Sheila Suen Lai Research Grant

(revised on 2/1/2022)



The purpose of Sheila Suen Lai Research Grant (hereinafter ‘Lai’s Grant’) is to encourage CALA members to engage in research activities that contribute towards library and information science, and related to Chinese American Librarianship particularly.

An award in the amount of $1,000 will be granted to the winner(s). Lai’s Grant may be used for conducting research projects, attending research related conferences and workshops, conducting research workshops and programs, assisting in research writing, or other activities consistent with the general purpose of the award. Lai’s Grant shall not be used for personal use or for attending professional association conferences, such as ALA or CALA.


Expectation of Grant Recipient:

  1. The award recipient shall receive an electronic certificate upon request after the award is announced
  2. The award recipient shall submit a final report to CALA’s Executive Director detailing the outcome and performance of the specific project within one month of the project completion.
  3. The award recipient shall participate in CALA activities, programs and events actively.
  4. The award recipient shall be a CALA member for at least 5 consecutive years from the date of the award.
  5. The award recipient shall volunteer for CALA committees and taskforces.
  6. Monetary award shall be awarded after the awardee has fulfilled the required obligations.
  7. The award recipient shall contribute their time and talents to CALA.
  8. The award recipient shall acknowledge CALA’s support in their work (e.g., reports, presentations, articles, etc.)
  9. The award recipient shall present the project at the CALA annual meeting or chapter meetings.


Eligible applicants for Lai’s Grant must:

  1. Be a current CALA member in good standing
  2. Have at least an MLS degree
  3. Be currently employed in a professional level position
  4. Have been a CALA member for at least one year prior to submitting an application
  5. Maintain CALA membership status throughout the duration of the use of the award
  6. Have not received any other CALA grant or award in the same year as the Lai’s Grant


Proposal Statement:

A good statement of proposal should include:

  • Statement of the topic being investigated
  • Review of the relevant literature necessary to understand the proposal
  • Methodology (or research design) that use to answer the research questions (or, the activities that involve to accomplish the goals)
  • Results expected and their significance to the area of study (or fields)
  • Timeline for the completion of the project


Review process

  • Applications are screened by the CALA best research award committee for completeness.
  • All applicants receive notification.


Evaluation criteria:

The members of the award committee evaluate the application using the criteria list below. The review committee will consider the application holistically; not every point needs to be addressed but applicants should be cognizant of these criteria for the purpose of crafting a competitive application:

  • Significance. Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? How timely is this research study in terms of topic, tools, or questions asked?
  • Investigator/researcher readiness. Is the researcher qualified/well suited to the project?
  • Innovation/Intellectual Merit. How solid is the methodology, theoretical framework, literature review of the research project?
  • Likelihood of Completion. Will the environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Is proposed project realistic?
  • Publishability/dissemination plan: Does this study meet the basic research standards for eventual publication in peer-reviewed journals or professional events?



A complete application must consist of the following:

  1. A cover letter including a statement of your eligibility
  2. A proposal statement of intended research activities and plans (no more than five pages in length)
  3. A curriculum vitae
  4. Two (2) letters of reference attesting to the applicant’s research credentials