Federally Funded Research

The federal government supports and encourages health literacy research in several ways. Below you can find funding opportunities, research findings, and training initiatives from several federal government agencies.

Health Literacy Research

  • The Network of the National Library of Medicine’s Regional Medical Libraries offer grant funding in their respective regions. Funded projects often address health literacy by linking members of the community with quality health information resources and providing training on their use. Other projects address health literacy by offering training to information professionals, healthcare providers, or other health professionals about how to support and address health literacy in their communities. You can also find information about previously funded projects, and filter the list of projects by multiple parameters.
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) lists Funding Opportunities, including a Special Emphasis Notice (SEN) announcing interest in research on improving organizational health literacy to prevent and manage chronic disease.
  • AHRQ has tools and data to help health services researchers conduct health literacy research.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides key research findings on health literacy.

Literacy Research

woman looking at epidemiology data

Successful research may lead to changes in process, behavior, and attitudes or to better health outcomes.

  • Adult Literacy Research – The U.S. Department of Education’s Division of Adult Education and Literacy summarizes recent and emerging research on adult literacy. The division also provides online access to evidence-based materials to help adult education practitioners and state and local staff improve adult education programs, services, instruction, and teacher quality.
  • AHRQ Research Studies is a monthly compilation of research articles funded by AHRQ or authored by AHRQ researchers and recently published in journals or newsletters. You can search by key word, year, or topic (e.g., health literacy).
  • Discretionary Grants and Cooperative Agreements – Find U.S. Department of Education programs by title and office. You can also search by key word (e.g., literacy).
  • NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) – Find information on the Child Development and Behavior Branch’s research programs on
    • Early Learning and School Readiness
    • Language, Bilingualism and Biliteracy
    • Reading, Writing and Related Learning Disabilities

Grant Writing

  • The Network of the National Library of Medicine provides resources for writing a proposal, submitting an application, submitting project reports, and more.
  • The NIH Grants & Funding office provides the following guidance on grants.