VAL Travel Scholarships

Call for Proposals

In fiscal year 2018 the Association of College and Research Libraries has allocated $10,000 to offer travel scholarships of up to $2,000 each for librarians presenting on their work demonstrating the impact of academic libraries in the broader landscape of higher education. This program is one of several developed by ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Committee to support librarians in their efforts to communicate to our partners in higher education including administrators, scholars, and teachers working in all disciplines. These travel scholarships support the community in taking up a recommendation from the new ACRL report Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research (prepared by OCLC Research and released in September 2017 for download or purchase) that academic librarians effectively communicate their contributions both up to institutional stakeholders and out to other departments.

ACRL invites applications from those seeking to present work on the impact of academic libraries at higher education conferences or disciplinary conferences where they will reach a wide audience (scholarships will not be awarded for travel to library conferences). The presentations may be based on practice-based work or formal research projects.

To have the greatest possible effect, the committee seeks strong applicants who bring a range of perspectives in terms of types of institutions, geographical regions, and nature of the work presented.

Reimbursable expenses include conference registration, lodging, travel (round-trip economy airfare, train ticket, or mileage), and meals (up to $50 per diem). The applicant should clearly outline estimated expenses and must complete travel before August 31, 2018. There will be future calls for applicants seeking to attend conferences held after that date. 

Eligibility

Each applicant must be a member of ACRL at the time of application, and employed as a librarian or information professional in an academic or research library in the year prior to application for the travel scholarship.

For the current round of travel scholarships, the applicant must have submitted a proposal or have had a proposal accepted to the conference where he/she wishes to present at the time of application. Granting of the scholarship is conditional upon the proposal being accepted by that conference. Consideration will be given to proposals for reimbursing expenses for presentations delivered between September 1, 2017 and the date of application on a case-by-case basis. 

Criteria

The purpose of the travel scholarships is to support communication about the significance of libraries to other stakeholders in higher education. The presentation may be based on past or current initiatives. A subcommittee of member leaders from the Value of Academic Libraries Committee will review proposals with the following criteria in mind:

  • How well does the proposed presentation align with the Value of Academic Library goals and objectives as stated in ACRL's strategic plan?
    • The proposal should explicitly state how it supports the strategic plan.
  • Does the topic align with current interests and trends in higher education and libraries?
    • The proposal should identify current trends – in scholarship and/or practice – and how the work being presented advances those trends.
  • Is the proposed presentation clear and intriguing? Does it investigate or provide new ways of thinking about the impact of academic libraries? Are the ideas well-conceived, developed, and articulated?
    • The proposal should clearly outline its purpose and outcomes, as well as appropriate methodology utilized. If the project/research on which this presentation is based has not yet been completed, a timeline for completion should be outlined.
  • Is the need for funding strongly articulated and demonstrated?
    • The budget should be clearly outlined, along with discussion of any alternative or additional sources of funding.
  • Is the reason for presenting this project at the stated conference compelling? Does it fit closely with stakeholder interests?
    • The proposal should consider the primary audience of the conference.

Application Instructions

The application cover sheet is available to download here. Please fill it out, save it, and combine it into a single PDF with the other application documents detailed below.

Your application should include:

  1. A completed cover sheet
  2. Your CV or résumé
  3. Presentation Proposal (maximum 2 pages)
    1. Include the abstract/proposal you submitted to the conference, which should clearly outline the purpose, methodology, and outcomes of the project on which this presentation is based.
    2. If you collaborated on this project with others, please briefly explain the role of the different members of the project team.
    3. A final section should address how this presentation will contribute to ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative and strategic plan. It should also clearly state why this specific conference is a good place to present based on supporting evidence such as the typical or expected number of attendees and what sort of institutional stakeholders they represent (e.g. administrators, faculty, educational researchers, etc.).
  4. Funding Proposal (maximum 2 pages)
    1. If you stated that you have other funds available from your institution or another source of support to travel to this conference, please explain briefly what this funding supports and why you are seeking an ACRL travel scholarship in addition to it.
    2. Provide an itemized budget with a list of anticipated expenses totaling no more than $2000. Reimbursable expenses include conference registration, lodging, travel (round-trip economy airfare, train ticket, or mileage), and meals (up to $50 per diem).
  5. Statement of Institutional Support (maximum 1 page)
    1. This should be written by your supervisor, department head, library director, provost, etc. to indicate that they support travel to the conference as part of your professional development and, if applicable, will provide other funds to supplement this scholarship. It does not need to be on letterhead or signed, but should have the statement author’s name, job title, email address, and phone number. 

Application Deadline

The deadline to submit your completed Value of Academic Libraries Travel Grant Application is 5 p.m. Central time on Friday, December 8th, 2017.

Electronic submissions are required. Email a single PDF file of all required documents to Sara Goek, sgoek@ala.org.

Applicants will receive notice of the status of their travel scholarship applications by January 30, 2018. 

Obligations

Award recipients must:

  1. Submit a claim for reimbursable expenses – not exceeding the proposed costs – by Aug. 31, 2018. Include the reimbursement request form and all required documentation.
  2. Acknowledge in their conference presentation that they received ACRL funding.
  3. Provide ACRL staff with a copy of their conference presentation and a brief textual description (abstract) which ACRL may disseminate online, for example as part of a blog post or other update to the community.

Further Information

See the application frequently asked questions for more details about applying.

If your questions are not answered on the website, please contact ACRL Program Manager and Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow Sara Goek at: sgoek@ala.org or 312-280-5841.