21st Century Museum Professional Program


21MP has two program goals with two or three objectives associated with each goal such as the following: GOAL 1, Support the professional development of the museum workforce, including those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. Objective 1.1: Develop Establish new or enhanced professional development and training programs for the museum workforce. Objective 1.2: Support assessment and evaluation of training and professional development programs to identify and share effective practices. GOAL 2, Recruit and train future museum professionals, including those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. Objective 2.1: Increase the number of students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds enrolled in graduate and undergraduate museum-related programs. Objective 2.3: Recruit future museum professionals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds through paid internships, mentoring, and fellowship opportunities. Objective 2.3: Support assessment and evaluation of recruitment, training, and higher education programs to identify and share effective practices.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
The Institute of Museum and Library Services
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
20 USC Chapter 72 Museum and Library Services Act of 2018 US Code U.S.C. § 9101-9176, in particular § 9175 (21st century museum professional program)
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Museums, museum consortia and associations, institutions of higher education (as defined in 20 U.S.C. 9165(b)), and other entities that the IMLS Director determines appropriate.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. 1. Ensure that required registrations are active and user names and passwords are in place. 2. Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity carefully to get all the information required for applying. 3. Compose the application, using resources available through www.imls.gov (e.g. on-demand webinars, instructions, Sample Applications, Reviewer Resources). 4. Contact an IMLS staff member to ask any questions about the application and review process. 5. Submit the application via Grants.gov by the deadline.
Award Procedure
IMLS staff review applications for eligibility and completeness. IMLS uses a peer review process to evaluate all eligible and complete applications. Peer reviewers are experts in the field with relevant knowledge and expertise in the types of project activities identified in the applications. IMLS instructs reviewers to evaluate applications according to the review criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Peer reviewers must comply with Federal ethics and conflicts of interest requirements. The IMLS Director takes into account the input provided by the review process and makes final funding decisions consistent with the purposes of the agency's mission and programs.
December 18, 2023 to March 1, 2024 All applicants must submit full proposals through Grants.gov by 11:59 pm U.S. Eastern Time, March 1, 2024.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
IMLS will not release information about the status of an application until the applications have been reviewed and all deliberations are concluded, but IMLS anticipates notifying both successful and unsuccessful applicants of final funding decisions by email by August 2024.
IMLS provides copies of reviewer comments and scores to all unsuccessful applicants and invites them to consult with specific IMLS staff when determining whether to revise the proposal and submit it again to IMLS or another funding agency.
IMLS may extend particular grants at the discretion of the Director.
How are proposals selected?
Successful applications in this grant program will reflect a thorough understanding of current practice related to training museum professionals; employ inclusive outreach strategies to reach target audiences at multiple institutions; engage museum staff, leadership, and volunteers at any stage of career development; follow a set of logical, interrelated activities tied directly to addressing a key need or challenge; and generate measurable results.
How may assistance be used?
Grant funds must be used for the purposes outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity and in accordance with the Institute of Museum and Library Services General Terms and Conditions. Examples of allowable costs include personnel salaries, wages, and fringe benefits for project staff; travel expenses for key project staff and consultants; materials, supplies, software, and equipment related directly to project activities; adaptive and/or assistive technologies and other resources and services to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities; third-party costs; publication design and printing; program evaluation; staff and volunteer training; student tuition and fees; paid internships/fellowships; and indirect or overhead costs. Examples of unallowable costs include general fundraising costs; contributions to endowments; general operating support; acquisition of collections; general advertising or public relations costs designed solely for promotional activities other than those related to the specific project; construction or renovation of facilities; and social activities, receptions, or entertainment. The 21MPProgram is a discretionary grant program.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Awardees are required to submit a performance report annually. Reports are due according to the reporting schedule provided as part of the official award notification. Awardees must submit reports online using the IMLS electronic grants management system. In support of the agency’s commitment to open government, interim and final performance reports may be made accessible on the IMLS website to engage the public in communities of practice and to inform application development and grant-making strategies.
Not applicable.
Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other project records must be retained for three years following the submission of the final financial report.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. One-to-one cost share from non-federal sources is required for all requests. Matching requirements are mandatory.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Projects are anticipated to begin on August 1, 2024, and may be carried out for one to three years. Money awarded must be obligated within the approved period of performance specified in the Official Award Notification. Funds are anticipated to be released as advances or reimbursements in response to requests for payment
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Sandra Narva
955 L'Enfant Plaza North, SW
Washington, DC 20024 USA
Phone: 202-653-4634
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 22$0.00; FY 23 est $0.00; FY 24 est $2,000,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
In FY2024, requests may range from $100,000 to $500,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
2 C.F.R. part 200; 2 C.F.R. part 3187; 20 U.S.C. Chapter 72 Museum and Library Services Act of 2018, ? 9101-9176, in particular ? 9175(21st century museum professional program ). Guidelines are available online at https://www.imls.gov/grants/grant-programs or upon request from IMLS, 955 L'Enfant Plaza North, SW, Suite 4000, Washington DC 20024-2135. See the IMLS website at www.imls.gov for the most current program information.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


Federal Grants Resources