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UTA CARES Grant Program: FAQ

Information on grants that support the adoption, modification, and creation of open educational resources (OER) at UTA.

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 information should I include in the narrative?

The narrative should include the following components:

  • Objectives: 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.
  • Impact: 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.

Please note that a narrative is not required for Adoption Stipends.

How is funding distributed?

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 cost center must begin with the number 3 (such as 310000). Cost centers that begin with a 5 are usually endowed or special interest cost centers, and UTA Libraries cannot transfer funds to those cost centers. The remaining half of the funding will be transferred, also via Interdepartmental Transfer, at the end of the first semester of implementation following receipt of a final project report. 

How can the funding be used?

Grants may be requested to pay student assistants, salaries, and other expenses related to the project or sharing project outcomes. Community events that facilitate the creation and adoption of new OER are also supported (e.g., departmental creation sprints), as is travel in most situations. All expenses should be justified in the application narrative. Please note that the narrative and budget are not required for Adoption Stipends.

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. All budgets must be itemized, and salary and fringe must be listed separately for each person on the project team.

What additional expectations exist?

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

  • Grant recipients are required to attend the UTA CARES grantee training series. 
  • Grant recipients are required to provide UTA Libraries a monthly update on project progress.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Courses supported by this grant program must qualify for UTA's "free educational resources" attribute and must be reported before the start of registration each semester via the Reporting Free Resources form

Can I receive grant funding for adopting an open textbook in a course if students are also required to purchase access to a homework platform?

No, UTA CARES grants are available only for courses that transition fully to zero-cost resources. UTA Libraries are exploring the use of open source platforms (e.g., WeBWorK) and existing software (e.g., Canvas) to replace the use of propriety homework systems, and we welcome Innovation Grant applications that aim to pilot such platforms.

How are award decisions made?

This is a competitive grant award. Preference will be given to projects that utilize or create the most open materials, that have the greatest impact as described in the application narrative, and that foster collaboration and interdisciplinary connections. Departmental funding history may also impact award decisions with preference given to departments and applicants that have not received UTA CARES funding in this or previous funding cycles. Requests may not be funded in full.

Where can I find OER?

The Libraries' Introduction to OER provides resources for getting started. Subject librarians and members of the OER team are available to assist applicants in locating OER or library-licensed content to replace current educational resources. Consultations are available by appointment.

Are OER peer reviewed?

Many OER are peer reviewed, though the review process varies. UTA CARES grantees are responsible for determining the level of peer review necessary for their work. The peer review process is not facilitated by Mavs Open Press, nor are peer reviewers compensated directly by Mavs Open Press. Applicants may request funding in their budget proposal to pay reviewers. 

Are proofreading or copyediting provided?

Mavs Open Press does not provide proofreading or copyeditings services. However, a separate pool of funding is available for OER authors to hire freelance editors. Applicants should note in the application whether the need for such services is anticipated. 

What is open pedagogy?

Open pedagogy is the practice of engaging with students as creators of information rather than simply consumers of it. It's a form of experiential learning in which students demonstrate understanding through the act of creation. Examples of open assignments are available on our Introduction to Open Pedagogy guide. Open pedagogy projects supported by the UTA CARES Grant Program 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.

Other Funding Sources


The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) announced OER development grants of up $25,000 and implementation grants of up to $5,000 for Texas Core Curriculum courses. The application deadline is June 15, 2020. Details on THECB website.