Affordable Learning Grant:
Call for Proposals

Funding for Oregon State faculty to adapt, adopt or author an open textbook is now available through OSU’s Open Educational Resources Unit.

An open textbook is a textbook licensed under an open copyright license and made available online to be freely used by students, faculty and members of the public.

Open textbooks and other OER can be mixed and matched, edited and supplemented with new materials – allowing you to use only the parts you want or need. Open textbooks can also be printed at low cost.

Most importantly, using an open textbook means all of your students will have access to their text on the first day of class.

2020-21 Affordable Learning Grant

Grant types

  • Adopt an existing open textbook or OER
  • Adapt an existing open textbook or OER
  • Author new open textbook or OER

Grant funding levels

Bacc core/High-enrollment grant Replaces any bacc core required course materials with open access materialsandhas the potential to impact more than 500 students annually Up to $15,000 See eligibility criteria for high enrollment courses below.
Large-scale grant Department- or program-level replacement of a text used in multiple courses or sections Between $8,000-$10,000 This is a commitment by an entire department or program to move to an OER.
Standard grant Replaces a required textbook with open access materials for any class Up to $5,000  
Mini-grant Updates to an existing open textbook published by Oregon State University Up to $3,000 This is for current OSU faculty who have published an open textbook and want to make changes tothe content

* - Amount depends in part on the grant type


All faculty who teach a course using a conventional textbook – one that students must purchase or rent – are eligible to apply for a grant. Your courses may be delivered face to face, online or in a hybrid format.

Eligibility criteria for the bacc core/high-enrollment grant

  • Must propose a change that will affect approximately 500 students annually
  • Must replace required course materials that add up to $100 or more

Criteria for successful proposals

  • OSU faculty member is the sole or primary author
  • Student savings during grant period compared to grant amount
  • Quality considerations such as accessibility of proposed content; support for user experience and curriculum; and appeal for future adoption in other settings
  • Inclusion of a quantitative or qualitative assessment plan
  • Geared toward a specific field of study
  • Connects with one of Oregon State's institutional goals or one of the signature areas of distinction
  • A statement of support from a department head, dean or assistant/associate dean

Requirements for all grantees

  • Publish their work under a Creative Commons (CC BY) or other open license
  • Attend a grantee workshop and meeting with the OER unit
  • Work with their department to determine a mutually acceptable disbursement process
  • Participate in long-range assessments of the grant’s impact on students’ learning
  • Obtain written agreement to license the work of contributors and collaborators working on the project as CC BY 4.0 International; submit permissions document; and give credit in the work
  • Use only CC BY licensed works, public domain materials or their own originally authored works; the authors must secure any necessary rights to existing content included in the final text and clearly mark this content in the submitted draft
  • Relinquish the possibility of selling or transferring exclusive rights for grant-funded work in such a way that would limit the materials form being editable and freely available
  • Submit a one-page project evaluation at the time specified in the project timeline in Appendix 1.
  • Use the work in courses offered for at least two terms after the completion of the project
  • Submit a written impact assessment at the end of the two terms specified above


The author(s) will be compensated with an agreed upon amount that will be processed as a Budget Change JV to a dedicated index within their department(s). These funds may be used for purposes such as a course buy-out, professional travel or research support.

Limited advances may be available, with the schedule for disbursement and associated deliverables to be determined in consultation with the author(s).


OSU’s Open Educational Resources Unit will provide support to grantees. Examples of support include:

  • Assistance in locating appropriate, openly licensed course materials
  • Build content in PressBooks to create a new OER
  • ADA compliance review
  • Media development
  • Workshops and professional development

Review and selection committee

A committee of representatives from Oregon State Ecampus, teaching faculty, the student body and OSU Libraries will review proposals. The committee will give preference to proposals that are expected to deliver the greatest cost savings to students (the number of students expected to enroll, multiplied by the average cost of the book being replaced).


Proposals are due March 21 at 5 p.m. PT.

OER workshop series: If you are thinking about applying for one of the Affordable Learning grants and have some questions, please come to one of the workshops on the Events page


Funding for the Affordable Learning Grants is provided by OSU Ecampus.