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NEWS ARCHIVES ACROSS THEMES  
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  News articles recently covered under
Grants and other research fundings
 


OCLC awarded IMLS grant to help public libraries, partners respond to opioid epidemic
- 03 Oct 2018

Non-profit global library cooperative OCLC has been awarded a $249,714 National Leadership Grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to collect and share knowledge and resources to support public libraries and their community partners address the opioid crisis.

In partnership with the Public Library Association (PLA), OCLC Research will produce eight case studies of varied communities in which the public library is already playing a role in responding to the opioid crisis. The project team will glean additional perspectives and insights from government agencies, public health and human services organisations, community organisations, library leaders, and people directly affected by the epidemic. A steering committee of library leaders, partner organisations and researchers will guide the work. The project will run through December 2019.

In addition to the case studies, the project team will create a call-to-action white paper, host a WebJunction webinar series, continue to moderate a Facebook group, and curate content and resources for library staff across the country. This new effort builds on past work, including the Opioid Crisis Townhall and related conference library programming and published articles.

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 115 people die every day after an opioid overdose, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that misuse of prescription opioids costs $78.5 billion a year. More than 20 percent of patients who have been prescribed opioids misuse them, and the Midwest saw a 70 percent increase in opioid overdoses from July 2016 through September 2017.

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U.S. Congress funds another $5 million appropriation for Open Textbook Pilot
- 01 Oct 2018

The U.S. Congress recently reaffirmed the national role of 'open' in the path to college affordability by renewing the $5 million federal Open Textbook Pilot for another year. Contained in the broader Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act of 2019, the program answers a call from students across the country to tackle textbook costs as a barrier to higher education.

First established in March in a landmark win for the open education movement, the Open Textbook Pilot provides grants to colleges and universities to expand the creation and use of open educational resources, which are made freely available to download, edit, and share to reduce costs and better serve all students. Administered by the U.S. Department of Education under the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Program, the pilot builds on a track record of state-level programs from Georgia to North Dakota to Washington.

Once signed into law, the bill will provide another one-time $5 million appropriation for the Open Textbook Pilot, bringing the total federal investment to $10 million. The bill also includes further instructions for the Department of Education designed to improve implementation. For the second round of grants, Congress specifies a clearer set of allowable activities, increases the length of the application period and number of awards, and strengthens open licensing requirements. These instructions are a direct response to recommendations that arose from the first round of funding.

SPARC works alongside U.S.PIRG and hundreds of students and librarians who took part in advocating for the Open Textbook Pilot, both summer and back in March. Its member libraries spanning nearly every state participated by sending letters, placing calls, and sending tweets, which paved the way for the work on Capitol Hill.

As the Open Textbook Pilot heads into its second year, SPARC looks ahead to the next Congress, where it will continue its efforts to renew funding and also seek to permanently establish an open textbook grant program through the Affordable College Textbook Act. It is too soon to tell when the Department of Education will begin implementing the second round of grants, but SPARC will also be closely monitoring to ensure the program has the greatest impact for students.

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JMU Libraries in partnership with ARL receives IMLS national forum grant
- 21 Sep 2018

James Madison University (JMU) Libraries, in partnership with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), has been awarded $89,000 by the US Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to convene a national forum of experts and stakeholders to address key opportunities and challenges in building a collective collection-development system for open access (OA) content. This 'OA in the Open' forum will engage participants in creative thinking around how a new collective funding model could be designed to minimise the creation of new membership organisations while simultaneously building community stakeholdership.

The national forum conversation is a critical step for academic libraries, whose operations, budgets, and workflows are optimised for print or licensed electronic content, including relationships with an array of service providers such as subscription agents. In contrast, OA content providers most often receive provisioning or start-up funds from grants, and then devise memberships in order to collect sustaining fees.

The OA in the Open project will include a series of focus groups in early 2019 at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, Washington; the Electronic Resources&Libraries Conference in Austin, Texas; and the Association of College&Research Libraries (ACRL) Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. With a total of 75 people participating in six focus groups, the project team will talk to a non-random but diverse sample of the academic library community about the conditions under which they could and would participate in openly and collectively funding OA content. The project team will report its key observations in a presentation immediately after the 2019 Digital Library Federation (DLF) Forum in Tampa, Florida, and produce a white paper to motivate the community toward collective action.

To help ensure representation from a multitude of perspectives and academic libraries of all sizes and types, the grant includes a travel scholarship fund to enable four people to attend each conference and participate in the focus groups. ARL will administer the travel scholarships to people who identify as members of a group (or groups) underrepresented among library practitioners; who work at community colleges, minority-serving institutions (MSIs), or historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); or who could otherwise contribute to the diversity of the forum.

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Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science surpasses half-million Euro funding mark
- 15 Aug 2018

Six months past an initial funding appeal, the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) has surpassed a key half-million Euro milestone having received pledges for funding totalling 680,700 Euros. The initiative, which intends to provide a framework for libraries, policymakers and other stakeholders to collectively fund and stabilise a vital infrastructure of freely available open science services, selected the Directory of Open Access Journals and SHERPA/RoMEO as beneficiaries of this pilot call for community funding.

SCOSS came about due to a growing recognition of the need to strengthen and secure critical services that enable Open Access and Open Science.

Thus far, SCOSS has attracted the support of dozens of forward-thinking institutions in Europe, Australia and North America. Among these institutions leading the charge are national libraries, individual university libraries, national library consortia, as well as funding organisations. In Australia and New Zealand, more than 64 percent of all universities have pledged funding via the Council of Australian University Libraries (CAUL consortium). This is the kind of commitment the coalition hopes to see develop internationally.

Awareness of SCOSS, and likewise interest in becoming a part of the funding network, is growing. In Europe in particular, which continues to be at the forefront of Open Science policy development, multiple consortia level deliberations are currently underway.

According to Lars Bjørnshauge, managing director of DOAJ, SCOSS as a collaboration is the critical step between recognizing the importance of these services - and actually acting to help sustain them.

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Nature Research and Yakult launch new, multi-year competitive grant programme to support human microbiota research
- 26 Jul 2018

A growing body of evidence has emerged in the last decade supporting the major role the human microbiota plays in health and disease. To encourage the development of this promising field, Nature Research and Yakult have launched a new, multi-year competitive grant programme for research into the human microbiota.

The Global Grants for Gut Health will consider proposals for research projects - whether laboratory investigations or clinical studies - that advance understanding of the impact of the gut microbiota on human health.

Applications for the first round of funding will open in August 2018. Funding is available to researchers from across the world. Three awards of up to US$100,000 per funding cycle will be made. Research projects will run for one year.

Applicants shall be employed by a university, research institute or any other not-for-profit organisation. Applicants must hold a professional or research degree (e.g. PhD, MD, PharmD) and have at least 5 years' postdoctoral research experience.

Applications can relate to: the structure, function and diversity of the human microbiome; the gut-associated immune system and the microbiota's immunomodulatory capacity; the role of the gut microbiota and nutrition in inflammatory and metabolic diseases, such as obesity, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome; and the role of the microbiota in the gut-brain axis the modulation of the gut microbiota.

Applications will be assessed by an independent panel of internationally renowned researchers in human microbiota, recommended by Nature Research editors based on their knowledge and experience in this research field. The expert panel will assess proposals based on criteria including originality, importance, scientific quality, value for money and quality of the applicant or team.

Nature Research and Yakult will have no influence over the decision-making.

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