course and course content during and after the grant period
  • Evidence that the findings from research projects will inform practice and/or future research agendas

 

For this section of the application, reviewers will consider information provided in the Narrative, Budget Forms, Budget Justification, and Resumes.

 

In addition to following the instructions above, research project applications should also address each of the following questions within the three sections of the Narrative portion.

  • What are the specific research questions this investigation will attempt to answer?
  • What is the relevance of the proposed research for current practice?
  • What research method(s) will be used to conduct the research?
  • What type of data will be gathered?
  • How will the data be analyzed?
  • How will the information be reported?
  • How will the research data be managed and made available for future use (as applicable)?

If an electronic dataset will be created as a result of the proposed research, you should complete the Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information Form and include this form as part of your application. This form asks you to summarize the dataset’s original purpose and scope; provide technical information about the dataset’s format, structure, and content; explain what metadata will be created about the dataset and what standards and formats will be used for the metadata; list any relevant hardware, software, or other dependencies  for using the data; identify a repository where the data and metadata will be archived, managed, and made accessible (if applicable); and describe the long-term preservation plan for the dataset. If you do not expect your project to generate data, please state this clearly in your narrative Click here to learn more about the elements of an effective research application.

Schedule of Completion

Click here for instructions on:

How to create the Schedule of Completion

Budget Form and Budget Justification

Click here for instructions on:

How to complete the Budget Documents

LB21 DOCTORAL CATEGORY APPLICANTS ONLY

Instructions for Completing the Budget Form: If you are applying for four years of funding, combine years 3 and 4 in the Year 3 column of the budget form and provide details for each year in the budget justification.

How do I construct my application budget?

Are there funding restrictions?

You may only use IMLS funds, and your cost sharing, for allowable costs as found in IMLS and OMB government-wide cost-principle rules.

PLEASE NOTE: The recent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) final guidance on Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Grant Reform) has streamlined and consolidated grant requirements.  The Grant Reform can be found at 2 CFR Part 200. With certain IMLS-specific additions, IMLS regulations at 2 CFR Part 3187 formally adopt the 2 CFR Part 200 Grant Reform. The Grant Reform as adopted by IMLS at 2 CFR Part 3187 will be effective for all awards made after December 26, 2014.

What are some examples of allowable and unallowable costs?

The following list includes some examples of allowable costs, both for IMLS funds and for cost share (if applicable), in this grant program. Please consult 2 CFR Part 200 for additional guidance on allowable costs.

  • tuition and fees;
  • course buyouts, summer session salary;
  • project personnel (contract or in-house) whose time is necessary for the proper and efficient execution of the project;
  • project consultants and their travel;
  • workshops, conference attendance, and other professional development activities;
  • mentoring programs/internships/residencies/fellowships;
  • educational materials, staff time, and supplies for sharing the impact of the activities;
  • evaluation to show the extent to which the project has met its goals;
  • dissemination/communication activities;
  • publication of articles in open access journals;
  • preservation of digital assets; and
  • indirect or overhead costs.

 

You must explain all proposed expenses in your Budget Justification.

The following list includes some examples of unallowable costs, both for IMLS funds and for cost share (if applicable), in this grant program. Please consult the appropriate cost principles for additional guidance on unallowable costs.

  • salary substitution for regular employees;
  • fundraising costs, such as development office expenditures or other staff time devoted to general fundraising;
  • general advertising or public relations costs designed solely for promotional activities other than those related to the specific project;
  • advocacy
  • contributions to endowments;
  • acquisition of collections;
  • social activities, ceremonies, receptions, or entertainment;
  • construction and/or renovation of facilities; and
  • pre-award costs.

 

(Note: If you have questions about the allowability of specific activities, call IMLS staff for guidance.)

Subawards and Contracts

In addition to the activities that you carry out directly, some project activities may be carried out by utilizing IMLS funds for either subawards or contracts. It is your responsibility to make a case-by-case determination as to whether each agreement you make for the disbursement of federal program funds casts the party receiving the funds in the role of a subrecipient or a contractor. (See 2 CFR 200.330 (Subrecipient and contractor determinations)).

There are particular requirements for subawards that you must follow as a pass-through entity (a non-federal entity that provides a subaward to a subrecipient to carry out part of a federal program). (See 2 CFR 200.74 (Pass-through entity) and 2 CFR 200.331 (Requirements for pass-through entities)).  There are other requirements that you must follow if you contract for activities.  (See sections 200.317 through 326 (Procurement Standards))

Please Note:  You may not make a subaward unless expressly authorized by IMLS.  (See 2 CFR 200.3187 (Subawards)).

See 2 CFR Part 200 (in particular, sections 200.330 through 332 (Subrecipient Monitoring and Management) and sections 200.317 through 326 (Procurement Standards) and 2 CFR Part 3187 for further information.

What are the requirements regarding costs for foreign travel?

All air transportation of persons or property that is paid in whole or in part with IMLS funds must be performed in accordance with applicable law, including but not limited to the Fly America Act (49 U.S.C. §40118) (see also 41 CFR 301-10.131 through 10.143). Each separate foreign trip must be itemized in the budget approved by IMLS. Foreign travel that is not included in the approved project budget must be specifically approved in writing by the appropriate IMLS program officer.  

What are my choices regarding indirect costs? 

You can choose to:

  • use a current indirect cost rate already negotiated with a federal agency
  • use an indirect cost rate proposed to a federal agency for negotiation, but not yet approved, as long as it is approved by the time of award
  • if you have never had a federally negotiated indirect cost rate and you are otherwise eligible, use a rate not to exceed 10% of total modified direct costs or
  • not include any indirect costs

Click here for further information on indirect costs.

List and Resumes of Key Project Staff and Consultants

Click here for instructions on:

How to create the Project Staff and Consultant Documents

Conditionally Required Documents

Link to information on providing:
Proof of Nonprofit Status

Please consult the table below to determine if any additional documents are required. If any of the conditions in the left column apply to your project, then the documents described in the right column are required. If you do not provide them, your application will be considered incomplete and will be rejected from further consideration.

If your project involves …

Then you must include …

A federally negotiated indirect cost rate

A current copy of your Federally Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement.

A digital product (IMLS defines digital products very broadly. If you are developing anything through the use of information technology, you should assume that you need to complete this form.)

A Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information Form; click here for Requirements for Projects that Develop Digital Content

Please note that if you are eligible for and are choosing the option of claiming an indirect cost rate of 10 percent of modified total direct costs, you do not need to provide any documentation. Click here for further information on indirect costs.

Supporting Documents

You may submit other attachments of your choosing as part of your application package in the second phase of the application (Full Proposal), but these attachments should include only information that will supplement the narrative and support the project description provided in the application. They should help IMLS staff and reviewers envision your project, but they should not be used to answer narrative questions. You may wish to consider the following:

  • Letters of commitment from subrecipients who will receive grant funds or from entities that will contribute substantive funds to the completion of project activities
  • Bibliography of references relevant to your proposed project design or evaluation strategy
  • Letters of support from experts and/or stakeholders
  • Reports from planning activities
  • Products or evaluations from previously completed or ongoing projects of a similar nature
  • Collections, technology, or other departmental plans for the institution as applicable to the proposed project
  • Web links to relevant online materials
  • Needs assessments

Note: When attaching these documents, give each one a specific title for clear identification. All Supporting Documents shouldinclude dates of creation and authorship.

E. Application Review Process

What are the characteristics of successful applications?

  • Broad Impact: Your proposal should address key needs and challenges that face libraries and/or archives. Your project should show the potential for far-reaching impact, influence practice throughout the library and/or archival communities, and reflect awareness and support of current strategic initiatives and agendas in these fields.
  • Innovation: Your proposal should demonstrate a thorough understanding of current practice and knowledge about the subject matter and show how the project has the potential to strengthen and improve library and/or archive services to benefit the audiences and communities being served.
  • Collaboration: While collaboration is not required, it can help demonstrate a broad need, field-wide buy-in and input, access to appropriate expertise, and sharing of resources.

 

Reviewers of all applications will use the criteria listed in Section D. Application and Submission Information (above) for evaluating individual parts of an application.

Is cost sharing considered in the review process? 

In order to receive an LB21 Project Grant, you must provide funds from non-federal sources in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount of the grant after subtraction of student support costs. Click here for further information on cost sharing.

Cost sharing is permitted, but not expected, for Research, Early Career Development, , as well as grants of less than $250,000 and will not be considered in the review of the application. However, if you chose to include cost sharing in an application in such category(s), your projected cost share in the project budget should be carefully calculated; grantees are expected to meet the cost share and other commitments that are set forth in their awards.

What is the review and selection process?

1. Preliminary Proposal Applications

In the first phase, all eligible and complete Preliminary Proposal applications will be reviewed and evaluated. Full Proposals applications will be invited from those applicants whose Preliminary Proposal applications:

  • most directly and practically address one of the two agency priorities (if applicable);
  • have the potential for the greatest impact upon the library and archival services and practices;
  • provide a sound basis and means for measuring impact;
  • support IMLS digital stewardship policy (where applicable);
  • provide for collaboration with other entities in the course of the project; and
  • demonstrate appropriate project management skills and capacity.

 

If you are invited to submit a Full Proposal application you will receive written comments for the improvement and development of your Full Proposal application, and you will be encouraged to contact program officers for additional details. 

If you are not invited to submit a Full Proposal application your Preliminary Proposal application will be rejected as not being competitive at this time. The decision to invite or not invite a Full Proposal application from an applicant is binding.

2. Full Proposal Applications

In the second phase of the process (Full Proposal applications), all invited, eligible and complete applications will be reviewed and evaluated. In addition to the criteria listed above, reviewers will use the criteria listed in Section D (above) for evaluating individual parts of a complete application. Full Proposal applications that were not invited will be returned without review. An invitation to submit a Full Proposal application is no guarantee of funding.

We use a peer review process to evaluate all eligible and complete applications, including both Preliminary and Full Proposals. Reviewers are professionals in the field with relevant knowledge and expertise in the types of project activities identified in the applications. They are instructed to evaluate applications according to the Review Criteria above. Reviewer conflicts of interest are identified prior to review, and reviewers who may have conflicts with particular applications are reassigned to review other projects.

The Director takes into account the advice provided by the review process and makes final funding decisions consistent with the purposes of the agency’s programs.

Reviewers are directed to follow the review criteria described in Section D above.

When will awards be announced?

We will not release information about the status of an application until the applications have been reviewed and all deliberations are concluded. For Full Proposals, we expect to notify both funded and unfunded applicants of final decisions by late February 2016. Funded projects may not begin earlier than May 1, 2016.

F. Award Administration Information

How will we be notified about the results of the grant process?

Official Award Notifications for Grants and Cooperative Agreements will be sent electronically. The award packet sent to the Authorized Representative/Authorizing Official will contain the following:

  • cover letter(s)
  • the Official Award Notifications for Grants and Cooperative Agreements
  • links to the applicable documents, including general terms and conditions, reporting forms, etc.

The Project Director will receive the following:

  • copies of the cover letter(s)
  • a copy of the Official Award Notifications for Grants and Cooperative Agreements
  • links to the applicable documents, including general terms and conditions, reporting forms, etc.
  • when appropriate for a particular funding category, reviewer comments

Applicants who do not receive awards will be notified at the same time.

What is the award period of performance?

The award period of performance will run from the first day of the month in which project activities are undertaken and will end on the last day of the month in which these activities are completed.

What are the administrative and national policy requirements?

Organizations that receive IMLS grants or cooperative agreements are subject to the IMLS General Terms and Conditions for IMLS Discretionary Awards and the IMLS Assurances and Certifications. Organizations that receive IMLS funding must be familiar with these requirements and comply with applicable law.

As an applicant for federal funds, you must certify that you are responsible for complying with certain nondiscrimination, debarment and suspension, drug-free workplace, and lobbying laws. These are set out in more detail, along with other requirements, in the Assurances and Certifications. By signing the application form, which includes the Assurances and Certifications, you certify that you are in compliance with these requirements and that you will maintain records and submit any reports that are necessary to ensure compliance. Your failure to comply with these statutory and regulatory requirements may result in the suspension or termination of your grant and require you to return funds to the government.

What are the reporting requirements?

Reports are due according to the reporting schedule that accompanies your Official Award Notification for Grants and Cooperative Agreements. Please note that recipients must submit performance reports in the format defined by the IMLS; both interim and final performance reports may be accessible on the IMLS website to support the agency’s commitment to open government, to engage the public in communities of practice and to inform application development and grant making strategies.

For details and forms, please see the Grants Administration page.

What do I need to know about acknowledgement of IMLS support?

Read more about acknowledgement of IMLS support.

What do I need to know about sharing IMLS-supported work products and copyright, and management of digital assets produced with IMLS support?

Read more about sharing IMLS-supported work products and copyright, and management of digital assets produced with IMLS support.

G. Contacts

How can I contact program staff?

See the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program web page for IMLS contact information. We are available by phone and through e-mail to discuss general issues relating to LB21 Program grants.

How can I participate in a webinar?

We are available by phone and through e-mail to discuss general issues relating to the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants. We also invite you to participate in one of two pre-application web conferences to learn more about the program, ask questions, and listen to the questions and comments of other participants. See the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program web page for more information.

H. Other Information

What are the requirements regarding conflict of interest?

You must comply with IMLS’ conflict of interest requirements. These requirements include disclosing in writing to IMLS or pass-through entity any potential conflict of interest.

How long should it take to complete this application?

We estimate the average amount of time needed for one applicant to complete the narrative portion of this application to be 40 hours. This includes the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and writing and reviewing the answers.

We estimate that, in addition to the time needed for you to answer the narrative questions, it will take you an average of 15 minutes per response for the IMLS Program Information Sheet and three hours per response for the IMLS Budget Form.

Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to the Institute of Museum and Library Services at 1800 M Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20036-5802, and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project (3137-0029), Washington, DC 20503.

How can I become a reviewer?

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, you may submit your information through our online reviewer application at www.imls.gov/grants/become-reviewer. Please remember to attach your resume. Your information will be considered and, if accepted, your name will be entered into our reviewer database. You will be contacted prior to the next deadline regarding your availability to serve as a reviewer.

There are many benefits to reviewing applications, including enhancing your professional knowledge and serving the museum and library communities. If you are selected to serve, you will be helping IMLS and strengthening our grant review process.

Office of Management and Budget Clearance Numbers

Notices of Funding Opportunity: OMB No. 3137-0029; Expiration Date: 07/31/2018.
Forms: OMB No. 3137-0071; Expiration Date: 07/31/2018.

IMLS Clearance Number

IMLS-CLR-D-003

Links

Instructions for Completing Budget Documents

You must provide two budget documents to describe the costs of a proposed project:

Note: If a separate IMLS Budget Form is included in an application for a project partner’s portion of an overall project budget, please include the partner budget as a supporting document. Be sure that the primary IMLS Budget Form and Budget Justification for the lead applicant include summary explanations of all partner budget details. Project partner budgets must comply with all instructions in this Notice of Funding Opportunity regarding allowable costs and methods of budget calculation.

IMLS Budget Form

The IMLS Budget Form is designed to accommodate up to three years of project activities and expenses. Project timelines, allowable costs, and other budget details vary by program. Be sure to review the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the grant program/category to which you are applying before you complete the IMLS Budget Form. Please also consult the cost principles in 2 CFR part 200 and 2 CFR part 3187.  The Year 1 columns should include costs for activities that begin on the project start date (as listed on 6c of the SF-424S) and end 12 months later. If the project timeline exceeds one year, list the costs for the next 12 months in the Year 2 columns. If the project extends beyond two years, list the costs for the next 12 months in the Year 3 columns. If the program/category to which you are applying permits a fourth year as part of the budget, enter Year 4 budget details on a second copy of the IMLS Budget Form.

The budget should include the project costs that will be charged to grant funds as well as those that will be supported by cost sharing. In-kind contributions to cost sharing may include the value of services (e.g., donated volunteer or consultant time) or equipment donated to the project between the authorized start and end dates of your project. All the items listed, whether supported by grant funds or cost share, must be necessary to accomplish project objectives, allowable according to the applicable federal cost principles, auditable, and incurred during the award period of performance. Charges to the project for items such as salaries, fringe benefits, travel, and contractual services must conform to the written policies and established practices of your organization. You must report all revenues generated with project funds during the award period of performance as program income and apply it to your cost share.

1. Salaries and Wages: Include both temporary and permanent staff as well as volunteers engaged in project activities. Document the method of cost computation (e.g., as percentage of a person’s time devoted to the project, number of days, number of hours) in your Budget Justification.

2. Fringe Benefits: Fringe benefits may include contributions for Social Security, employee insurance, pension plans, etc. Limit direct cost fringe benefits to those not included in your indirect cost pool. Fringe benefits may be claimed only on the portion of Salaries and Wages identified for this project.

3. Travel: Before completing this section of the IMLS Budget Form, please consult the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the program to which you are applying for any special guidance.

Explain the method of cost computation for each travel cost, including subsistence and transportation, in your Budget Justification.

You must use the lowest available commercial fares for coach or equivalent accommodations, and you must use U.S. flagged air carriers for foreign travel when such services are available, in accordance with applicable U.S. legal requirements.

4. Supplies, Materials, and Equipment: List the costs of supplies, materials, and equipment purchased specifically for the proposed project. For definitions and other information regarding supplies, materials, and equipment, please see 2 CFR Part 200.Use the Budget Justification to explain or describe these items in further detail.

5. Contracts and Subawards: List the costs of project activities to be undertaken by a third party, including a formal partner, as a single line item that shows the amount that will be charged to IMLS grant funds and any cost sharing that will be contributed by the third party. Itemize these third party costs in the Budget Justification. List any individuals or groups who will provide consulting services for the project and their fees. Identify each individual or group as either a contract or subaward. Explain the method of computation for fees in your Budget Justification. Click here for more information on partners, contracts, and subawards.

6. Student Support: If you are applying for a program that allows student support, enter those costs in this section. Student support can include costs such as scholarships or fellowships or student participant support costs. Other student items such as wages, materials including books or other supplies, student memberships in professional organizations, and travel should be included elsewhere in the budget (e.g., under supplies, contracts and/or travel categories) and identified as student items (e.g. “student wages”).

7. Other Costs: Use this section for costs that are not assignable to other categories. Please do not use the "Other Costs" section to list items that did not fit in the number of lines allotted for another section. If you need more lines for a specific section, summarize the information in the IMLS Budget Form and explain it further in the Budget Justification.

8. Total Direct Costs: These amounts will total automatically.

9. Indirect Costs: Indirect costs are the same as "overhead" or "administrative costs." They are costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and cannot be easily identified with a particular project. Examples are charges for utilities, general insurance, use of office space and equipment that you own, local telephone service, and the salaries of the management and administrative personnel of the organization. Before completing this section of the IMLS Budget Form, please consult the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the program to which you are applying for any special guidance regarding indirect costs. Click here for more information about Indirect Cost Options.

10. Total Project Costs: These amounts will total automatically.

IMLS Budget Form:
Adobe® PDF (212KB)

Cost Share

Cost share is that portion of the project costs that is not charged to IMLS funds. These costs may be supported by your cash outlays; contribution of property and services; and in-kind contributions, such as staff or volunteer time that support project activities.

For more information regarding cost sharing, refer to the specific Notice of Funding Opportunity for the grant program to which you are applying.

All listed expenses, including cost sharing, must be incurred during the award period of performance unless otherwise specified. Federal funds may not be used for cost sharing. All federal, agency, and program instructions regarding use of funds apply to both requested IMLS funds and cost sharing.

Budget Justification

Use the Budget Justification to explain all the costs included in your IMLS Budget Form. Address the purpose for each expense and explain the basis or method of cost computation used to determine each dollar amount. Itemize and explain any costs that you consolidated and summarized in the IMLS Budget Form. Follow the format of the IMLS Budget Form’s section headings.

We encourage you to contribute as cost share the salaries of permanent staff to be employed on a project in proportion to the amount of time they will spend on the project. If you are requesting IMLS funding for salaries of permanent staff, explain the reason for the request and how the regular duties of these individuals will be performed during the award period of performance. Explain the role of any outside consultants and contractors to be employed on the project and how each was identified and selected. Document costs for third party service providers through bids or similar means.

List the cost of project activities to be undertaken by a third party under "Contracts and Subawards" on the IMLS Budget Form as a single line item that shows the amount that will be charged to IMLS grant funds and the cost sharing that will be provided by the third party. Include a complete itemization of these costs as part of the Budget Justification. If there is more than one contractor or subrecipient, list the costs of each contract or subaward separately on the IMLS Budget Form and include an itemization as part of the Budget Justification. Click here for guidance for writing a budget justification.

Guidance for Writing a Budget Justification

The Budget Justification is a very important part of your application. Peer reviewers will use it to evaluate the appropriateness of the financial resources you have identified as necessary for your project and IMLS staff will use it to check your calculations and to make determinations regarding the allowability of specific expenses according to the applicable cost principles.

Your Budget Justification should align with your IMLS Budget Form. It should identify the purpose for each expense and explain how you arrived at each cost, including any that you may have consolidated and summarized on the budget form.

Below is a suggested format with examples of what to include.

1. Salaries and Wages

For each person whose salary or wages will be paid with IMLS funds or by cost share, identify them by name, describe his/her role in the project, the percent of time to be devoted to the project, and at what rate of pay. If cost share is being provided by unpaid volunteers, explain how you arrived at the dollar figure used to represent the value of their services.

2. Fringe Benefits

Identify your institution’s fringe benefit rate and explain the base for the calculation for each person. If you have consolidated several persons’ fringe benefits into a single line on the IMLS Budget Form, break out the detail here.

3. Travel

For each trip, explain the purpose of the trip and specify the points of origin and destination, the name of the traveler, and break out the costs of transportation, lodging, per diem, and any other expenses associated with the travel. Explain how you arrived at the cost figures.

4. Supplies, Materials and Equipment

List each type of supply, material, and equipment you propose to purchase or provide as cost share for the project. Detail the number and unit cost for each item, and explain how you arrived at the cost figures. Provide vendor quotes or price lists as supporting documents with your application.  

5. Contracts and Subawards

List the costs of project activities to be undertaken by a third party. Identify each third party by name, describe their importance to the project, the activities they will carry out, and the cost. Explain the basis on which you selected each and detail their qualifications. Provide relevant supporting documents with your application.

Please be aware that you are responsible for making a case-by-case determination as to whether the agreement you make with a third party should be a contract or a subaward.  That determination will depend upon the characteristics and substance of your relationship with the third party with respect to the activities to be carried out.  Recent changes in Federal grant regulations impact the responsibilities of recipients of Federal awards with respect to contracts and subawards.

As these new regulations would apply to all grants awarded after December 26, 2014, applicants are advised to review the requirements in order to understand their responsibilities under any award.

6. Student Support

If you are applying to a program that allows student support, detail the nature and cost of each scholarship or other form of support. Identify the nature, number, and cost of any student materials including books or other supplies, student memberships in professional organizations, internship expenses, and travel, and explain how you arrived at each cost figure.

7. Other Costs

Use this section for costs that are not assignable to other categories.

8. Total Direct Costs

Indicate the total direct costs, and specify how much you are asking from IMLS and how much you intend to provide as cost share.

9. Indirect Costs

If you include indirect costs in your project budget, identify the rate and explain the base on which you are calculating the costs here. If you are a non-Federal entity, other than a State, local government, or Indian tribe subject to specific indirect cost requirements, and you have never received a negotiated indirect cost rate, you may elect to charge a rate of 10% of modified total direct costs.  If you do so, explain how you are treating the portion of each subaward or contract in excess of $25,000 in your indirect cost calculation. If you are using an indirect cost rate already negotiated with a federal agency, verify that the agreement is current. If you are using an indirect cost rate proposed to a federal agency for negotiation but not yet finalized, specify the date of your proposal and describe your plan if the rate is not finalized by the time IMLS award determinations are made.

10. Total Project Costs

Indicate the total project costs here, and specify how much you are asking from IMLS and how much you intend to provide as cost share.

Getting a D-U-N-S® Number

All non-federal entities are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S®) Number in order to apply for, receive, and report on a federal award.

You should verify that your organization has a D-U-N-S® Number. If you find you do not, you can acquire one at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free D-U-N-S® Number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by visiting www.dnb.com/get-a-duns-number/html.

Be sure that the D-U-N-S® Number is the same as the number you use in the System for Award Management (SAM) as part of Grants.gov registration.

 

SAM.gov Registration

The System for Award Management (SAM) is a federal repository that centralizes information about grant applicants and recipients. You must be registered with SAM.gov before registering with Grants.gov. Click here to find information about registering with SAM.gov.

Registration cannot be completed in a single day. Some information must be validated by outside parties before your registration can be activated. This includes TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) validation with the Internal Revenue Service and CAGE (Commercial and Government Entity) validation/assignment with the Department of Defense. The activation timeframe may be longer if the information you provide is flagged for manual validation by any party. You will receive an email alerting you when your registration is active.

You must renew and revalidate your registration in SAM.gov at least every 12 months from the date you last certified and submitted the registration in SAM.gov--and sooner, if your information changes. An expired registration will affect your ability to receive awards or payments, submit applications via Grants.gov, and receive certain payments from some federal government agencies.

Please note that grant payments will be made to the bank account that is associated with your SAM.gov registration.

Grants.gov Registration

You must register with Grants.gov before submitting your application to IMLS. Click here to learn more about the multistep registration process. Make sure your D-U-N-S® Number and SAM.gov registration are accurate, current, and active. We recommend that you allow 4 weeks to complete all steps in the Grants.gov registration process. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE WEEK OF THE APPLICATION DEADLINE TO REGISTER.

Before submitting an application, your organization must have a current and active D-U-N-S® Number, SAM.gov registration, and Grants.gov registration. Check your materials and registrations well in advance of the application deadline to ensure that they are accurate, current, and active.

Tips for Working with Grants.gov

  1. Start early! Click here to learn more about Grants.gov resources, which include checklists, FAQs, and online tutorials to assist you in preparing your organization to submit applications.
  2. You must designate at least one Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) to use Grants.gov. Consider designating more than one AOR when you register. This will help avoid last-minute crises in the event that your one AOR is unavailable when you are ready to submit your application. Also, you should update the AOR at Grants.gov when staff at your organization changes, and make sure passwords are current.
  3. Make effective technological choices.
  4. Contact the Grants.gov help line (1-800-518-4726) for assistance with hardware and software issues, registration issues, and technical problems. The help line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except for federal holidays, when it is closed.

NOTE:

If you create a document in Microsoft® Word, you must convert it to PDF format before submitting it. Click here for assistance in converting documents to PDF. Do not send secured or password-protected PDFs; we cannot process these files.

IMLS Assurances and Certifications

As a Federal agency, IMLS is required to obtain from all applicants certifications, including those regarding Nondiscrimination, Debarment and Suspension, Federal Debt Status, and Drug-Free Workplace. Applicants requesting more than $100,000 in grant funds must also certify regarding lobbying activities and may be required to submit a "Disclosure of Lobbying Activities" form (Standard Form LLL). Some applicants will be required to certify that they will comply with other federal statutes that pertain to their particular situation. These requirements are incorporated in the Assurances Statement below. The authorized representative must review the statement and provide the certification in item 9 on the Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organizational Form (SF-424s).

Assurances Statement

By signing the application form, the authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, assures and certifies that, should a grant be awarded, the applicant will comply with the statutes outlined below and all related IMLS regulations (for example, see 2 C.F.R. Chapter XXXI and 45 C.F.R. Chapter XI). These assurances are given in connection with any and all financial assistance from IMLS after the date this form is signed, but may include payments after this date for financial assistance approved prior to this date. These assurances shall obligate the applicant for the period during which the federal financial assistance is extended. The applicant recognizes and agrees that any such assistance will be extended in reliance on the representations and agreements made in these assurances, and that the United States Government has the right to seek judicial enforcement of these assurances, which are binding on the applicant, its successors, transferees, and assignees, and on the authorized official whose signature appears on the application form.

Certifications Required of All Applicants:

Financial, Administrative, and Legal Accountability

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant has legal authority to apply for federal assistance and the institutional, managerial, and financial capability (including funds sufficient to pay the non-federal share of project costs) to ensure proper planning, management, reporting, recordkeeping, and completion of the project described in this application.

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will cause to be performed the required financial and compliance audits in accordance with applicable law.

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will comply with the provisions of applicable OMB Circulars and regulations.

Nondiscrimination

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will comply with the following nondiscrimination statutes and their implementing regulations:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. §2000 et seq.), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin (note: as clarified by Executive Order 13166, the applicant must take reasonable steps to ensure that limited English proficient (LEP) persons have meaningful access to the applicant’s programs (see IMLS guidance at 68 Federal Register 17679, April 10, 2003));
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. §701 et seq., including §794), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability (note: IMLS applies the regulations in 45 C.F.R. Part 1170 in determining compliance with section 504 as it applies to recipients of federal assistance);
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (20 U.S.C. §1681–83, §1685–86), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs; and
  • the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. §6101 et seq.), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age.
  • the requirements of any other nondiscrimination statute(s) which may apply to the application.

Debarment and Suspension

The applicant shall comply with 2 C.F.R. Part 3185 and 2 C.F.R. Part 180, as applicable. The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies to the best of his or her knowledge and belief that neither the applicant nor any of its principals:

  • are presently excluded or disqualified;
  • have been convicted within the preceding three years of any of the offenses listed in 2 C.F.R. § 180.800(a) or had a civil judgment rendered against it or them for one of those offenses within that time period;
  • are presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity (Federal, State, or local) with commission of any of the offenses listed in 2 C.F.R. § 180.800(a); or
  • have had one or more public transactions (Federal, State, or local) terminated within the preceding three years for cause or default.

Where the applicant is unable to certify to any of the statements in this certification, he or she shall attach an explanation to this application.

The applicant, as a primary tier participant, is required to comply with 2 C.F.R. Part 180 subpart C (Responsibilities of Participants Regarding Transactions Doing Business with Other Persons) as a condition of participation in the award. The applicant is also required to communicate the requirement to comply with 2 C.F.R. Part 180 subpart C (Responsibilities of Participants Regarding Transactions Doing Business with Other Persons) to persons at the next lower tier with whom the applicant enters into covered transactions.

As noted in the preceding paragraph, applicants who plan to use IMLS awards to fund contracts should be aware that they must comply with the communication and verification requirements set forth in the above Debarment and Suspension provisions.

Federal Debt Status

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies to the best of his or her knowledge and belief that the applicant is not delinquent in the repayment of any federal debt.

Drug-Free Workplace

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies, as a condition of the award, that the applicant will or will continue to provide a drug-free workplace by complying with the requirements in 2 C.F.R. Part 3186 (Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)). In particular, you as the recipient must comply with drug-free workplace requirements in subpart B (or subpart C, if the recipient is an individual) of 2 C.F.R. Part 3186, which adopts the Governmentwide implementation (2 C.F.R. Part 182) of sec. 5152-5158 of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-690, Title V, Subtitle D; 41 U.S.C. 701-707).

This includes, but is not limited to: making a good faith effort, on a continuing basis, to maintain a drug-free workplace; publishing a drug-free workplace statement; establishing a drug-free awareness program for your employees; taking actions concerning employees who are convicted of violating drug statutes in the workplace; and identifying (either at the time of application or upon award, or in documents you keep on file in your offices) all known workplaces under your federal awards.

Trafficking in Persons

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies, as a condition of the award, that the applicant will comply with the trafficking in persons requirements that are set out in the General Terms and Conditions for IMLS Discretionary Awards (2 C.F.R. 175.15 Award Term.).

Certification Regarding Lobbying Activities (Applies to Applicants Requesting Funds in Excess of $100,000) (31 U.S.C. §1352)

The authorized representative certifies, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:

(a) No federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid, by or on behalf of the authorized representative, to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of an agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of any federal contract, the making of any federal grant, the making of any federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.

(b) If any funds other than federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person (other than a regularly employed officer or employee of the applicant, as provided in 31 U.S.C. 1352) for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement, the authorized representative shall complete and submit Standard Form LLL, "Disclosure of Lobbying Activities," in accordance with its instructions.

(c) The authorized representative shall require that the language of this certification be included in the award documents for all subawards at all tiers (including subcontracts and contracts under grants, loans, and cooperative agreements) and that all subrecipients shall certify and disclose accordingly.

This certification is a material representation of fact upon which reliance is placed when the transaction is made or entered into. Submission of this certification is a prerequisite for making or entering into the transaction imposed by section 1352, title 31, U.S. Code. Any person who fails to file the required certification shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

General Certification

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will comply with all applicable requirements of all other federal laws, executive orders, regulations, and policies governing the program.

Certifications Required of Some Applicants:

The following certifications are required if applicable to the project for which an application is being submitted. Applicants should be aware that additional federal certifications, not listed below, might apply to a particular project.

Subawards

Under IMLS regulations at 2 CFR 3187.14, a recipient may not make a subaward unless expressly authorized by IMLS.  A recipient may contract for supplies, equipment, and services, subject to applicable law, including but not limited to applicable Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards set forth in 2 CFR part 200.

Native American Human Remains and Associated Funerary Objects

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will comply with the provisions of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (25 U.S.C. §3001 et seq.), which applies to any organization that controls or possesses Native American human remains and associated funerary objects, and which receives federal funding, even for a purpose unrelated to the Act.

Historic Properties

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will assist the awarding agency in ensuring compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. §470f), Executive Order (E.O.) 11593, and the Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. §469 et seq.).

Environmental Protections

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the project will comply with environmental standards, including the following:

(a) institution of environmental quality control measures under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. §4321 et seq.) and E.O. 11514;

(b) notification of violating facilities pursuant to E.O. 11738;

(c) protection of wetlands pursuant to E.O. 11990, as amended by E.O. 12608;

(d) evaluation of flood hazards in floodplains in accordance with E.O. 11988, as amended;

(e) assurance of project consistency with the approved State management program developed under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. §1451 et seq.);

(f ) conformity of federal actions to State (Clean Air) Implementation Plans under section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act of 1955, as amended (42 U.S.C. §7401 et seq.);

(g) protection of underground sources of drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, as amended (42 U.S.C. §300f et seq.); and

(h) protection of endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. §1531–1543).

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the project will comply with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, as amended (16 U.S.C. §1271 et seq.), related to protecting components or potential components of the national wild and scenic rivers system.

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the applicant will comply with the flood insurance purchase requirements of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended (42 U.S.C. §4001 et seq.), which requires recipients in a special flood hazard area to participate in the program and to purchase flood insurance if the total cost of insurable construction and acquisition is $10,000 or more.

Research on Human Subjects

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the project will comply with 45 C.F.R. Part 46 regarding the protection of human subjects involved in research, development, and related activities supported by this award of assistance.

Research on Animal Subjects

The authorized representative, on behalf of the applicant, certifies that the project will comply with the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act of 1966, as amended (7 U.S.C. §2131 et seq.) pertaining to the care, handling, and treatment of warm-blooded animals held for research, teaching, or other activities supported by this award of assistance.

###

For further information on these certifications, contact IMLS, 1800 M Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20036. Or call 202/653-IMLS (4657).

How to Fill Out the SF-424S

The SF-424S is the "Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organizational Form" on Grants.gov.

Items 1-4 are automatically filled in by Grants.gov

Item 5. Applicant Information

a. Legal Name: Enter your organization’s legal name as it appears in its SAM.gov registration. See the Notice of Funding Opportunity for eligibility details. If your organization is eligible but does not have the authority to apply directly for funding, enter the name of the parent organization that is submitting the application on your organization’s behalf. In that case, enter the name of your organization in the space provided for "Organizational Unit" on the Program Information Sheet, Question 1d.

b. Address: For Street1, enter your organization’s street address or post office box number, whichever is used for its U.S. Postal Service mailing address. Street2 is not a required field and should be used only when a suite or room number or other similar information is part of the address.

In the ZIP+4/Postal Code box, enter the full nine-digit ZIP code assigned by the U.S. Postal Service. Click here to retrieve your full ZIP code.

c. Web Address: Enter the Web address of the legal applicant organization.

d. Type of Applicant: Select the one code that best characterizes your organization from the menu in the first dropdown box. Leave the other boxes blank.

e. Employer/Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN/TIN): Enter the Employer or Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN or TIN)  assigned to your organization by the Internal Revenue Service.

 f. Organizational DUNS: Enter your organization’s D-U-N-S® Number received from Dun and Bradstreet. Click here for guidance in obtaining a D-U-N-S® Number.

g. Congressional District: Enter your organization’s Congressional District. Use the following format: two-letter state abbreviation, followed by a hyphen, followed by a zero, followed by the two-digit district number. For example, if the organization is located in the 5th congressional district of California, enter "CA-005." For the 12th district of North Carolina, enter "NC-012." For states and territories with "At Large" congressional districts—that is, one representative or delegate represents the entire state or territory—use "001," e.g., "VT-001.

If your organization does not have a congressional district (e.g., it is located in a U.S. territory that does not have districts), enter "00-000." To determine your organization’s district, visit the House of Representatives website by clicking here and using the "Find Your Representative" tool.

Item 6. Project Information

a. Project Title: Enter a brief descriptive title for your project. IMLS may use this title for public information purposes.

b. Project Description: Enter a brief description (about 120 words) of your specific project. Tell us what your project will do, for whom or what, and why. Use clear language that can be understood readily by readers who might not be familiar with the discipline or subject area.

Note: There is a character limit (including spaces) for this section in Grants.gov! Your application may be rejected if you exceed this limit.

c. Proposed Project Start Date/End Date: Enter the proposed period of performance start date and end date for your project in the format mm/dd/yyyy. Your project must begin on the first day of a month and end on the last day of a month, as directed in the program Notice of Funding Opportunity.

Item 7. Project Director

Enter the requested information for the person who will have primary responsibility for carrying out your project’s activities. Please select a prefix.

Item 8. Primary Contact/Grants Administrator

Enter the requested information for the individual who has primary responsibility for administering the award. If the Primary Contact/Grants Administrator is the same as the Authorized Representative, please complete both Items 8 and 9.

In some organizations, particularly smaller ones, this individual may be the same as the Project Director.  If this is the case, check the box and skip to Item 9.

Item 9. Authorized Representative

Enter the name and contact information of the person who has the authority to enter into legal agreements in the name of your organization. The Authorized Representative cannot be the same person as the Project Director. By checking the "I Agree" box at the top of Item 9, this individual certifies the applicant’s compliance with relevant federal requirements (the IMLS Assurances and Certifications). IMLS will address written correspondence to the Authorized Representative whose information you enter in Item 9.

The "Signature of Authorized Representative" and "Date Signed" boxes will be automatically populated by Grants.gov upon submission of the application. This will be the person whose name was listed as your organization’s Authorized Representative when you registered with Grants.gov. Please note that this name might not be the same as the name and other information you entered in Item 9 above; however, the person whose name appears in the “Signature of Authorized Representative” box must have authorization from your organization to submit this application on behalf of your organization.  Submission of the electronic application acknowledges that your organization certifies compliance with relevant federal requirements, including but not limited to the IMLS Assurances and Certifications, to the same extent as the signature does on a paper application.

Proof of Nonprofit Status

If your organization is a private, nonprofit institution, you must submit a copy of the IRS letter indicating your eligibility for nonprofit status under the applicable provision of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended. We will not accept a letter of State sales tax exemption as proof of nonprofit status.

Performance Measure Statements and Information to be Collected and Reported for Learning and Community Projects

On the Program Information Sheet, you selected an IMLS agency-level goal of Learning or Community with which your project best aligns, and you selected at least one performance goal that reflects a measurable change or outcome that you intend for your project to achieve.

Below is a list of pre-determined performance measure statements that will help IMLS document the collective achievements of the Learning and Community projects we fund.

IMPORTANT: You will be required to provide specific information directly relating to these performance measure statement(s) in your Final Performance Report. You may design and administer a more elaborate survey than what will be required to gather this specific information.. These information-gathering activities must be incorporated into your application narrative, your work plan, your schedule of completion, and your budget, as necessary.

IMLS Agency-Level Goal 1: Learning

Performance Goal

Performance Measure Statement

Information You Will Be Expected to Report

 

Survey Respondent: Program/Project Participants

Data to be Collected

Train and develop museum and library professionals.

My understanding has increased as a result of this program/training:

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

 
  • Number of participants
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

My interest in this subject has increased as a result of this program/training:

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

  • Number of participants
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

I am confident I can apply what I learned in this program/training:

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, Nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

  • Number of participants
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

Support communities of practice

 

My understanding has increased as a result of this program/training:

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, Nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

 
  • Number of participants
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

My interest in this subject has increased as a result of this program/training:

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, Nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

 
  • Number of participants
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

I am confident I can apply what I learned in this program/training:

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, Nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

 
  • Number of participants
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

Develop and provide inclusive and accessible learning opportunities

My understanding has increased as a result of this program/training:

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, Nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

 
  • Number of participants
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

My interest in this subject has increased as a result of this program/training:

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, Nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

 
  • Number of participants
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

 

IMLS Agency-Level Goal 2: Community

 

Performance Goal

Performance Measure Statement

Outcome Based

Information to be Collected and Reported

 

Survey Respondent: Grantee

Data to be Collected

Strengthen museums and libraries as essential partners in addressing the needs of their communities.

My organization is better prepared to provide a program or service that addresses community needs.

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, Nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

 
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

 

My organization is better able to engage my community.

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

 
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

 

My organization is better prepared to develop and maintain on-going relationships with community partners.

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

 
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

 

My organization is better prepared to share knowledge and other resources as an active contributor to problem solving in the community.

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

 
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

 

Survey Respondent: Community Partner(s)

Data to be Collected

 

The museum or library offers programs, services, or resources that address community needs.

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

 
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

 

The museum or library is an active contributor to problem solving in the community.

Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree, nor Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

 
  • Number of total responses
  • Number of responses per answer option
  • Number of non-responses

Organizational Profile

An Organizational Profile must be no more than one page and include the following information:

  • Your organization’s mission or statement of purpose, noting the source, approving body, and date of the official document in which it appears. If your organization’s mission statement is longer than one page, you may excerpt from it or summarize it to convey the essential points.
  • Your service area (communities and/or audiences served, including size, demographic characteristics, and geographic area).
  • A brief history of your organization, focusing on the unit that will be directly involved in carrying out the work.

Schedule of Completion

The Schedule of Completion should reflect each major activity identified in your application narrative and the project dates identified on the Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organizational Form (SF-424S) and IMLS Budget Form. It should show when each major project activity will be undertaken, mark important milestones for the project, and be no longer than one page per project year. If any proposed activity is part of a larger project, make sure the IMLS-funded portion is clearly identified. Click image below for a larger view.

Sample of Schedule of Complection - small

Project Staff and Consultant Documents

List of Key Project Staff and Consultants

Provide a one-page list of the staff and consultants whose expertise is essential to the completion of the project. Do not list the entire staff involved in the project. This list must include the Project Director listed in Item 7 of the SF-424S. Any changes to these key project staff and consultants must be approved by IMLS.

Resumes of Key Project Staff and Consultants

Provide resumes of no more than two pages each for all project staff and consultants identified on the List of Key Project Staff and Consultants described above.

If you cannot identify key project personnel by the application deadline, then submit position descriptions instead. A position description does not identify a specific individual; it identifies the qualities and range of experience and education necessary to successfully implement and complete project activities.

Guidance for Research Applications

An effective research application should answer the following questions:

What are the specific research questions your project will attempt to answer?

List the question or questions that will drive your proposed activities. Research questions should be clear and concise to help reviewers understand what you wish to learn.

What is the relevance of your proposed research for current practice?

Demonstrate how the research will lead to improved museum or library practice and that you are familiar with current research literature.

What research methods will you use to conduct the research?

Detail the methods you will use and why they are the most appropriate for addressing the question at hand. The methods must be replicable and based on the best practices identified in the scientific literature or by relevant professional associations. Identify the interpretive framework or context you will use.

What type of data will you gather?

Describe the type of research data you will collect and what measures you will take to ensure its validity and reliability. Detail the methods for collecting the information along with any potential privacy or human subjects concerns that may arise. List potential challenges in gathering data and explain how you will address them.

How will you analyze and use the data?

Describe how you will analyze the results of your research and compare them to your research questions. If applicable, outline an analysis plan that links a set of testable hypotheses to the proposed research question(s). Identify the variables of interest that are key to the investigation, and explain how you will deal with alternative explanations for the observed phenomena.

How will you report the information?

Address how you will communicate the results to a variety of target audiences with different levels of expertise.

How will you manage the research data and make it available for future use (as applicable)?

Explain how you will manage, share, preserve, and document the information and research products you will create during the project. To do this, complete the Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information Form and include it as part of the application to IMLS.

Evaluating Your Project

Your proposed plan for tracking and measuring your success in achieving your intended results is a significant element in the review process. You should include specific and sufficient resources dedicated to evaluation activities in your detailed work plan, project budget, and schedule of completion. Examples of relevant costs associated with evaluation include payments for consultants or qualified project staff, development of effective instruments, information collection, and analysis of project data. Include the costs of evaluation, reporting, and sharing project results in your project budget. You may budget any of these as grant funds or as cost share. Keep in mind that effective evaluation strategies often use multiple techniques not just to measure and analyze final project outputs and outcomes but also to inform and help shape your project design as the project progresses.

Your evaluation plan should:

  • clearly link the Agency-Level Goal and the Performance Goal(s) identified in your application as well as the Performance Measure Statement(s), and the Project-Level Results you intend to measure to the program/project you are proposing;
  • identify the primary beneficiaries (people or organizations) of the project and the methodology for collecting outcome information from them (if applicable);
  • explain how things will be different as a consequence of this project and what data you will collect to determine whether or not these occurred;
  • indicate the methods you will use to analyze your data and to judge the overall effectiveness of the project;
  • describe the qualifications of staff and consultants involved in evaluation activities;
  • include all plans you have to monitor the project’s effectiveness on an ongoing basis so that you can make needed midcourse corrections;
  • describe how you intend to use the evaluation results and how they may affect long-term program planning; and
  • describe how you will share the evaluation results with people and organizations outside your organization.

Your application narrative should address as many of these points as possible. If you do not have all this information at the time you submit your application, your application should explain how you will obtain it if the project is funded by IMLS.

Requirements for Projects that Develop Digital Content

What are the requirements for projects that develop digital content?

IMLS is committed to expanding public access to federally-funded research, data and other digital products. The assets you create with IMLS funding require careful stewardship to protect and enhance their value, and they should be freely and readily available for use and re-use by libraries, archives, museums, and the public. However, applying these principles to the development and management of digital products is not always straightforward. Because technology is dynamic and because we do not want to inhibit innovation, we do not want to prescribe set standards and best practices that could become quickly outdated. Instead, we ask that you answer a series of questions that address specific aspects of creating and managing digital assets. Your answers will be used by IMLS staff and by expert peer reviewers to evaluate your application, and they will be important in determining whether your project will be funded.

The form consists of four parts. Part I contains questions relevant to any kind of digital project, while Parts II, III, and IV focus specifically on projects creating digital content, software, and datasets. The form’s embedded instructions will help you decide which questions to answer. You need answer only those questions relevant to your project.

Additionally, IMLS participates in the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI), a collaborative effort by federal agencies to define common standards, guidelines, methods, and best practices for creating digital collections. The FADGI website includes a growing list of links to relevant standards, recommendations, and other resources. While this list is not exhaustive—nor do we endorse any specific resource—applicants considering digital projects may find the information useful.

Related Links

Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information Form
Adobe® PDF (87 KB)
Microsoft Word (50 KB)

Resources for Projects Developing Digital Products
www.digitizationguidelines.gov

Partnerships

Many IMLS-funded projects involve collaboration. The successful completion of project activities often requires organizations to work together. These partnerships or collaborations can take many forms, both informal and formal. Sometimes partners provide cost share toward a project; sometimes the grantee provides federal grant funds to a partner. Below are some frequently asked questions about partnerships within IMLS grants.

In projects that involve partnerships, what are the responsibilities of the lead applicant and its partners?

In a project that involves one or more partners, the organization that submits the application becomes the grantee if the application is funded.

Partners who receive federal funds must be identified in the application as either a contractor or subrecipient.

The grantee is legally responsible for the use of all grant funds and for ensuring that the project is carried out by the partner(s) in accordance with the terms of the grant and all applicable federal laws, regulations, and requirements. The grantee must be the fiscal agent but may provide federal grant funds to its partners for specific activities or services.  Each partner is legally responsible for carrying out the activities that it agrees to perform and for complying with the terms of the award and all applicable federal laws, regulations, and requirements.

The general rules for situations where federal funds are provided by the grantee to its partner, whether through a contract or a subaward can be found at 2 CFR Part 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Click here to find these regulations.

We encourage the lead applicant to include a letter of commitment from each partner, detailing the activities that the partner plans to perform and indicating that the partner agrees to comply with the terms of the award and all applicable federal laws, regulations, and requirements. Letters of commitment should be signed by a person authorized to sign on behalf of the partner organization.

Are partnerships with federal agencies permitted?

You may partner with federal agencies when appropriate. However, no IMLS grant funds may be provided to the federal agency partner. In addition, it is important to remember that federally appropriated funds, whether they are disbursed directly to you by a federal agency or indirectly through another organization, do not count toward your cost share. Click here for more information about cost share.

Are international partnerships permitted?

While we do not make awards to non-U.S. entities, such entities may partner with eligible U.S. organizations on IMLS-funded projects, subject to applicable law.

Indirect Costs

What are indirect costs?

An indirect cost is an organization’s incurred cost that cannot be readily isolated or identified with just one project or activity. These types of costs are often referred to as “overhead costs.” Typical examples of indirect costs are general telephone service, postage, office supplies, office space expenses, and administrative or financial operations for an entire organization. (See 2 CFR part 200 for additional guidance).

What are my options for calculating and including indirect costs in my project budget?

You can choose to:

  1. Use a rate not to exceed your current indirect cost rate already negotiated with a federal agency;
  2. Use an indirect cost rate proposed to a federal agency but not yet approved;
  3. Use a rate not to exceed 10% of modified total direct costs if you have never had a federally negotiated indirect cost rate and you are not subject to other requirements (e.g., for States and Local Governments and Indian Tribes); or
  4. Not include any indirect costs.

What is a federally negotiated indirect cost rate, and how do I use one?

Federally negotiated indirect cost rates are negotiated agreements between federal agencies and non-profit organizations. If your organization already has an existing negotiated indirect cost rate in effect with another federal agency, you may use this rate to calculate total project costs, as long as you apply the rate in accordance with the terms of the negotiated agreement and include a copy of the current negotiated agreement with your grant application. You may also choose to use a rate lower than your current federally negotiated indirect cost rate. We will only accept federally negotiated indirect cost rates that are current by the award date.

How do I use the 10% indirect cost rate?

Except for those non-federal entities described in Appendix VII to 2 CFR Part 200, you may choose to charge a de minimis rate of up to 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC) if you have never had a federally negotiated indirect cost rate. See 2 CFR part  200 for additional guidance. If you choose to use this rate, you must be careful to avoid double-charging and should exclude, as necessary, from the budget all indirect-cost-type items, such as general telephone service, postage, office supplies and office space expenses, and administrative or financial operations for the applicant's entire organization.

As long as you meet the applicable requirements and have never had a federally negotiated indirect cost rate, you may use this rate with no additional documentation required.

What if my organization is currently in indirect cost rate negotiations with a federal agency, or my organization’s current indirect cost rate will change or expire before grants are awarded in this IMLS program?

If your organization is in the process of negotiating an indirect cost rate with a federal agency, you may use the indirect cost rate that was proposed to the federal agency to estimate total project costs. You must include with your grant application a copy of the indirect cost proposal. In such situations, if we award a grant, we will accept the rate only if the negotiations are final by the award date and a copy of the final agreement is submitted to us. It is possible that we may reduce the amount of the award if the final negotiated rate is less than the rate that was used for budget estimates in the application budget. However, we will not increase the amount of the award if the final negotiated indirect cost rate is higher than the rate that was used for budget estimates in the application budget.

Can I apply my indirect cost rate to the cost sharing portion of my application budget?

Yes. You may apply your indirect cost rate to the cost sharing portion of your total direct costs, but you must count it as cost share. IMLS funds can be used for indirect costs, but only for the portion of the total direct costs for which you are requesting IMLS funds (the Grant Fund column).

Are there any other project costs that cannot be included in my indirect cost calculations?

If you have a federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, you must follow its conditions and requirements.

If you are eligible for and using the 10% de minimis rate, you may include 10% of the modified total direct costs (MTDC) in your indirect cost calculations. (Please see above section on this 10% rate as well as 2 CFR sections 200.414(f) and 200.68.)

Acknowledgement of IMLS Support

What are the requirements for acknowledging work done with IMLS grant funding?

We require acknowledgement of IMLS assistance in all publications and other products resulting from the project, such as research reports, websites, and presentations.  All work products should reference IMLS and include the associated grant award numbers. Grant recipients will receive further instructions on how to acknowledge IMLS support and tips on how to share information about their projects.

Sharing the Work Products of IMLS-Supported Projects

How is information shared about IMLS projects and for what purposes?

We encourage creators of works resulting from IMLS funding to share their work openly whenever possible through forums such as institutional or discipline-based repositories, open-access journals, or other media. Wide dissemination of the results of IMLS-funded projects advances the body of knowledge and professional practice in museum, library, and information services.

We require that your final report include one copy of each written product you create, unless otherwise instructed. We may share grant applications, products, and reports with grantees, potential grantees, and the general public to further the mission of the agency and the development of museum, library, and information services. These materials may be disseminated broadly and made available in a variety of ways and formats, including online.

What do I need to know about copyright and works produced with IMLS support?

You may copyright any work that is subject to copyright and was developed under an award or for which ownership was purchased. However, we reserve, for federal government purposes, a royalty-free, worldwide, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the work and authorize others to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the work.

All work products resulting from IMLS funding should be distributed for free or at cost unless we have given you written approval for another arrangement. We expect you to ensure that final peer-reviewed manuscripts resulting from research conducted under an award are made available in a manner that permits the public to access, read, download, and analyze the work without charge.

What do I need to know about digital assets produced with IMLS support?

IMLS is committed to expanding public access to IMLS-funded assets, including research data and other digital products: the assets you create with IMLS funding require careful stewardship to protect and enhance their value. They should be freely and readily available for use and re-use by libraries, archives, museums and the public. Applying these principles to the development of digital products is not straightforward; because technology is dynamic and because we do not want to inhibit innovation, the IMLS does not want to prescribe set standards and best practices that would certainly become quickly outdated. Instead, IMLS defines the digital assets your projects should achieve in a series of questions; your answers are used by IMLS staff and by expert peer reviewers to evaluate your application; and they will play a critical role in determining whether your grant will be funded. Together, your answers will comprise the basis for a work plan for your project, as they will address all the major components of the development process. See the Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information Form for more information.

Data sharing is an essential component of research and expedites the translation of research results into new knowledge and practices. If your project involves the collection and analysis of data, we expect you to include, as part of your application, a data management plan (Part IV of the Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information Form) that provides for long-term preservation and access. We expect you to deposit data resulting from IMLS-funded research in a broadly accessible repository that allows the public to use the data without charge no later than the date upon which you submit your final report to IMLS. The data should be deposited in a machine-readable, non-proprietary digital format to maximize search, retrieval, and analysis.

Your project budget may include the costs of preparing the data for public release and for making the data publicly available. In your final report to IMLS, you will be required to identify where your data has been deposited and can be accessed by the public.

We recognize that data sharing may be complicated or limited in some cases by institutional policies; local Institutional Review Board (IRB) rules; and local, state, and federal laws and regulations, including those protecting confidentiality and personal privacy. The rights and privacy of people who participate in IMLS-supported research must be protected at all times. Thus, data intended for broader use should be free of anything that could lead to disclosure of the identity of individual participants. You should identify and explain the reasons for any limitations in your data management plan.

For the purposes of this section, “data” is defined consistent with OMB guidance (please see 2 CFR 200.315). We reserve a royalty-free, worldwide, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to: (1) obtain, reproduce, publish or otherwise use the data first produced under a grant; and (2) authorize others to receive, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use such data for federal purposes.

Conflict of Interest Requirements

What Conflict of Interest requirements must I follow?

As a non-federal entity, you must follow IMLS conflict of interest policies for federal awards. You must disclose in writing any potential conflict of interest to an IMLS Program Officer, or to the pass-through entity if you are a subrecipient or contractor. This disclosure must take place immediately whether you are an applicant or have an active IMLS award.

The IMLS conflict of interest policies apply to subawards as well as contracts, and are as follows:

  1. As a non-federal entity, you must maintain written standards of conduct covering conflicts of interest and governing the performance of your employees engaged in the selection, award, and administration of subawards and contracts.
  2. None of your employees may participate in the selection, award, or administration of a subaward or contract supported by a federal award if he or she has a real or apparent conflict of interest.  Such a conflict of interest would arise when the employee, officer, or agent, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated herein, has a financial or other interest in or a tangible personal benefit from an organization considered for a subaward or contract. The officers, employees, and agents of the non-federal entity must neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from subrecipients or contractors or parties to subawards or contracts.

If you have a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary organization that is not a State, local government, or Indian tribe, you must also maintain written standards of conduct covering organizational conflicts of interest. Organizational conflicts of interest means that because of relationships with a parent company, affiliate, or subsidiary organization, you are unable or appear to be unable to be impartial in conducting a subaward or procurement action involving a related organization.