Affordable Learning Grant

Call for Proposals

The Open Educational Resources Unit is pleased to announce that funding for faculty to adapt, adopt or author an open textbook or ancillary materials is now available.

As many of you know, the cost of commercial textbooks, along with the cost of tuition and living expenses in general, keeps rising. 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 open educational resources (OER) can be mixed and matched, edited and have new materials added to them. Open textbooks and course materials allow you to pick and choose and use only the parts you want or need. Open textbooks can also be printed at low cost.

Using an open textbook is an important step in making learning more affordable and equitable, in retention and student success. Most importantly, using an open textbook means all students will have access to the text on the first day of class.

Grant Goals

  • To reduce the cost of learning materials for OSU students.
  • To improve access to course learning materials.
  • To improve learner success.
  • To create high-quality, openly licensed, accessible content that will be shared online with anyone who wishes to use it.

Grant Types

  • Update an existing OER/open textbook project — funds the updating of an existing OER project (completed at OSU) to keep content current.
  • Adopt an existing open textbook or OER — funds discovery and implementation of an existing OER/open textbook for your course.
  • Adapt an existing open textbook or OER — funds the merging of two or more OER/open textbooks to create a new OER/open textbook for your course.
  • Author a new open textbook, course ancillary materials* or OER. 

The OERU is open to creative ideas and welcomes the opportunity to brainstorm additional options with potential authors or adapters.

Grant Funding Levels and Descriptions



Funding Available



Less than 25% of an existing OER/open textbook

Up to $3,000

More than 25% of an existing OER/open textbook

Up to $5,000


Supports up to 100 students per term

Up to $5,000

Supports between 100 and 300 students per term

Up to $6,000

Supports more than 300 students per term

Up to $7,000


Supports up to 100 students per term

Up to $6,000

Supports between 100 and 300 students per term

Up to $7,000

Supports more than 300 students per term

Up to $8,000


Supports any number of students. Must be an original text or ancillary materials*


*Ancillary materials may include test questions/quiz banks, homework banks, instructor support materials, etc.


All faculty (tenured, tenure-track and instructors) who would normally teach a course using a conventional textbook (that students must purchase or rent in print or electronically) will be eligible to apply for a grant. Courses may be face-to-face, hybrid and/or online.

Criteria for Successful Proposals

  • Oregon State faculty member is the sole or primary author.
  • Student savings during the grant period compared to the 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.
  • Connects with one of the institutional goals and one of the signature areas of distinction.
  • A statement of support from your department head and assistant/associate dean or dean.

All grantees will be required to:

  • Attend the required workshops and meetings with the OER project manager on a regular basis.
  • Work with your department to determine a mutually acceptable disbursement process.
  • 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 your own originally authored works or works created by the OERU. The Author(s) must secure any necessary rights to existing content included in the final text and clearly mark this content in the submitted draft.
  • Provide complete citations and attributions for all images, graphs, charts or other media.
  • Prioritize making the content accessible and inclusive.
  • 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 1-page project evaluation at the time specified in the project timeline in Appendix 1.
  • Use the work in courses offered for at least 2 terms after the completion of the project.
  • Submit a written impact assessment at the end of the 2 terms of use.
  • Submit the completed materials to the OER Commons.


Funding is provided from Ecampus (OERU) to the Academic Unit, which has sole discretion in how the funds are distributed.

Funds will be processed as a Budget Change JV to a dedicated index within your department. These funds may be used for purposes such as course buy-out, professional travel, research support, etc. Advances may be available, with the schedule for disbursement and associated deliverables to be determined in consultation with the author.


The Open Educational Resources Unit will provide support to grantees. Examples of support include:

  • Assistance in locating appropriate openly licensed course materials
  • Building content in PressBooks to create a new Open Educational Resource
  • ADA compliance review
  • Media development
  • Workshops and professional development

Review and selection committee

An Editorial Board made up of representatives from Ecampus, teaching faculty, the student body and the library will review applications, giving preference to applications 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).

Deadline for Proposals

Proposals are due at 5 p.m. PST. If you are considering applying for one of the Affordable Learning Grants, contact Stefanie Buck to learn more.

Proposals are reviewed by a committee 3 times a year. Calls for proposals will be posted in OSU Today.

RFP Proposals Due
4/8/24 4/24/24

To submit your proposal, please use the OER proposal template and email the completed form to Stefanie Buck.

Access OER proposal template


Funding for the Affordable Learning Grants is provided by the Division of Educational Ventures.