The current publishing price models for many academic journals and textbooks, where publishers use the knowledge and expertise of university faculty to create content priced beyond a level sustainable for academic libraries and many students, demand exploration of alternative publishing models. Acknowledging this growing challenge, the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) Libraries are exploring multiple alternative models to fund the quality scholarship published by our faculty. UTA's Coalition for Alternative Resources in Education for Students (CARES) grant program provides up to $5000 in grant funding to support projects at UTA that advance the practice of open education.
Through this program, UTA Libraries join colleagues at other academic libraries and universities in partnering with faculty to support the adoption and creation of open educational resources (OER). OER can reduce financial barriers that may impede student success, while open pedagogy can transform the educational experience for both teachers and students.
Incorporating open practices such as these into teaching and learning drives innovation, collaboration, and creativity. The UTA CARES grant program catalyzes growth in these areas by supporting the adoption, adaptation, and creation of OER and the implementation of open pedagogy projects.
Who may apply?
Applications will be accepted from current UTA faculty, staff, and students with teaching responsibilities or responsibilities for selecting and coordinating educational resources for UTA courses.
What types of projects are supported?
Projects that accomplish the following will be considered:
How is funding distributed?
Awards may not exceed $5000. Budget justifications should be submitted with each application. Half of the total awarded amount will be paid via Interdepartmental Transfer upon completion of a memorandum of understanding between UTA Libraries and the grant recipient. Grant recipients are responsible for working with their departments to provide a local cost center to transfer these funds. The remaining half will be transferred, also via Interdepartmental Transfer, at the end of the first semester of implementation, following receipt of a final project report.
What are the proposal requirements?
Project proposals should include the following components. Additional information is located in the table below. Proposal documents should not exceed 10 pages in total.
What additional expectations exist?
Grant recipients are required to complete a memorandum of understanding with the Libraries, which includes the following expectations:
How are award decisions made?
This is a competitive grant award. Preference will be given to projects that utilize or create the most openly licensed materials and that have the greatest impact as described in the application narrative. Requests may not be funded in full.
Proposal Deadline: May 30, 2017
Awards Announcement: June 12, 2017
Projects are expected to be implemented by the start of the Spring 2018 semester. Timelines may vary.
The narrative should include the following components:
This section should identify the goals of the project and place it in the context of the purpose of the UTA CARES grant program as described in the overview.
This section should describe who will benefit from the project and how. Impact can be measured in a variety of ways, including cost savings to students and contributions to the profession and/or community.
This section should provide a detailed description of the proposed organization and implementation of the project and a timeline of activities. Include whatever details are necessary to enable an evaluator of the application to understand the project and the costs related to various elements of it.
Note: Proposal documents should not exceed 10 pages in total.
Grants may be requested to pay student assistants, salaries, and other expenses related to the project. Travel is not supported. All expenses should be justified in the application narrative.
The applicant may request salary support for any personnel who will be working on the project. Salary supplements are allowable; the awardee’s department is required to process salary supplements via UTFlow Form ‘Additional Pay’ and obtain provost approval. Faculty can budget summer salary representing the amount of time needed to complete the specific aims of the project. The amount of time an individual will spend on the project is expressed as a percentage of their monthly salary or calendar months of effort.
Funding requests must cover both salary and fringe benefits for all project members.
Note: Proposal documents should not exceed 10 pages in total.
Is a template available?
We don’t offer a template because the types of projects the grant program supports can vary tremendously. However, if you’re considering an OER adoption or creation project, a number of other universities have created templates that may be helpful. The University of Kansas, for example, provides a nice template for their OER grant initiative. You can also find examples of projects supported by similar library initiatives by visiting U Mass Amherst’s OER site and Open Oregon’s resources page.
How will the resulting OER be evaluated?
UTA Libraries will not provide feedback on the disciplinary content included in the OER, though grant recipients can elect to pursue a more rigorous peer review process. Copy editing, proofreading, and ensuring accessibility are responsibilities of the grant recipient. OER in the form of multimedia, such as videos or audio, must be compliant with accessibility standards and include a transcript and, preferably, closed captioning. Consult the BC Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit for additional information about ensuring accessibility of other OER components, including for images, tables, and hyperlinks.
Can you share examples of open education projects?
Yes, you can find examples on our Introduction to Open Pedagogy guide and on our Introduction to Open Educational Resources guide. Teaching Commons is another excellent resource for locating the products of open educational practice.
Components of this guide were adapted from the guidelines of multiple grant programs, including those offered by the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the American Library Association. Layout was based on UTA Libraries’ Go Open Fund guide created by Jody Bailey.