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Many instructors are interested in replacing expensive course materials—such as textbooks and other course readings—with Open Educational Resources (OER) that are free to use, remix, and revise. Because the River Campus Libraries (RCL) staff understand the time and effort required to implement open educational practices, we are piloting the RCL Open Education Grant Program. Grant awardees will receive funding and benefit from library support to aid the adaptation, creation, and publication of their work.

Goals of the grant program

  • Create a more accessible and equitable learning environment for students 
  • Support instructors in creating openly-licensed course materials
  • Empower students as co-creators of course materials through open pedagogy practices
  • Ensure that the University of Rochester is an active contributor to open initiatives across higher education 
  • Celebrate instructors who have adopted OER into their courses


Eligibility requirements 

  • Grant applications must relate to a credit-bearing course or to a program that supports impactful learning on the River Campus within the next two academic years. Eligible applicants include faculty, adjunct instructors, staff, and graduate students.


Requirements and expectations for projects

  • Selected grantees will be required to:
    • Meet with librarian(s) for an OER consultation
    • Submit an implementation plan along with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
    • Publish any new or derivative OER under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY or equivalent) in University of Rochester Research and one additional OER repository; ensuring that materials meet relevant accessibility standards and are easily edited.
    • Participate in at least one speaking engagement or interview to share their experience of creating an open resource with the University of Rochester community. RCL routinely hosts relevant events; however, awardees are not limited to RCL-sponsored engagements.
  • Track 1 & 2 projects are expected to be implemented within a year, while Track 3 & 4 projects are expected to be implemented within 1-2 years.
  • Timeline for payments: Payments of grant funding will be split.
    • The first half will be paid out after signing the MOU
    • The second half will be paid upon submission of the final report


Types of projects to be considered

Grant tracks

Estimated Funding

Possible activities, time, and spending involved

Track 1: Re-licensing existing material to be made OER

 Up to $200

- Investigating the options for Creative Commons licenses
- Identifying appropriate repositories for distribution
- Preparing the material for easy reuse
- Confirming permissions to distribute openly by University Legal

Track 2: Creating videos, modules, and/or adapting an existing OER textbook

 Up to $800

- Activities from Track 1
- Identifying, acquiring, and/or training in select tools
- Finding, creating, editing
- Hiring a research assistant

Track 3: Redesigning a course to include open pedagogy practices


Up to $1500

- Activities from Tracks 1-2
- Identifying the areas within a course that could be converted to open pedagogy
- Revising assignments that engage students in participatory content creation
- Determining the appropriate digital tools and partnering with the library for needed set up or training
- Collaborating with the library to ensure students understand their rights as content creators
- Realigning a typical course syllabus
- Preparing oneself for a more flexible flow to the course’s natural progression

Track 4: Publishing a textbook

 Up to $4,000

- Activities from Tracks 1-3
- Identifying the gap in content to be filled with new publication
- Enlisting potential collaborators
- Developing the textbook structure and content
- Gathering and creating ancillary materials
- Enrolling in Rebus’s Textbook Success Program
- Committing to and utilizing an appropriate publishing platform


Applying for the RCL Open Education Grant

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, beginning July 5, 2022 and will continue to be reviewed until funds are exhausted. A total of $10,000 is available for this program pilot.


Application Supports


Questions regarding this grant can be directed to RCLOpenEdGrant@library.rochester.edu