IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries

The Syracuse University Office of Research is pleased to announce the Limited Submission Opportunity for the Institute of Museum and Library Services CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries. Only one project-based submission will be allowed from Syracuse University to IMLS. The deadline for internal submissions is Tuesday, May 26.

Proposals must be submitted to the Syracuse University Application Portal here.

IMLS Program Announcement: Link to external program announcement
Number of Possible Internal Nominees: 1
Internal Submission Due Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 5:00 PM
Selection Notifications: Monday, June 1, 2020
Sponsor Deadline: June 12, 2020

A Limited Submission is a funding opportunity for which the sponsor sets an institutional limit for the number of proposals it will accept. In order to participate, Syracuse University must organize to submit our most competitive proposal(s). This requires an internal competition.

Synopsis of the IMLS CARES Program

The goal of this grant program is to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic in ways that meet the immediate and future COVID-19 needs of the communities and audiences they serve.

The IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries grant program invites project proposals that focus on preserving jobs, training staff, addressing the digital divide, planning for reopening, and providing technical support and capacity building for digital inclusion and engagement while prioritizing services for high-need communities. IMLS encourages efforts to develop programs, tools, models, partnerships, and other resources that will address immediate concerns and have the potential to inspire and benefit museums and libraries throughout the nation.

Indicators (characteristics) of successful projects in the IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries grant program are as follows:

  • High Impact: The project will use appropriate existing datasets to develop responses to problems created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 public health emergency and to measure their shortand medium-term effectiveness.
  • Immediate Implementation: The project adopts a timeline that will enable immediate engagement addressing specific needs of the community and target audiences.
  • Shareable Results: The project will generate services, practices, findings, models, tools, and/or partnerships that can be shared and have the potential to be used or adapted by museums and libraries in other communities throughout the nation.

Please refer to the full funding opportunity for more information about the program. Additionally, IMLS conducted a webinar which emphasizes important points about this funding opportunity.

Funding and award period

Total amount of funding expected to be awarded through this announcement$13,800,000
Anticipated number of awards90
Expected amount of individual awards$25,000-$500,000
Anticipated average amount of funding per award$150,000
Start dates for new awardsSeptember 1, 2020
Anticipated period of performanceSeptember 1, 2020 – August 31, 2022
Type of assistance instrumentGrant


Application Materials

Applicants must submit a 2-page project description and a summary CV for the PI. The project description must include:

  • Project Justification:
    • What COVID-19-related community need, problem, or challenge will your project address, and how was it identified?
    • Who or what will benefit from your project?
  • Project Work Plan
    • What specific activities will you carry out?
    • Who will plan, implement, and manage your project?
  • Project Results
    • What are your project’s intended results?
    • How will the target audience benefit from the project in addressing needs related to the COVID-19 public health emergency?

Full details of application requirements may be found on the Syracuse University Application Portal.

Limited Submission Selection Process:

Each team interested in submitting an proposal must submit a limited submission proposal by the stated deadline. If the number of proposals submitted exceeds the number that the University can submit to the sponsor, peer review will be triggered. Under the peer review process, limited submission applications will be via peer review in several categories, including:

  • Identification and support for a COVID-19-related need, problem, or challenge
  • Quality of the Project Work Plan
  • Significance of intended project results and benefits

Others’ expertise may be sought to assess the merit of the request and/or impact on Syracuse University.

The PIs of projects selected to move forward with full proposals will be notified by email on or before June 1st. Per the sponsor restrictions, no more than one submission will be allowed by Syracuse University.

Questions: Email LimitedSubmissions@syr.edu

View competition