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About the Associate Fellowship Program


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The National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship offers an insider’s view of the world’s largest medical library.


The National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship is:

  • A one-year residency program for early and second career librarians within five years of graduation interested in advancing equitable and innovative futures for biomedical libraries.
  • A program combining curriculum and project work.
  • A virtual fellowship hosted by the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

The Associate Fellowship provides knowledge and skills in project work ranging from:

  • Operations to research and development
  • Data and open science
  • Vocabularies and ontologies
  • Scholarly communication
  • User engagement and training

The Associate Fellowship offers opportunities for professional development through:

  • Participation in lectures, exercises, conferences, short and extended visits to other health sciences libraries
  • Workshops on work style, resume review, negotiation, and presentation skills
  • Mentorship from a program coordinator and NLM staff

The Associate Fellowship’s benefits are:

  • Annual stipend of $61,947.
  • Health Insurance Supplement - The program offers a supplemental health insurance stipend for participants to purchase health insurance through a group health insurance plan via Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). Alternatively, participants may choose to hold outside insurance.
  • Full support for attendance at a national conference, and a one-week practicum at a health sciences library


Program Coordinator

Kathel Dunn, PhD

Kathel Dunn was named Associate Fellowship Coordinator at the National Library of Medicine in 2008. In this position she is responsible for oversight of the Associate Fellowship Program curriculum, recruiting for the Program, and providing mentorship and guidance for the Associate Fellows throughout their year at NLM. Dr. Dunn also leads the Workforce Development efforts in Library Operations within NLM, including succession planning, leadership programs, and staff development.

Prior to joining NLM, Dr. Dunn served as the Associate Director of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region based at New York University Medical Center. Before joining the National Library of Medicine, she held several senior management administrator positions in Public Services at Ehrman Medical Library, New York University Medical Center; and as Director of Library Services and Associate Director, Division of Information Management at the New York Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Dunn received her PhD from the School of Communication, Information and Library Studies at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; her Master of Science, Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her undergraduate degree in History from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia.


Program Administrator

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), managed and operated by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), administers this program for the National Library of Medicine through an interagency agreement with the Department of Energy.

Last Reviewed: October 31, 2022