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Digital Library Fellows: Request for Proposals


The University of Miami Libraries are initiating a Digital Library Fellows program to create innovative new electronic scholarly content by awarding grants to faculty interested in developing digital resources.

The Libraries will provide funding and technological support to UM faculty for the creation and online delivery of scholarly electronic resources. The Libraries are seeking projects that will have a significant impact on teaching, learning, and research, and encourage projects which include student participation.

Projects will result in open access on-line resources designed to have long-term relevance to UM faculty and students. To ensure long-term access to resources created, all digital content will be produced in adherence to state-of-the-art digital standards and technical specifications.


The competitive Digital Library Fellowships are open to full-time, regular (tenured or tenure track) University of Miami faculty interested in developing innovative digital resources. The fellowship is limited to Coral Gables campus faculty.


Up to two Fellowships will be awarded with a maximum of $15,000 for one year.

Project Selection

Selected projects will result in the creation of scholarly, internet-based digital resources that meet the following criteria:

Represents a new and innovative type of resource or provides access to a traditional resource in new ways;
Generates a new user experience which would not be possible via access to a print resource;
Contributes to the teaching and learning at the academic level of content relevant to the University of Miami student body as well as the international scholarly community.

Proposal Format

The proposal must include the following parts:

one paragraph abstract of the project;
A two to three page narrative describing the proposal;
A current CV of the applicant;
A detailed project budget;
An outline of participants and their respective levels of engagement;
A realistic time line for the accomplishment of stated project goals;
Letters of support from the applicant's departmental Chair and Dean.

Proposal Tips

Writing the Narrative. The narrative section should describe both the relevance of the project to the University of Miami, general ideas of implementation, and include a brief description of how the digital content created by the project relates to teaching, scholarship and research. Projects that make use of digital images, audio, video, text and incorporate a spectrum of multimedia in innovative ways are particularly encouraged, and the narrative should specify whether the content to be presented already exists in a digital form or needs to be converted from an analog format.

Copyright Control. All applicants should generally review the UM Libraries Digital Initiatives Copyright Guidelines, and make sure that they resolve or adequately plan for the resolution of any potential copyright challenges in their proposals before applying. If in doubt, it is a good idea to briefly arrange a meeting with the Director of Digital Initiatives for both copyright and preliminary direction

Sound Budgeting. Strong preference will be given to projects with realistic budget proposals and pragmatic timelines. Applicants should consider the scope of the work to be done, the tools required to complete the work, and the wages paid to project workers, as these often make up the majority of a given project's budget. While budgeting for student workers, on the undergraduate and/or graduate level, is strongly encouraged, applicants are strongly discouraged from including budget allocations which will contribute funds to their own salaries.

Library Participation. Applicants are encouraged to craft proposals which would support the University of Miami Libraries mission to advance innovation in information technology and scholarly communication. For more information on these objectives, visit the Mission Statement page on the UM Libraries website.

Work Space. Work space for student workers and work stations for projects will be made available to Digital Fellows. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with their departments to provide additional office space and work stations to project contributors if necessary. For projects working directly with locally held archival materials, space may be also be made available in the Libraries for the project principals for office work.

Consultations. Faculty with questions about project plans or the proposal process are welcome beforehand.

Review Procedures

A committee of internal and external reviewers made up of university higher level administrators (Deans, Provost, Library Director) and experts in the field of digital projects will review each proposal and select those that best meet the stated goals of the Digital Library Fellows program.

Award Criteria

Recipients will be expected to share their experiences with other faculty through a colloquia sponsored by the Libraries, as well as authoring a final written article, and acknowledging the Libraries in any publications, printed materials, or websites that result from the grant. Partnership money will also be made ready between the libraries and departments for innovative 2 day conference type events to promote synergies

Fellows are expected to work closely in partnership with the Libraries various areas of expertiese (subject specialists, technologists, metadata cataloguers, project managers) in developing a detailed and innovative timetable and creative plan of work in order to ensure successful completion of their projects, and to develop a presence on the Libraries Digital Initiatives website.

Intellectual Property Rights

Working with Legacy Materials. Digital Fellowship applicants should ensure that they hold general rights to publish the materials in their proposals in an open access on-line format or that the materials are within fair use copyright strictures. In practice, this means that Fellows work with materials in the public domain, own copyright to the materials in question, or allocate funds to purchase permission from the respective copyright holder to publish the materials online.

Creating new Intellectual Content. Intellectual property rights for content produced during Digital Fellowships, including digital files, software, hardware, or other innovations, are governed by the policies outlined in the "Patent and Copyright" section of the UM Faculty Manual.