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Smathers Libraries Grants Program

UF Research Resources

We encourage you to explore the wealth of information provided by UF Research on all aspects of the research lifecycle, including proposal writing.

Sample Proposals

Today’s Technology for Accessing Florida Newspapers

The George A. Smathers Libraries (Libraries) at the University of Florida (UF) request $503,644 to produce the Florida Digital Newspaper Library portal (FDNL 3.0, see Appendix A for site mockup) to deliver free and open access to millions of pages of historical content previously only available in a UF digital collection. In response to feedback provided by the Division of Library Services Grant Review Panel for a Florida newspapers digitization LSTA proposal, the project team proposes to eliminate accessibility and usability barriers extant in the 2006 release of FDNL 1.0through a fully functional, contemporary online portal. Today’s Technology seeks to serve local communities and individuals who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who require electronic access to their civic histories that strengthen community ties. To achieve this, the project will: 1) completed FDNL 2.0 portal goes live, 2) select and digitize 1.5 million additional pages of Florida newspaper from microfilm to add to the existing 2.9 million digital newspaper pages at UF, 3) conduct usability testing on FDNL 2.0 as a precursor to a more comprehensive FDNL 3.0, 4) create online training modules for user enhanced access and features,5) develop and deliver guest lectures to Florida Library and Information Studies programs, 6) release FDNL3.0 portal, and 7) promote content and training to users statewide

Middle Grade and Young Adult Books with Black, Indigenous People and People of Color: Where Are They?

The project team, in partnership with Bates College and California State University-Fresno, with promotional support from state library associations, seeks $427,100 to enhance the discoverability of middle grade (MG) and young adult (YA) novels featuring Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC) characters. The two primary goals of this project are to: 1) create a database that identifies not just who are included in MG/YA books featuring BIPOC characters, but how they are represented and 2) to create a freely available analysis tool that can easily be used by librarians to analyze the diversity of their own MG/YA novel collections.

Film on a Boat: Digitizing Historical Newspapers of the Caribbean

Film on a Boat will serve a continuing partnership between the University of Florida (UF) and the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras (UPR) to digitize each institutions' unique, hidden holdings of Caribbean newspapers on master microfilm. This three-year project seeks to digitize and make freely available 800,000 pages of pre-1923 Caribbean newspapers. The partners will produce new second generation microfilm negatives; catalog individual titles; conduct issue-level collation; send to a vendor for digitization, creation of derivative files, and OCR text files; perform quality control on deliverables; and ingest into the Digital Library of the Caribbean ( and Biblioteca Digital Puertorriqueña ( Once available digitally, these resources will provide scholars with access to previously unavailable information on daily life in the Caribbean to enable new research and research questions from a variety of fields and disciplines on cross-cutting issues including migration, social movements, history, and literature.


Past Workshops

Denied! Why 90% of Grant Proposals Don't Get Funded  

Grant proposals are declined for a variety of reasons, even though these projects have great merit. This unfortunate event can happen often and it can be devastating to project teams who have invested many hours of precious time pursuing an award for a very worthy project. It helps to know why this happens so that you can anticipate this possibility prior to submitting your funding proposal.

Learn the pitfalls you can avoid to give your proposals a more competitive chance of being awarded.


  1. Knowledge of reviewer comments and viewpoints
  2. Greater understanding of methods used to review applications and what can happen during review
  3. Learning about the most common mistakes made by applicants

How to Create Fundable Grant Proposals: ASERL Grantwriting Series- December 9, 2020 (Announcement) (Recording)  

This webinar series shares best practices including checklist examples for guidelines and workflows, funding alerts describing funding opportunities for libraries, and templates for sharing submitted and pending proposals with library employees. Behind the scenes stories will divulge unusual ways ideas were generated for fundable projects, and how ideas developed through engagement with a diverse array of experts and assets. Stories share details of what happened after project teams received their awards, and ways by which teams managed to complete projects successfully. Featured projects highlight a variety of grant-funded activities including outreach, digitization, training, acquisition of materials, planning and collaborations with diverse partners and for diverse materials.

Successful Grant Seeking For Academic Libraries – 4/30/2020  (Slides) (Announcement)

This workshop describes how to begin the grant seeking process by leveraging the expertise you already have to identify and produce collaborative and fundable grant applications. We explore the basics of grant seeking, including generating the initial idea for a project, identifying relevant project partners, finding appropriate funding sources, pre-proposal project planning, and awards management. Lessons learned from years of grant seeking are shared, as well as resources for locating funding relevant to libraries.


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