Cunningham Memorial International Fellowship, USA

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Cunningham Memorial International Fellowship, USA

The purpose of the MLA Cunningham Memorial International Fellowship is to assist in the education and training of health science librarians from countries outside the United States and Canada. The Cunningham Fellowships were established in 1967 with a bequest from the estate of Eileen R. Cunningham. The first fellowship was awarded in 1972 at the annual meeting in San Diego, CA. This program continues to train and motivate international librarians with the latest advances in the health information profession. The fellowship supports attendance at the MLA annual meeting and observation and supervised work in one or more medical libraries in the United States and Canada. The fellowship also permits access to MLA-sponsored online Continuing Education courses for a one year period beginning January of the fellowship year.

International Cooperation Section members assist in planning the fellows itinerary and schedule while in the United States, serving as hosts or host institutions for the fellow, and providing mentorship opportunities during the annual meeting.  The 2019 fellowship will conclude with the MLA annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois.

Cunningham Memorial International Fellowship Eligibility

  • The applicant must have both an undergraduate degree and a master’s level library degree. The latter requirement may be waived. ( Transcripts or a copy of your diploma and grades for courses taken at both the undergraduate and graduate levels should be sent at the same time as the application. )
  • The applicant must be working or preparing to work in a health science library in his or her own country.
  • The applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident of a country other than the United States or Canada.
  • The applicant is not required to be a member of MLA.
  • Past recipients of the Cunningham fellowship are ineligible.

Cunningham Memorial International Fellowship Application

  • The completed application with documentation must be received by December 1. Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified by March.
  • Three letters of reference in English are required from responsible persons who are familiar with the applicant’s qualifications. References may include officers of institutions where the applicant has worked, US officers of information, other librarians from the applicant’s country, or persons in North America. These letters of reference should describe the applicant’s professional and interpersonal skills. Letters should include an assessment of the applicant’s sense of curiosity, ability to live alone and function in a foreign setting, and adaptability to traveling in unfamiliar places.
  • The applicant must have a signed statement in English from a responsible official of the institution where he or she is working or plans to work, guaranteeing a position in a health sciences library upon his or her return.
  • All applicants must submit a single electronic video file, as well as a typed transcript, responding to the questions on the application.
  • The applicant must submit a project overview according to the guidelines in part VIII, “Project Goals.”
  • The applicant must present a certificate of good physical health, written in English, from a licensed physician.
  • The Cunningham Fellowship fund will pay a stipend toward living, travel, and tuition expenses in the United States and Canada. The amount is determined annually. These funds are for the fellow only. No support is provided for spouses or dependents.
  • Payment for travel to and from the United States or Canada is the responsibility of the fellow and will not be paid from the fellowship stipend.
  • Depending on the qualifications of the candidates, the jury may recommend that the Cunningham fellowship not be awarded in a given year.
  • MLA will acknowledge applications upon receipt via email.

Submission checklist

  • Completed online application; 
  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts in English;
  • Three letters of reference in English;
  • Certificate of health in English;
  • Current photo for promotional purposes;
  • Statement in English indicating that you will be employed in a health sciences library in your country when you return;
  • Brief essay in English ( no more than 500 words ) that discusses the following
    • the state of development of health sciences libraries in your country;
    • the library in which you are employed and your duties there;
    • full description of your career goals;
    • what you envision accomplishing through the Cunningham Memorial International Fellowship and a specificexperience that might fulfill these expectations;
    • and your ability to live alone, function in a foreign setting, and travel in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • A single video file, plus a typed transcript, responding to the following questions.

Were you to be selected for the fellowship

    • In what areas of expertise or skill development would you be most interested in obtaining training and research information?
    • Do you have any specific projects you would like to complete?
    • How would you plan to use the ideas and skills learned from the fellowship experience when you returned home?
    • Would you be able to apply what you learn to other libraries or institutions?
    • In what types of libraries / institutions would you like to work or visit while in the United States or Canada (hospital libraries, academic medical libraries, etc.)?
    • What is your current job title and status within the organization / institution in which you work?
    • Describe briefly your previous training and level of expertise / experience in medical or health sciences librarianship.
    • Describe the setting of your current library ( location, resources, level of automation, etc. )
    • Indicate any questions you have about the fellowship for the selection committee.

MLA will acknowledge receipt of application. All applicants must receive an email notification that the application was received by MLA on or before December 1 for applications to be considered.  An announcement of the fellowship recipient is made in early March each year.

Cunningham Memorial International Fellowship Date

  • Application deadline : 1st December 2018.
  • Applications for the 2020 fellowship will open in August 2018.