ALA Diversity Research Grant Program

Apply by April 15, 2019 for 2019-2020 Grants!

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 proposals may address any topic that speaks to critical gaps in the knowledge of equity, diversity, and inclusion issues within library and information science. Applicants may direct questions to diversity@ala.org. ALA established the Diversity Research Grant program in 2002, it is sponsored and administered by the Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services.

We encourage applicants to review the summary of projects ALA has funded through the Diversity Research Grant program to see the breadth of projects we are interested in supporting.  If you have any questions about scale and topics, please contact us at diversity@ala.org. Once a proposal has been deemed complete, it will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Need for Support (relevance to the DRG program goals): measures whether or not the research will be undertaken without this support and how the project is original and addresses gaps in the conceptual and/or practical knowledge of equity, diversity, and inclusion in LIS.  

  • Need for Research (professional impact): measures the potential of impact on diversity research and practice in the LIS professional.

  • Project Design (effectiveness): measures if the project is designed to effectively carry out the proposed work. Note staff training, general operating or overhead expenses, and other indirect costs are not funded and should not be included in the budget request.

  • Sustainability (adaptability): measures if project has the potential for being expanded upon in the future and/or encouraging further research in diversity in the LIS profession. Also measures if the project can be adapted by organizations(e.g. libraries, LIS degree programs, professional associations, etc) with similar interests or concerns. 

Grant recipients are expected to present on their interim findings at library conferences and to share those presentations with ALA.Recipients are encouraged to publish the results of their research in a publication of their choosing within one year of completing their project.

Submission Guidelines 

Grants should not be sought for work leading toward the completion of a degree, thesis or dissertation. The primary contact for the grant must be a current member of the American Library Association, but not all researchers are required to hold membership.  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. Proposed budget and timeline (no more than 2 pages), including other sources of support sought for the project. Download the budget and timeline worksheet template (doc).
  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 diversity@ala.org by midnight Pacific time on April 15, 2019.

Grant Program Overview

  • We are currently accepting proposals for projects running July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020, proposals should be sent to diversity@ala.org by midnight Pacific time on April 15, 2019. The 2019-2020 Diversity Research Grants will be announced on June 1, 2019.

  • Review information on currently funded projects or visit the ALA Awards Database for more information on all of our award recipients, including an ongoing list of resulting publications and presentations.  

  • Raymond Pun is the recipient of the 2018 Achievement in Library Diversity Research

Honoring Excellence - Spotlight on Library Diversity Research

Up until 2018, the Diversity Research Grant Advisory Committee annually recognized an individual for significant contributions to diversity research in LIS by honoring them with an Achievement in Library Diversity Research.  View past honorees. The Honor Award will be replaced by a monthly spotlight on research advancing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in libraries on the ODLOS Intersections Blog beginning in 2019. 

Questions about this page? Please direct comments to diversity@ala.org or reach us toll free at 800.545.2433 ext. 5048.