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NLM Welcomes Applications to the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine

Earlier this year, the National Library of Medicine announced its receipt of a generous gift from The DeBakey Medical Foundation to support enhanced access to the Michael E. DeBakey Archives at the NLM and to establish the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine.

NLM is now pleased to announce the first call for applications to the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine.

Michael E. DeBakey (1908–2008) was a legendary American surgeon, educator, and medical statesman. During a career spanning 75 years, his work transformed cardiovascular surgery, raised medical education standards, and informed national health care policy. He pioneered dozens of operative procedures such as aneurysm repair, coronary bypass, and endarterectomy, which routinely save thousands of lives each year, and performed some of the first heart transplants. His inventions included the roller pump (a key component of heart-lung machines) as well as artificial hearts and ventricular assist pumps. He was a driving force in building Houston’s Baylor University College of Medicine into a premier medical center, where he trained several generations of top surgeons from all over the world.

The National Library of Medicine holds a collection of Michael E. DeBakey archives, dating from the early 1900s to 2009. Containing correspondence, administrative records, diaries, transcripts, publications, speeches, conference and awards material, subject files, photographs, and audiovisual media, the collection reflects the vast expanse of Dr. DeBakey’s life, achievements, and interests as a world-renowned medical statesman, innovator, and champion of humanitarianism and life-long learning.

The Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine will support individuals in pursuing research in NLM’s Michael E. DeBakey archives, related collections held by the NLM, and the vast range of subjects which informed, or were informed by, Michael E. DeBakey’s professional career – from surgery to health care policy, medical libraries and expanding access to medical information, medical technology to medical ethics, military medicine to veteran health, humanitarianism to international diplomacy in the medical arena.

NLM and the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) have established a partnership to help administer the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine, and they now invite applications from anyone over the age of eighteen, of any academic discipline and status. Non-U.S. citizens may apply.

Fellowships of up to $10,000 will be awarded to individual applicants, not to institutions, to help offset the costs associated with visiting and using the NLM collections, but may not be used for institutional costs or overhead (e.g. clerical costs, supplies, or other attendant project expenses).

Applicants should submit:

  • a brief curriculum vitae, not to exceed two pages;
  • an abstract of the proposed project (not to exceed 750 words) stating its scope, purpose, research and/or educational value, and describing how it will expressly engage the NLM’s Michael E. DeBakey archives, related collections held by the NLM, or the vast range of subjects which informed, or were informed by, Michael E. DeBakey’s professional career; the abstract should also include the preferred dates and length of the anticipated visit, whether a single period of up to four weeks, or multiple periods totaling no more than four weeks,
  • a brief bibliography, of no more than two pages, including the most critical secondary sources and other primary source materials supporting the project;
  • a budget listing travel and other attendant expenses;
  • proof of health insurance;
  • copy of academic transcript, if currently enrolled in an academic institution;
  • two letters of support, at least one of which must be from an individual familiar with the nature of the applicant’s specific project and general educational interests and goals.

To receive consideration, all materials must be submitted to FAES, via the following online system, by 5pm EDT, September 1, 2016.

To apply for the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine, visit this online application form.

Awards will be announced by the end of the calendar year.

In addition to their proposed project, fellows would be required to:

  • spend four to six hours assisting HMD staff in discussing existing finding aids and related resources, to help them improve the Library’s knowledge of the collections it holds, so that this knowledge can be shared with other current and future patrons;
  • meet the expectations of the NIH public access policy for publicly supported work, and acknowledge the assistance of the NLM’s Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine in any presentations resulting from work supported by the fellowship;
  • be available to the NLM’s Office of Communications & Public Liaison (OCPL) and History of Medicine Division for three interviews for NLM online and hardcopy publications, including Circulating Now, the blog of the NLM’s History of Medicine Division;
  • Author for Circulating Now, within three months after the end of the award period, at least one guest blog post, of approximately 750 words, based on her/his research in the NLM collections of the NLM.

Some fellows will be invited to return to NLM on a future date, after the period of their fellowship and when they have made substantial progress in their research and writing, to present an annual NLM Michael E. DeBakey Lecture in the History of Medicine, as part of the History of Medicine Division’s existing lecture series.

For further information about the materials available for historical research at the National Library of Medicine, please visit https://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/index.html, or contact the NLM’s History of Medicine reference desk by email at NLM Customer Support or by phone 301-402-8878. Questions about the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine may be directed to these same points of contact.

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The Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences https://faes.org/ is a non-profit organization, established in 1959, that supports the education, well-being, and culture of the National Institutes of Health.

Since its founding in 1836, the National Library of Medicine https://www.nlm.nih.gov has played a pivotal role in translating biomedical research into practice and is a leader in information innovation. NLM is the world's largest medical library, and millions of scientists, health professionals and the public around the world use NLM services every day.

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