Sheila Suen Lai Research Grant


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 the library and information science and are 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.

A good statement of the proposal should include:

The awards committee members evaluate the application using the criteria listed 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:

For application, please submit the following materials to the Chair, TBD with “Sheila Suen Lai Research Grant” in the subject line and one single PDF document that contains the following information:

The 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 five consecutive years from the date of the award.
  5. The award recipient shall volunteer for CALA committees and taskforces.
  6. The 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 a master’s degree in library and information science
  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

Proposal Statement:

  • Statement of the topic being investigated
  • Review of the relevant literature necessary to understand the proposal
  • Methodology (or research design) that used to answer the research questions (or the activities that involve accomplishing 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 Awards Subcommittee for completeness.
  • All applicants receive a notification.

Evaluation criteria:

  • 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 are the methodology, theoretical framework, and 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 the proposed project realistic?
  • Publishability/dissemination plan: Does this study meet the basic research standards for eventual publication in peer-reviewed journals or professional events?


  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

Application Deadline: TBD

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