ALA Annual Diversity Research Grant Program

The Diversity Research Grant consists of a one-time $2500 award for original research.   A jury of ALA members evaluates proposals and is encouraged to award a total of three awards.  Grant recipients are expected to compile the results of their research into a paper and will be asked to present and publish the final product in conjunction with the American Library Association within three months of completing their research. Grant proposals may address any diversity topic that speaks to critical gaps in the knowledge of diversity issues within library and information science.  Grant applicants may direct questions to  ALA established the Diversity Research Grant program in 2002.

Submission Guidelines

Proposals are only accepted during the open call for applications each year..  Persons submitting a proposal must be a current member of the American Library Association.  If you are not presently a member of ALA but wish to submit a proposal please visit the  Membership Website for more information on the benefits of joining ALA. You will be required to supply your membership ID number with your proposal.  A complete proposal must include the following:

  1. A cover letter with name, primary contact information, and ALA member ID of the researcher(s).
  2. A concise abstract of the project (no more than 200 words).
  3. Description of the project (of no more than 5 pages in length) detailing:
    a. Justification and needs for the research project
    b. Research objectives
    c. Design, methodology and analysis of the project
    d. Expected outcomes and benefits
  4. Budgetary plan and timeline, including other sources of support sought for the project.
  5. A one-page vita for each of the researchers involved in the project.

All proposal elements should be collated and should be submitted in a single (.doc or .pdf) attachment via email to Proposals must be received by the deadline.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Once a proposal has been deemed both complete and clearly in fitting with the Diversity Research Program, it will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Contributions - The project contributes to the original, conceptual and/or practical knowledge of diversity in LIS.
  • Professional Impact - The project has the potential of impact on diversity research and practice in the LIS profession.
  • Sustainability - The project has the potential for encouraging further research in diversity in the LIS profession.
  • Adaptability - The project can be adapted by libraries of similar interests or concerns.
  • Design - The project is designed to effectively carry out the proposed work.
  • Management Plan - There is a cohesive plan for managing the project effectively, as reflected in the managerial aspects of the project, such as the division of labor, timeline and institutional support.
  • Budget - The proposed budget for the project is appropriate in terms of amount and usage. Staff training, general operating or overhead expenses, and other indirect costs are not funded and should not be included in the budget request.
  • Personnel - The principal investigator(s) has the credentials to successfully carry out a research project, based on his/her prior involvement in diversity work.
  • Evaluation - The project includes an outcome-based evaluation component.
  • Cooperation & Dissemination - The researcher(s) demonstrates a commitment to working with the American Library Association to publicize and disseminate his/her project.


  • The 2015-2016 Diversity Research Grant recipients are currently conducting their research.  
  • The call for proposals for 2016-2017 Diversity Research Grants will be announced in advance of the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting.
  • Join us Saturday, January 09, 2016, 3:00-4:00 PM at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting to hear 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 recipients present their findings at the News You Can Use: Diversity Research Grants Update. 

Past Diversity Research Grant Recipients

Review our recipients in the ALA Awards Database.

Honoring Excellence - Achievement in Library Diversity Research Honoree

Each year the Diversity Research Grant Advisory seeks to recognize an individual for significant contributions to diversity research in LIS by honoring them with an Achievement in Library Diversity Research.  View past honorees and nominate someone today

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