Open Educational Resources Grant and Support Program

Open Educational Resources Grant

What is Western’s OER Grant and Support Program?

The Open Education Resources (OER) Grant and Support Program offers instructor funding and in-kind supports to integrate OER into teaching. The program is a partnership between Western Libraries, the Information Technology Resource Centre, Centre for Teaching and Learning, and Western Research’s Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team.

OER are educational materials — such as textbooks, videos, and test banks — that are openly licensed and freely available for anyone to use. OER can be tailored to the unique structure and context of a course. They can also reduce student financial barriers by removing the need to buy commercial materials.

$25,000 is available across three categories:

  • Creation (up to $7,500 per grant): Create or develop a new open textbook or other open educational resource.
  • Adaptation (up to $5,000 per grant): Identify and customize an existing open textbook or other OER to better align with your course. This includes creating an updated or localized edition of an existing open textbook, or creating supporting materials such as test banks, slide decks, videos, or interactive media.
  • Adoption (up to $1,000 per grant): Identify and use an existing open textbook or other OER for your course.

Grant recipients have access to in-kind supports from Western Libraries, the Information Technology Resource Centre, and the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Some in-kind supports require that co-curricular learning opportunities tie to one or more course or degree program milestones.

Applications for the 2022-23 program are now closed.


Any instructor of a Western University credit-bearing course or co-curricular learning opportunity can apply, including instructional teams, instructional assistants, and staff in educational roles.

Co-curricular learning includes, but is not limited to, Western-sponsored learning opportunities that fall outside the traditional classroom. For example, learning skills development, library instruction, or experiential learning.

Applicants are encouraged to identify instructor and/or student collaborators in their applications. Each instructor will receive a grant for only one project on which they are the designated lead.

Funding Guidelines

Grant funds will be available to successful applicants via their home department in May 2022, to be spent by April 30, 2023. Projects must be completed and ready for use during the 2023-24 academic year.

We expect to fund a maximum of three projects in a single category, with projects from a variety of disciplines. The number of grants depends on the types and quality of applications received.

Eligible expenses include the costs of labour and expertise needed to adopt, adapt, or create an OER, beyond the in-kind support provided by program partners. This includes paying students and research assistants, editors, or copy editors. Funds may also be used to pay for software.

Ineligible expenses are hardware, conference registration, or travel costs. Teaching release is not covered by this funding, nor are faculty and staff salaries.

Unspent funds must be returned to Western Libraries at the end of the fiscal year.

Evaluation Criteria

A panel will evaluate all program applications using a standardized rubric. Criteria includes:

  • Applicants’ commitment to Open, with demonstrated interest in sharing project within and beyond Western University.
  • Potential impact and benefit to students (including, and in addition to, cost savings).
  • Evidence of need for OER on identified topic (applies to Adaptation and Creation categories).
  • Feasible project scope, timelines, and budget.

Special consideration will be given to projects that aim to support or put equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization into practice.

Read the full Evaluation Rubric.

Expectations of Grant Recipients

  • Communicate updates, decisions, and required supports to your Western Libraries OER program liaison.
  • Attend Cohort Calls to share project updates and learnings with other grant recipients (one call in each of the summer 2022, fall 2022, and winter 2023 terms).
  • Release Adaptation and Creation projects with the appropriate license (e.g., Creative Commons license) to allow others to freely retain, revise, reuse, remix, and/or redistribute content.
  • Deposit in Scholarship@Western and the eCampusOntario Open Library, and in other open repositories as desired/appropriate.
  • Adhere to guidelines and best practices for accessible resources.
  • Submit a final assessment at the end of the funding cycle in April 2023.

In-Kind Supports

Available for all projects:

  • Choosing, designing, or adapting instructional approaches with the resource (e.g., self-directed learning activities and assessments; organization and sequencing of topics or information).
  • Creating, assessing, or redesigning course or lesson learning outcomes.
  • Locating additional existing, open license resources.
  • Explaining copyright and Creative Commons licensing.

For Adaptation and Creation projects only:

  • Creating digital media (available from the Information Technology Resource Centre for projects connected to courses or achievement of program milestones).
  • Using Pressbooks open publishing platform to migrate or create text content.
  • Metadata, repository deposit, ISBNs, and/or DOIs.

2022 Grant Recipients

Alexis Smith, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing

  • Project title: Adopting OER in Nursing to Further Student Learning in Mental Health
  • Adoption, $500

Candance Brunette-Debassige, Faculty of Education

  • Project title: Indigenous Teaching and Learning Series Module: Working with Indigenous Students
  • Creation, $7,500

Courtney Casserly, Clinical Neurological Sciences

  • Project title: A STROKE of Genius: Teamwork makes Dreamwork
  • Creation, $7,500

Donna Kotsopoulos, Faculty of Education

  • Project title: Project Open & Accessible: Instructor tool for evaluating OERs for course inclusion
  • Creation, $5,000

Vera Sarina, Faculty of Education

  • Project title: The Living Tree of Mathematics: Word Problems trhough Wolrd History and Cultures. A multi-media book for students at universities and beyond. 
  • Creation, $4,500


Email for assistance.

This funding program aligns with Western’s strategic commitment to promote teaching and learning for the future by leveraging new technologies and supporting continuous innovation in teaching.