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UTA CARES: Open Education Grant Program: Home

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:

  • Adopt an OER to replace a high-cost textbook or resource package
  • Create ancillary materials (quiz bank, glossary, etc.) to pair with existing OER
  • Publish a new OER from existing OER and faculty-authored content
  • Lead a new OER creation project in collaboration with other institutions/contributors
  • Contribute to the creation of a new OER
  • Develop a course-integrated open pedagogy project
  • Design or update a course with an emphasis on open principles

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.

  • Application form
  • Narrative
  • Budget
  • Letter of support from dean or director

What additional expectations exist?

Grant recipients are required to complete a memorandum of understanding with the Libraries, which includes the following expectations:

  • Grant recipients must give permission for the Libraries to deposit educational resources resulting from the grant in ResearchCommons, UTA's institutional repository.
  • Grant recipients are required to share with the Libraries usage statistics for any resources housed outside of UTA’s Research Commons.
  • Educational resources resulting from the grant must be licensed under an open license, such as the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. Resources may not be licensed with a Creative Commons No Derivatives clause.
  • Open pedagogy projects must include a copyright education component for students.This may be accomplished in a variety of ways, including via a course presentation by a librarian.
  • Grant recipients are required to share data that assists in measuring the impact of the project.
  • Grant recipients will be asked to circulate surveys to all students in courses in which an open education project is implemented.
  • Grant recipients are required to submit a final project report summarizing the challenges and accomplishments of the project and its impact on student performance.
  • Grant recipients may be asked to share additional experiences working on the project with the Libraries and allow the dissemination of those observations through a variety of communication channels, including in IRIS 
  • In any publication or presentation about the project, the grant recipient should acknowledge that full or partial support came from the UTA CARES grant program administered by the UTA Libraries.

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.

Proposal Requirements

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.

Planned Activities
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.

Salary Guidelines

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.

Where can I learn more?
Open Washington offers an OER on understanding, finding, and using OER. "How to use Open Educational Resources" is a self-paced course delivered in nine modules.


Apply Now

The submission period for the UTA CARES grant program is currently closed.


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.