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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Library Collections Enhancement Initiative

About the Initiative:

The Library Collections Enhancement Initiative is a pilot program to strengthen campus research capacities by providing UW-Madison libraries with flexibility to address critical and emerging collections needs. Proposals for one-time purchases of library titles focused on a specific research area must be made by at least one faculty member in partnership with at least one librarian with relevant subject expertise. Team proposals are welcome. Continuing costs are not allowable under this program.

Proposals should include a list of title(s) proposed for acquisition, a coherent collection development plan as detailed below, and a budget. Both interdisciplinary and subject-focused proposals are welcome. We anticipate that the average proposal will be between $10,000 and $25,000.

The Library Collections Enhancement Initiative is supported by a $250,000 investment from the OVCRGE with support from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

Deadlines and key dates: This competition is now closed.

Award notifications will be sent in March 2020 with funding to begin on July 1, 2020. (The standard duration of the grant is July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021.) Award recipients will be asked to complete a brief report at the end of the grant period.


  • A proposal must be submitted by a faculty PI and librarian co-PI.
  • The Principal Investigator (PI) must be a UW-Madison tenure-track or tenured faculty member, or a researcher with permanent PI status.
  • The co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) must be a UW-Madison subject librarian or librarian with equivalent subject expertise, either within or outside the General Library System.
  • Additional UW-Madison librarians with relevant subject expertise, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate as co-investigators. Wisconsin Historical Society librarians are not eligible to participate as co-PIs or co-investigators.
  • CHS faculty and academic staff without permanent PI status may participate as co-investigators.
  • You may serve as PI on only one proposal; you may serve as co-PI or co-investigator on multiple proposals.

Some Key Tips:

  • Any member of the project team may complete the application.
  • You can also invite additional collaborators to fill out the application form. However, the person who starts an application must also be the person that ultimately submits the application.
  • The on-line form will ask for you to supply information on the lead investigators, provide project details, upload a collection development plan, complete a budget form and upload CVs of your project team members.
  • Remember to scroll down to select “mark as complete” at the bottom of each completed page.
  • You will be able to select “review and submit” before final submission.
  • You will also have the option of downloading the entire application document.


Key Tasks:

1. Provide Information on Lead Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Principal Investigator

Lead PI: A tenured or tenure-track UW-Madison faculty member, or a researcher with permanent PI status.

Co-PI: A UW-Madison subject librarian or librarian with equivalent subject expertise, either within or outside the General Library System.

2. Provide a List of Co-investigators

Please list the other faculty members, librarians, or academic staff who will participate on the project team.

3. Provide a Project Title and an Abstract

Please include an abstract for your proposal that is no more than one page in length. Abstracts should be written for a general audience and incorporate accessible and non-technical language whenever possible.

4. Upload a List of Title(s) to be Acquired

Please upload a single .pdf file that contains a list of title(s) to be acquired.

5. Upload Collection Development Plan (PDF document)

Please upload your Collection Development Plan as a .pdf file. Your plan should not exceed 5 single-spaced pages. Address the following:

(a) Describe the content, scope, format, condition, significance, and rarity of the proposed acquisition. Explain how the proposed acquisition relates to current library holdings, whether by strengthening existing collections or opening up new collection emphases.

(b) Explain how the proposed acquisition significantly extends or brings new research capacities to campus. Compare regional, national, and/or international holdings as relevant.

(c) Indicate how the proposed acquisition will enhance research potential for faculty, students, and staff, preferably in more than one academic unit. Describe likely demand and indicate how the acquisition will be publicized.

(d) Explain what is needed to make the proposed acquisition accessible to researchers and estimate how long acquisition and processing will take. If the acquisition is time-sensitive, explain. If long-term preservation or sustainability is at issue, explain.

(e) If there are specific costs associated with processing the acquisition, explain and provide a plan for how these costs will be covered outside this program. If you have questions, please contact Florence Hsia.

(f) If there are continuing costs associated with the acquisition, explain and indicate how they will be covered outside this program.

6. Complete the Budget Form

Please fill out the form with the details of your acquisition budget. Include any anticipated processing or continuing costs detailed in your Collection Development Plan. You do not have to complete every section of the form; however, a concise explanation of all necessary expenses would be very helpful.

7. Upload CVs and/or Biosketches of project team members (all combined into one PDF document)

Please upload a single .pdf file that contains: CVs or Biosketches for the principal investigator, co-principal investigator, and co-investigators. Include all current and pending intramural and extramural research support for each investigator.

8. Upload Support Letters (optional)

Please upload a single .pdf file that contains all the support letters for your project.

Submitting the application:

You will be able to select “review and submit” before making your final submission. Please make sure to review the entire document before you select to “submit” it. You will also have the option to download the entire document.

General and technical questions should be sent to:

Questions concerning proposal development should be sent to:

Florence Hsia, associate vice chancellor for research – arts & humanities

Note: A condition of receiving research funding administered by the OVCRGE is the obligation to disclose and assign to WARF resulting patentable intellectual property.