Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Round of Innovation Grant Program Announced!

This message is the first announcement of the Request for Proposals (RFP) process for the 2016 Mellon Foundation-Council on East Asian Libraries Innovation Grant competition. 

The RFP is printed in its entirety below.   It is also available on Innovation Grant program home page available on the CEAL website: 
This page also contains guidelines for applicants.

Request for Proposals
Mellon Foundation – Council on East Asian Libraries
2016 Innovation Grants for East Asian Librarians

With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Council on East Asian Libraries is sponsoring a grant program aimed at East Asian studies librarians in United States universities and other cultural heritage organizations.  This is a call for proposals for grants designed to address critical needs in the area of East Asian collection development.  Preliminary proposals for grants in the amount of $25,000 to $100,000 are requested by March 1, 2016 for one-year (12-month) projects.  Total funding available for awards in 2016 is approximately $137,500.

Grant Program Vision

East Asian studies librarians face a range of challenges in collection development, especially as they address emerging scholarly needs in an environment of increased resource scarcity.  The Mellon Foundation – Council on East Asian Libraries Innovation Grants for East Asian Librarians aim to encourage new approaches to current challenges in collection development that are collaborative, innovative, and look beyond the institutional level to solutions that will have national impact.  Grants might focus on issues involving the acquisition of non-print formats (such as born digital materials), acquisition and resource sharing of multi-media materials, or collective solutions to the acquisition and maintenance of print and other traditional formats. The grants might address issues of perpetual access to content, enhance the discoverability of East Asian-script materials in local and national systems, or reduce redundancies across libraries in collection development activities.   They might develop creative solutions to the lack of fit between the world of East Asian information resources and the American library context.  The broad goal of the grant program is to fund projects that will provide new mechanisms and directions for a robust East Asian collections environment nationally.  Collaborative projects involving more than one institution are encouraged.  For more information about the grant rationale, please see the text of the original proposal to the Mellon Foundation on the CEAL website: 

Grant Application Timeline for Proposals in 2016

Preliminary proposals are due March 1, 2016.  The subsequent grant evaluation process is outlined here:
The grant review board will read the grants and select the most promising for continued development.  All applicants will be notified by April 1 if they are selected to submit a final proposal.
Selected members of the Review Board will work with applicants to address issues raised by Review Board members and finalize their proposals.  Final proposals are due May 1.
Review Board members make their recommendations for funding based on the final proposals.  Awards will be announced no later than June 1.
June – August
Successful applicants will have three months to lay the groundwork for their grant projects.  Funding transfers will take place during this period and the official grant terms of 12 months may start July 1, August 1, or September 1, 2016.

Grant Applications

Applications should be submitted by the project lead, who must be a CEAL member in good standing and have institutional approval for the grant proposal as indicated by a letter of support from the University Librarian, Dean of Libraries, or equivalent, in their home institution.   Institutions must be universities or colleges recognized under U.S. Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3),  Section 115, Section 170(c)(1), or a similar designation for tax purposes.  Any project lead considering participation by personnel in a Canadian institution should contact the Grant Program P.I. prior to submitting a proposal.
Applications should address the following issues, which grant reviewers will use as key criteria in judging grant proposals.
  • Impact of the project beyond the project lead’s own institution.
  • Ways in which the project addresses current problems and issues in the East Asian collection development environment.
  • Overall benefits of the project for the scholarly study of East Asia.
  • Innovative aspects of the project (elements or models that break new ground in research libraries in general or application of new elements or models to East Asian libraries or collections)
  • Collaborative elements of the project (such as joint applications by more than one institution or the involvement of personnel across more than one institution)

The following information will also be required as part of the application.
  1. Summary and detailed description, outlining rationale, content, and goals.
  2. Timeline, including benchmarks for evaluating progress.
  3. Personnel involved in the project, including roles and responsibilities.
  4. Collaborators and their institutions, including roles and responsibilities.
  5. Description of sustainability issues and how they will be addressed after project funding ends.
  6. Criteria for assessment.
  7. Plans for dissemination and outreach regarding project outcomes.  (Project leads will be required to submit an article about their project to the Journal of East Asian Libraries or other appropriate journal.)
  8. Budget information (including details on cost shares, if any, other funding sources available, and mechanisms for financial oversight at the project lead’s home institution).
  9. Supporting documentation
    1.   Letter from University Librarian or equivalent at project lead’s home institution indicating support for the project, acceptance of fiduciary responsibility, and understanding of grant policy on indirect costs (which cannot be paid from grant funds as per Mellon Foundation policy).
    2.  Letter(s) of support from East Asian studies scholars.
    3.  Letter providing evidence of non-profit status of project lead’s home institution.
    4.  Statement from project lead to document that any software or digitized content created with grant funds broadly available, along with a description of how the software or digitized content would be made available.
Detailed application guidelines are available on the Council on East Asian Libraries website:

Questions may be directed to the Principal Investigator for the Innovation Grant Program:
Ellen Hammond  (President, Council on East Asian Libraries)

Ellen H. Hammond
Council on East Asian Libraries

Ellen H. Hammond
Director, International Collections & Research Support
Head, East Asia Library
Yale University
PO Box 208240
New Haven, CT 06520-8240

Tel:    +1 203 432-1791
Fax:    +1 203 432-8527

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