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SCOPA: Standing Committee on Professional Awareness: Grants

Information about the programs and initiatives to support professional development at Yale University Library

Grants Guidelines

Guidelines for Applicants

The Professional Development Grants Program supports innovative research and investigative projects undertaken by members of the Managerial and Professional staff of the Yale University Library. The grants are intended to provide incentive and financial assistance for projects that contribute to the Yale library community through such avenues as scholarly research, creative program applications, program enrichment, or feasibility / pilot studies. The program is administered by the Library's Standing Committee on Professional Awareness (SCOPA).

Grants Calendar

Grants are awarded once a year, with a call for proposals going out each spring with specific deadlines. Winning proposals are announced within approximately six weeks of the submission deadlines. The SCOPA Grants cycle corresponds with the YUL fiscal year.

Only members of the Managerial and Professional (M&P) YUL staff are eligible to apply as a primary investigator(s), while clerical and technical staff may participate in proposed projects as group members. Members of the SCOPA Grants Subcommittee may not apply for grants or receive grant funds during their terms of service.

Applicants and group participants must obtain any necessary approvals in advance from supervisors and department heads regarding the use of work time, the possibility of release time, the scheduling of vacation time, domestic or international travel, access to collections, tools, equipment, staff support, etc. 

Projects impacting two or more departments may require review by the Library Project Review Committee (LPRC). The SCOPA Grants Subcommittee will work, in consultation with the proposal submitter and LPRC, to determine whether LPRC review is necessary.

Proposals are judged by the members of the SCOPA Grants Subcommittee, the SCOPA Chair and a SCOPA co-sponsor or member of the Library Executive Committee (LEC). The grants subcommittee then presents its decision to the SCOPA sponsor, who serves as a liaison to LEC. Proposals are judged according to the following selection criteria:

  • Appropriate methodology
  • Reasonable budget and timetable
  • Positive contribution to the professional development of Library staff, the YUL, and possibly also to the larger Yale or library and information science community

The grants committee has a total of $2500 to distribute for the year.  For FY20, individual awards averaged $800 each.  Partial funding of larger projects may be given. All software, equipment, or materials purchased with these funds remain the property of the YUL. Awards are made for one year and all funds must be used within 12 months of the grant project’s start date (corresponding with the YUL fiscal year). Extensions are granted in exceptional cases only (e.g., extended illness, a death in the immediate family); requests for extensions must be made directly to SCOPA. 

All grant recipients are expected to provide the following:

  • Mid-Term Progress Report: includes general description of the project, specific details on your progress, and an itemized list of the grant funds spent to date.
  • Final Report: includes detailed description of the project's implementation and a full accounting of its expenditures.
  • SCOPA Forum: recipients will share the results of their project in a public forum sponsored by SCOPA.

To apply for funding, please submit the following information via email to the Grants Subcommittee (

1. Project Proposal:

  • Project title
  • Your name(s) and department(s)
  • Campus contact information: e-mail address(es), campus mailing address(es), phone number(s).
  •  In your proposal, address the following topics:
    • Purpose and expected outcome of the project
    • Methodology
    • Timeline
      • Keep in mind that grant funding must be used within the following fiscal year.
    • List of estimated project-related expenses
      • Expenses may include student assistant compensation, equipment, software, usage fees, consultant or developer payment, computerized literature searches, etc.).
      • Ineligible expenses include travel for library staff for workshops; education and training; and hosting a local conference or other programming. Staff members seeking educational opportunities should discuss this with their supervisor in their home department.
      • Please include documentation verifying the cost of big-purchase items whenever possible (e.g., vendor quotes, photocopies of advertisements, or price-lists).
    • Will your project impact two or more departments? (If so, it may require LPRC approval)
    • Benefit: explain how the project will contribute to the YUL and the larger library and information science community.

Note: When writing a SCOPA Grant proposal, please use language that is accessible to librarians outside your area of expertise. SCOPA members represent YUL staff from multiple specializations of the information science profession.

2. Departmental Approvals: Documentation concerning issues of work/time release, domestic or international travel, or systems staff support. These can be in the form of emails, letters, or another format that documents the fact of the necessary approvals.

Note: All proposals are judged with the assumption that the necessary approvals have been received. If it becomes apparent during the selection process that the appropriate approvals were not received, the grant will not be awarded. If this becomes apparent after the awarding of the grant, the grant may be withdrawn.

Please direct any questions to any member of the Grants Subcommittee.


Guidelines revised January 2020

Previous Grants