Are you laboring too much over grants? Grants are great to have, and they’re often crucial to an organization’s mission, but there are only so many hours in the day to apply for and manage those grants. Grant professionals are susceptible to burn out from the heavy responsibility and high-pressure, deadline-driven work, which continues day in and day out in our profession. Grant applications and management can even get in the way of your organization’s mission. I was recently on a call with a client who was looking for help managing their grant portfolio. When I asked why they were seeking support, the client shared a striking comment: “We are so busy trying to get the money that we struggle to actually carry out the work.” I understood completely because I’ve seen this state of affairs before.

Institute of Museum and Library Services Last month, we looked at an annual Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) opportunity focused on capacity-building for libraries. This month, IMLS opened applications for a similar annual program for museum folks, National Leadership Grants for Museums (NLG-M). This program seeks to address critical needs and improve services among the museum profession at a broad level. IMLS is looking for projects that demonstrate a thorough understanding of the needs and priorities within the museum field, employ innovative approaches and collaborations, and have the potential to make a far-reaching impact in the discipline.

Health Resources and Services Administration Does your organization provide health care in rural and medically underserved areas? The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently opened a funding opportunity through its Promoting Resilience and Mental Health Among Health Professional Workforce (PRMHW) program. The overall goal of the PRMHW program is to support health care organizations in the adoption, promotion, and implementation of a culture of wellness for their health professional workforce(s), including building resilience against burnout and supporting mental health. This program also places an emphasis on addressing social determinants of health, health equity and disparities, and the needs of rural and medically underserved communities. The due date for this year’s funding opportunity is coming up on August 30, 2021.

Recently, I conducted a pre-submission peer review on several federal grant proposals from organizations located in rural Kansas. The first question each organization had to respond to was, “Describe your geographical/service area.” Each organization named the counties served in their respective service areas and then went on to describe just how ‘rural’ their area is. While each applicant organization had some aspects of serving rural areas of Kansas in common, they each approached the description differently. Some of the descriptions included the total square mileage contained within their service boundaries; others referenced the state’s definitions that place a county on a continuum of ‘frontier’ to ‘urban’; others pointed out the distance in hours to the nearest major city. Ultimately, each applicant described their geographical service area with the purpose of convincing federal reviewers that Organization XYZ was the only provider of important services for its region.

Department of Health and Human Services Does your organization work to address health disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations? The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health is accepting applications for its cooperative agreement program, Framework to Address Health Disparities through Collaborative Policy Efforts: Demonstration Projects. In conjunction with the office’s Coordinating Center cooperative agreements for the same program, Demonstration Projects develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of methodologies for addressing health disparities. This includes assessing and identifying policies that contribute to structural racism and perpetuate health disparities, as well as modifying, developing, and implementing policies that improve health outcomes. Proposals for this program are due August 23, 2022.

You want me to write about what? How can I write about progress when the right data wasn’t collected to measure progress? Grant professionals are frequently faced with the reality of gaps in data in pre-award, and post-award. We are asked to respond to sections which require a discussion of national, regional, and local data to justify need; as well as sections requesting data-supported rationale for the proposed intervention, and finally a proposed series of measurable objectives indicated by an improvement over baseline. Sometimes there is something to work with. Oftentimes we are asked to work magic!

National Science Foundation Attention researchers and practitioners in informal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields! The National Science Foundation (NSF) is now accepting proposals to its Advancing Informal Stem Learning (AISL) program. The AISL program supports projects that advance new approaches and understanding, broaden access and engagement, advance research and assessment, and engage the public of all ages in informal STEM learning experiences and issues. Proposals for this program are due January 18, 2022.

Institute of Museum and Library Services Last week, we highlighted a grant program that funds capacity-building work for libraries. This week, we are looking at an opportunity that specifically supports workforce development and training for libraries and museums. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently opened applications for its Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program. Projects may fall into one of five categories (described below) and should align with one of IMLS’s three goals for this program: 1) recruit, train, develop, and retain a diverse workforce of library and archives professionals; 2) develop faculty, library, and archives leaders through institutional capacity-building work; or 3) enhance the training and professional development of these professionals in accordance with community needs.

Institute of Museum and Library Services Is your library seeking funding for capacity-building work that has the potential to make a broad national impact? The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently opened applications for its National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-L) program. NLG-L projects investigate and address critical issues that affect the library and archives fields, with the overall goal of advancing these professions and increasing the impact of their services for the American public. Projects may fall into one of four categories (described below) and should culminate in the development of new models, tools, research, services, practices, and/or alliances that can be disseminated, scaled, adapted, and/or applied among libraries across the country.