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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Introduction to basic OER concepts, how to find and incorporate them into your course, creating and modifying OER, and getting UofM training on OER

Grants for OER

There are a wide variety of governmental agencies and private foundations that will offer grants to encourage the increased use of Open Educational Resources. This page covers some basic considerations when reviewing potential grants, support available, and some major grant opportunities. 

Some Considerations When Looking for OER Grants

Here are some questions to ask yourself when reviewing an OER grant request for proposals:

  • What are they asking you to do (ex. create new OER, revise/remix existing OER, implement existing OER in non-OER course, incorporate Open Educational Practices/Open Pedagogy)?
  • How will you meet requirements for accessibility and sustainability of OER outputs?
  • Are there any required characteristics for courses or programs covered (ex. general education, high enrollment, in-demand occupations, online) or of students supported (ex. low income, first generation, online only)? 
  • What are the open licensing requirements of the outputs?
  • How will you access outcomes?
  • Are there requirements to deposit in particular OER repositories?
  • What is the timeline for implementation? 
  • What can you fund, such as software, resources, and support personnel?

Grant Support

Contact Carl Hess at or at ext. 8209 for assistance on OER concepts and resources necessary for developing or supporting an OER grant. Some example services might include: 

  • Introduction to open licenses
  • Discovery of existing OER in a given subject area
  • Overview of software and other resources for creating and remixing OER
  • Resources available for hosting and sustaining OER
  • Information on Open Educational Practices/Open Pedagogy techniques
  • Gathering existing research on OER

Major OER Grant Opportunities

Open Textbooks Pilot Program | U.S. Department of Education

  • The Open Textbooks Pilot Program funds proposals for the creation or expanded of OER in degree-granting programs, especially if they are for high enrollment courses and programs or programs that prepare for for in-demand fields.  
  • Grant request for proposals is released in the spring (May 2022), and proposals are due in the summer (July 2022). 
  • The estimated range of awards for 2022 is $500,000-$2,000,000.

Open Educational Resources Grant Program | Tennessee Board of Regents

  • The TBR OER Grant Program funds proposals to increase low-cost and no-cost educational materials in order to increase success rates and improve educational outcomes for traditionally underserved students.
  • These grants are open to public, locally-governed institutions like the University of Memphis. 
  • Grant request for proposals is announced in the winter (January 2022), and proposals are due in the spring (March 2022).
  • Recipients develop resources in the summer and fall to be implemented in courses the following spring. 
  • Grants in Cycle 3 (FY23) were divided into Tier 1 (creating new OER for courses, maximum $5,000/team member), Tier 2 (creating new OER for courses and incorporating Open Educational Practices, maximum $7,500/team member), and Tier 2b (incorporating Open Educational Practices for those who were funded in Cycles 1 and 2, maximum $2,500/team member). 

Other Tennessee OER Grants | Tennessee Open Education

  • There are some other periodic grant programs provided by the state. 
    • For example, the Online Affordable Instructional Materials Grant funds the creation or expansion of OER usage in online general education courses at four-year institutions and takes submissions in the summer (July 2022). The maximum grant in 2022 was $20,000.
  • Grant call for proposals are shared on the Tennessee Open Education website
  • Tennessee grant call for proposals and other opportunities are also sent out on the Tennessee Textbook Affordability listserv, which can be joined from the Tennessee Open Education website. 

This guide was created by Dr. Meredith Heath Boulden on behalf of the University of Memphis Libraries and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License    unless otherwise noted. This guide is currently maintained by Carl Hess