SLA-PHT Spring Meeting Student Travel Awards -application deadline: February 15, 2016

Special Libraries Association – PHT Spring Meeting Student Travel Awards

April 3-5, 2016 – Orlando, Florida


  • The Pharmaceutical & Health Technology Division will award stipends of up to $1,500 for the PHT Spring Meeting.
  • All PHT Student Travel Awards are to be coordinated by the SLA PHT Student Relations Chair, and judged by the SLA PHT Executive Board.
  • For any additional questions or comments please contact Laura Westendorf, PHT Student Relations Chair, at:


Entry Requirements:
For consideration of the PHT Student Travel Award, the applicant must be:

·         Student enrolled in a graduate level information management/library science program

·         Must express  an interest in pursuing a career in information management in the Pharmaceutical or Health Technology Industries

Recipient Requirements:
·         Recipient must be a member of the SLA-PHT Division

·         Write a 300 word essay on why they are interested in a career as an information manager in the pharmaceutical industry

·         Attend the Board Meeting at Spring Meeting

·         Write a 300 word account of his/her experience at the meeting for publication in an upcoming SLA PHT CapLits issue

·         Write a 300 word account of one session at the meeting for publication in an upcoming SLA PHT CapLits issue

Award Payment Process:
The recipient(s) of the Travel Award(s) receives reimbursement for the travel cost prior to the meeting after sending receipts to the treasurer, and the registration/hotel cost after the recipient sends receipts to the treasurer and satisfies ALL the requirements of the award.
Time Line:
·         Qualified applicants must submit application documents and proof of current PHT membership by: February 15, 2016

·         Notifications to all applicants will be sent by: February 29, 2016

Submission Contact:
Please submit your application to Laura Westendorf, MLIS:
Submission Requirements:
1.       Cover Page with Name & Contact Information

2.       Current Resume/CV

3.       Two paragraphs (3-5 sentences each) on:

·         “Why I want to go to the SLA PHT Spring Meeting”

·         “Why am I interested in the PHT Division?”

4.       Short Essay (1-2 pages) – Pick one of the topics on the next page (see Short Essay Topics) OR submit a similar piece of scholarly work (the winning essay will be published in SLA PHT CapLits publication)

  • Be creative – teach us something we may not know
  • Be sure to demonstrate creative applications of technology, awareness of available resources, and in-depth analysis of current issues
  • List all applicable references,  sources, and analytical processes
  • Make a scholarly impression – use and list resources and your search criteria or processes to research and write the essay

Short Essay Topics (select one):

Future Forecasting

Describe a future vision for corporate information profession.  What are the three core competencies for today’s pharmaceutical/medical information professional in order to be future ready?  What three things should professional associations be doing to promote the need for corporate medical information professionals?

There has been much discussion on whether the word, “librarian” is a misnomer, given that librarians are doing, and will be performing, functions beyond the ones of the traditional librarian. Describe, contrast, and explain the evolution of the past health/medical library vs. a current real-life pharmaceutical/health/medical library.

Given the current economic environment, discuss the value of transferrable special library skills to positions that do not conform to the current pharmaceutical/medical librarian, i.e., researcher, knowledge manager, digital tools trainer, data scientist, etc.  Provide real job postings and/or real-life situations of transference of library skills to other job titles.

Demonstrating the Value of Current and Future Librarianship

Situation:  You have encountered a conversation around the common corporate meeting area that proclaims information on the Internet alone provides all sufficient information on the latest research on Alzheimer’s drug therapy. As an information professional, you have an obligation to defend the competencies of the librarian, along with professional resources.  Develop a convincing, but diplomatic, argument defending the thesis that the Internet alone is not enough, and would garner support for value-added corporate librarian services.

Thesis:  Information technology such as streaming and downloadable audio, video, and digital book technology, will displace the librarian.  Defend this thesis and develop solutions or approaches for information professionals to work with these resources in order to complement value of emerging technologies.


With the vast numbers of online health consumer information, the barrier of waiting for health information from a doctor has reduced; however, access to inaccurate, outdated, and irresponsible health information has increased. Research an instance where a health consumer(s) or a health professional(s) experienced this situation.  Define how an informational professional would be able to intervene, and what kinds of programs and/or resources could be developed to impart credible health information to consumers, or to consumers via health professionals.

Many corporations are encouraging employee use of hand-held devices to retrieve information.  Discuss how the corporate libraries can help support these mobile devices, and any issues involved.

Business of Health/Medical Libraries

What is the pathway for entry into the medical information profession? Interview PHT members or summarize sufficient attributes of three or more medical/health librarians.  Make conclusions as to whether there is a typical trend pathway to the typical positions in the corporate medical world.

Research life science corporations with medical information job postings in the past 2 years.   What are the core competencies wanted for entry level / mid-level / veteran-level positions?  What are the implications for information professionals in each of these three levels?

Summarize library literature on success in the corporate library.  How has it changed in the last twenty years?  What are the keys to success today?