Planning a Grant with the USF Libraries

The USF Libraries are interested in partnering with USF faculty on grant opportunities. Such opportunities can come with a substantial time commitment on the part of the USF Libraries. This page outlines expectations from the library in working with our faculty partners for a positive and successful experience.

Your project is important to us, and the USF Libraries want to make sure that we have the appropriate level and number of personnel available to help. We ask that faculty partners communicate with library stakeholders to discuss the full scope of the proposed project in advance of adding library personnel to a grant. Transparent communication is key. Please schedule a meeting with us to discuss your project and what we can do for you. This meeting will include a discussion of the budget needed by or provided to the USF Libraries to ensure that we have the resources to help you be successful.

Here are some questions to keep in mind during the planning phase:

  • What are your expectations of the USF Libraries in terms of personnel, resources, services, equipment, space, access, and/or budget?
  • What kind of expertise do you need from the USF Libraries?
  • Do you need to include the USF Libraries in your budget to pay for new materials, the addition of a new project to staff time, etc?
  • How long do you anticipate that the library will need to support this project? Will the needed support likely extend beyond the duration of the grant period?
  • How will the USF Libraries’, librarians, and staff contributions be attributed in subsequent publications and projects?
  • Will the final product be part of the USF Libraries digital collections and openly accessible?

Because of resource constraints and competing priorities, the USF Libraries cannot guarantee participation by library personnel on all projects. Any grant proposal requiring staff time or other resources from the USF Libraries requires signed approval from the USF Libraries Dean to indicate that the USF Libraries agree to commit resources to the project.

To begin a discussion as part of the planning phase, please contact usflibraries-grants@usf.edu.


For grant projects involving specific areas of library expertise, please review the following sections for further information:

Please be advised that the electronic collections available through the University of South Florida Libraries are accessible to authorized users only, typically defined as current USF students, faculty, and staff per our vendor license agreements. The USF Libraries pay for these resources based on head count, though anyone is free to come into the Tampa campus library (as a “walk-in user”) to use a publicly accessible computer to access our resources.

Providing remote access to the collections to non-USF personnel violates our contractual agreements. Please see our page on Library Resources User Terms for more information.

If you are writing a grant that requires access for co-PIs at another institution to access the collections, it is the responsibility of the academic department to set the individuals up as Courtesy Faculty at USF in order to provide such access. Please refer to USF policy ISSP-019 for more information on levels of access per category of faculty. Additionally, the USF Libraries so that we know the language of what has been promised.

Questions should be addressed to Carol Ann Davis, Associate Dean for Collections & Discovery, at borchert@usf.edu.

If your grant requires an analysis of a subset of our collections, please contact Carol Ann Davis, Associate Dean for Collections & Discovery, at borchert@usf.edu. The USF Libraries require 4 business days’ notice to provide collection analyses. Please include a detailed explanation of the scope of the proposed project, along with the instructions for that section of the writeup. Information about or links to peer library collections and samples of successful projects with similar collection areas are also helpful.

If you need additional collections or resources purchased once the grant is awarded, please provide a list of what is required and information on the funding source(s) to support that area of collection development.

If your grant includes digitizing, reprinting, publishing, or otherwise copying and distributing work made by others you may need to plan for copyright analysis and investigation. Permissions may need to be obtained when utilizing material, including those in library collections, that is still protected by copyright. Permissions searching can be a time intensive process that requires dedicated personnel. This is especially true when working with archival resources. Rights holders may also charge for permissions.

  • Consider conducting an analysis of the material you wish to include in your project early in your planning process, so you can budget for the personnel and fees necessary to obtain the permissions you will require.
  • Plan to be flexible in case permissions are denied for any number of resources.
  • Consult the Copyright LibGuide for more information on copyright protection and duration.

The USF Libraries is interested in learning more about your data management project and helping you accomplish your goals. Please contact us at usflibraries-datamgmt@usf.edu to discuss available options. The USF Libraries Data Management Planning page provides a general outline of our levels of support, but in specific instances we may be able to expand capacity depending on funding and other factors.

If your grant requires digitizing or reformatting resources in the USF Libraries, you will work across library units to identify relevant resources, determine rights and permissions, discuss necessary infrastructure to support your project, and plan your contribution towards enhancing discoverability of the resulting digital objects. Projects of this type must result in open-access resources. Consider identifying specific materials requiring reformatting or digitizing as part of your project development/planning phase.

  • Recognize that large-scale projects may require additional hiring and new equipment and that these costs may need to be covered by your grant.
  • Work with appropriate USF Libraries personnel to develop outcomes-based timelines and budget scenarios.
  • Understand the Libraries’ need to prioritize grant projects that align with both the Libraries’ and the University’s strategic directions and goals.

Projects using library materials that cannot be made freely available may only receive minimal support. The USF Libraries might not be able to support digitizing/reformatting projects that do not incorporate or use library resources. Please consult Tomaro Taylor (tomaro@usf.edu), Director of Special Collections, to discuss.

The Center for Digital Heritage and Geospatial Information (CDHGI) supports the use of GIS by USF students, faculty, and staff.  Our team of GIS Analysts and Certified Professionals provide information relating to available data sources, training, and software at USF, and serve as the ESRI GIS site license managers for the USF Libraries. The CDHGI is interested in developing research synergies and helping foster cooperation with GIS and geospatial mapping technologies across several disciplines. Examples of our interests include projects relating to the environment, climate change, resiliency, health and pandemic response, crime and forensic applications, disaster mapping, archaeology, historic cemeteries, and heritage projects. For additional GIS questions or for more information on partnering and collaboration, please see our GIS Resources page or contact LibraryGIS@usf.edu

The Libraries’ digitization unit includes the Oral History Program (OHP). For projects that will not be added to the USF Libraries Digital Commons collections, OHP personnel are available for consultations to discuss best practices and recommendations for conducting and transcribing oral histories.

For projects being added to the Libraries’ digital collections, personnel may be available for reformatting, audio-editing, and transcribing oral histories. Faculty seeking grants with an oral history component must provide release forms for all interviews prior to project start. Editing, researching, and metadata support must also be provided to the OHP before oral histories can be added to Digital Commons.

  • Determine the number of oral histories anticipated during grant implementation.
  • Develop a timeline for transferring release forms and audio/video files to OHP.
  • Identify key project personnel for conducting oral history research, editing oral histories, and applying descriptive text (metadata).
  • Understand the Libraries’ need to prioritize grant projects that align with both the Libraries’ and the University’s strategic directions and goals.

USF Libraries provide the following services to help researchers ensure their research grant data is accessible, usable, and sharable for the long term. Please contact Xiying Mi for more information (xmi@usf.edu).

  1. Consultation on information organization

Provide assistance to better organize the data, including discussing file paths, crafting file names, and developing guidelines for creating metadata descriptions.

  1. Support and advice on creating shareable and reusable metadata

Leverage metadata expertise to develop shareable and reusable metadata for research data or research results, including selecting metadata schema and controlled vocabularies; assisting researchers in aligning their research results with related materials in repositories and collections; providing keyword enrichment for discovery and mapping existing data into standard metadata schema, etc.

  1. Research, identify, and develop metadata schemas and controlled vocabulary for subject-specific projects

Provide assistance in selecting or augmenting an existing metadata schema or developing a new metadata schema. This service includes researching and recommending existing metadata schemas, if available, or developing new schemas as needed; researching and recommending existing controlled vocabulary or developing a mechanism to create new controlled vocabulary; and providing trainings for related personnel.

Librarians can assist with literature searches, designing search strategies for systematic reviews, or identifying other appropriate resources for your grant. Disciplinary and other faculty librarians are also happy to connect researchers to the appropriate library departments or employees with specific expertise to support their grant development. If you are interested in more substantial collaboration with a faculty librarian, please be aware that the librarians set their own research agendas and determine whether or not a project falls within their purview and whether or not they have capacity to collaborate as co-authors. See: https://lib.usf.edu/research-and-instruction/people/.