OER Funding Application

On December 9, 2019, the Office of the Provost will again invite proposals from faculty for projects to adapt, adopt, and/or create open education resources (OER) for an existing course. Proposals will be due Wednesday, February 19, 2020.

OER is defined as high-quality curricular materials—textbooks, lab notebooks, videos—that are free to students at Pitt and other institutions and allow legal permission for open use and adaptation. Open use means that anyone is free to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute these educational materials as long as attribution is made to the original creator/author.

Information about open education resources, including where to locate peer reviewed resources, can be found at University Library System Course & Subject Guides: Open Educational Resources.

Learn about previous funded projects at the Open Education Resource Grants 2019 page.

Funding Range of Proposals

  • Adoption/Adaptation Grants: Small grants ranging from $500–$2,000 to adopt/adapt an open textbook or OER course component such as online homework, lab manuals, or support materials.
  • Development Grants: Development funding from $2,000–$5,000 to support individual or team-based development of open textbooks, or for combining an open textbook with course-specific development.

Projects involving courses with high enrollments and faculty who wish to adopt or create an OER for a core class are especially encouraged to apply.


Pitt faculty (tenure or appointment stream) on all campuses may apply individually or as a team.


Pitt faculty may get assistance from the Teaching Center (teaching@pitt.edu) or the University Library System for developing their grant. Faculty are also encouraged to work with both the Library and Teaching Center if they receive a grant.

Application Format

Campus address
Email address
Telephone number

Course name and number
Semester(s) course will be taught
Expected enrollment
Title and cost of current textbook or course materials
Estimated savings for students using OER

Please select one of the following:

  • I am requesting funds to create a brand new OER
  • I am requesting funds to integrate an existing OER into my course
  • I am requesting funds to combine a variety of OER resources and redesign my course.

Total funds requested with a simple breakdown of how the funds will be used.

  1. Describe why you wish to adopt or create an OER for your course. (Up to 100 words)
  2. Have you found open textbooks and/or OER suitable to your course? If so, please list them here with links to their online availability. (Up to 200 words)
  3. How will you integrate the OER resource into your course? Please provide a simple timeline that includes the develop cycle, implementation cycle, the required technology for faculty, including the technology that students will need in order to use your OER, and evaluation. (Up to 200 words)
  4. How will Pitt students access your OER (required devices, platforms, etc.)? In which open education platform do you plan to deposit your work (refer to library guide above)? (Up to 200 words)
  5. Describe your plan to work with the Library and Teaching Center to integrate the OER. (Up to 100 words)
  6. Describe your plan for evaluating the outcomes. What benefits do you hope to achieve by using OER, and how will you evaluate whether you met them? (Up to 200 words)
  7. Include a budget showing how your funds will be used. (Template provided)
  8. Include a signed letter of support from your department chair. (Template provided)

Submission Format

Complete proposals should be submitted using the application management tool »

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Feasibility of the applicant implementing OER within the project’s timeframe.
  2. The likelihood the resource will be used in future semesters and/or generalizability of the resource to other courses at the university (estimated savings for Pitt students).
  3. A plan for assessment of the resource or course outcomes

Review Process

Proposals will be reviewed by members of the OER standing committee in consultation with additional faculty experts.


The submission deadline is February 19, 2020. Projects are expected to be completed, and the open education resource must be used in a course, within the following academic year, i.e., 2020–2021.

Award notification by March 16, 2020.

Awardees should plan to attend the Open Education Resources reception on March 30, 2020.

At the Completion of the Project

  1. A project outcomes report must be submitted at the end of the project
  2. You agree to be featured on the Pitt OER web page after the completion of your project which may include writing a brief article, recording a podcast, or speaking in a brief video.
  3. Recipients must openly license the resource created or adapted with a Creative Commons license and be willing to share it in an open education repository such as OER Commons.