OER Affordability Grants

OER Affordability Grants, formally known as Implementation Grants, provide funding and staff support to UBC faculty who wish to incorporate open educational resources as required materials into their UBCV credit courses. The next grant cycle will open in fall 2024.


OER Affordability Grant proposals can request up to $25,000 over the life of the project which can run over two academic years with the possibility of extending projects for up to six months. This direct support can be used by UBCV faculty to support the adoption, adaptation, creation, and/or integration of OER into credit-based courses.

OER Affordability Grant proposals will be reviewed by an adjudication committee comprised of faculty, students and staff.

Successful proposals will:

  • Address affordability and access to learning materials, including those used for assessment, through the integration of high quality, freely available and accessible OER into UBCV credit courses as required learning materials.
  • Describe a clear plan for how the OER will be developed and/or integrated into courses to support and enhance learning outcomes as part of the course design.
  • Provide a sustainment plan for the OER, including how the resources will be curated and sustained beyond the OER funding period.
  • Include an evaluation plan complete with outcomes-based criteria that will be used to determine the project’s success and impact.
  • Commit to release and share the resources with an open license, such as a Creative Commons license, that allows others to freely adapt, modify, copy and/or redistribute the resources.
  • Adopt or develop materials that are in a format or on a platform that readily enables modifications or reuse of the content.
  • Commit to contributing the resources to the UBC OER Catalogue to facilitate discovery and sharing of the OER.

OER Fund Principles

The UBC OER Fund is guided by the following principles, developed in consultation with student and faculty leadership at the UBCV campus:

  • Increase the creation, adaptation, adoption, and integration of high-quality OER, including assessment materials, in UBC credit courses.
  • Reduce student costs for learning materials and assessments.
  • Enable instructors to modify, edit, or adapt high-quality OER to fit their unique specifications and goals in order to help provide meaningful, contextualized learning materials for UBC students.
  • Engage with the UBC community to increase awareness of OER.
  • Grow capacity at UBC to support and sustain OER activities.

OER Fund Priorities

During this round of funding, we particularly welcome proposals that focus on the following areas:

  • Projects that have high student impacts including, but not limited to: cost savings, number of students enrolled in courses where the resources are used, and the enhancement of student learning supported by the use of open resources and pedagogies.
  • Implementation of OER into multi-section courses or multiple courses.
  • Development and implementation of open test/quiz/problem banks and other interactive content that can be used for assessment.
  • Support for increasing awareness of OER.
  • Student involvement in the development and/or implementation of the open educational resources.
  • Incorporation and adaptation of existing high quality open educational resources.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The extent to which the proposal provides a clear rationale, methodology, and objectives that align with the OER Fund Principles and Priorities
  • The plans to meaningfully engage with equity, diversity and inclusion in terms of the proposed OER and/or the practices for its development, use, or reuse
  • The articulation of project outputs that are well defined and achievable
  • The alignment of how the OER will be used in courses with effective teaching and learning practices
  • The plans for the evaluation and sustainment of the OER



  • UBCV faculty are eligible to apply as Principal Applicants for funding. Faculty members may individually or jointly submit grant proposals.  Students and staff are welcome to apply as co-applicants.
  • Applicants can hold an OER Fund grant and external open education grants (e.g., BCcampus) to develop the same project if the use of the funding meets different project outcomes.


  • Proposals for the creation or development of technologies, new systems, or platforms are not eligible for this funding. For learning technology development, applicants should apply to the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF).
  • The OER Fund will not fund equipment purchases.
  • OER Funding cannot be used for travel funding or scholarly dissemination. Applicants who are seeking such support are encouraged to consider applying to the SoTL Dissemination Fund, which supports the publication of research on your OER with direct implications for pedagogy and student learning in higher education.
  • Principal Applicants to the OER Fund cannot hold more than one OER Fund grant concurrently. Co-applicants can be involved in more than one active OER Fund project at a time. Applicants may also not hold two OER Implementation Grants in consecutive years.

Requirement of Grant Recipients

  • Grant recipients will commit to integrating and sustaining OER developed with this funding as required learning material within UBCV courses.
  • Resources developed with the support of the OER Fund must have an open copyright license (e.g., Creative Commons) assigned to allow for reuse, remix, revision and redistribution of the content for educational purposes.
  • If students help to develop the teaching and learning materials as a part of their coursework, appropriate communication and permissions must be provided (See: Creating Open Education Resources – Having Students Publish Their Work)
  • If the finalized resources are published in a non-editable format (e.g. a text published as a .pdf), an editable version or source file (e.g. the .doc version of the text) must also be made available.
  • Projects must correctly attribute any third party open content that it has used or adapted, where required.
  • All developed materials will follow the guidelines in the Open UBC OER Accessibility Toolkit.
  • Grant recipients will acknowledge support from the UBC OER Fund within any adapted or newly created works. Project teams are encouraged to share their resources and experiences with interested colleagues, at UBC events, in media stories, and other venues.
  • Any adapted or developed resources will be listed in the UBC OER Catalogue.
  • Grant recipients will provide status updates as requested and complete a final report at the conclusion of the projects.
  • Projects will provide an evaluation of the OER that has been implemented through this grant.

Budget Considerations and Cost Estimates

Project budgets must be reasonable and in line with the objectives of the project. OER Fund grant budgets must include a clear explanation for all costs associated with the project.

  • OER Fund grants cannot be used to purchase external consulting or other types of services where expertise and support is available within UBC at a reasonable cost and in a timely manner.
  • Any catering requests should be proportionate and reasonable and clearly show how such support will maximize the benefit of the overall project goals.
  • You can consult with CTLT to develop the budget for your project either at OER Fund drop-in sessions or by contacting Will Engle, CTLT (will.engle@ubc.ca) to arrange a time for a private consultation.
  • For open textbook or PressBook-based development projects, the UBC Library has created this resource [PDF] which contains time estimates for project development that can be used to help inform your budget.

In developing an OER Fund proposal, an accurate budget projection is important. For your assistance, please see below a table of cost estimates for various services that can be included in OER Fund proposals. These estimates represent maximum amounts for various services that will be supported through the OER FUnd but you should budget on the basis of the actual cost of the people you are planning to employ in the project.

ItemEstimated Range of Cost
Student WagesIf you plan to employ students in OER Fund projects, you should use the below CUPE 2278 rates (as of September 2023) in determining your project budget. A portion ($8.00/hr) of the wages below may be subsidized under the UBC Work Learn Program. The CUPE 2278 rates below include vacation pay.

GTA I = $38.99/hr
GTA II = $37.53/hr
UTA I = $25.63/hr
UTA II = $23.48/hr

Although the above rates are described in terms TA roles, most OER projects employ students as as Undergraduate Academic Assistants or Graduate Academic Assistants as there are not often TA duties involved in OER development work.

When budgeting for student wages, please add 10% to these rates to cover benefit costs (e.g., employer paid portion of CPP and EI) to avoid going over budget when actual costs are deducted from the funding amount. Please check with your departmental finance/administrative manager to ensure that you are following departmental practice for hiring students.
Faculty course release$10,000 per course (OER Implementation Grants only. Limit is one course release per project).
Learning Resource Design / Instructional Design$75.90/hr (UBC staff)
Graphic Design;
copy editing
$37.53-38.99/hr (UBC graduate student)
$23.48-$25.63/hr (UBC undergraduate student)
$56.00-$75.90/hr (UBC staff)
Project Manager$37.53-38.990/hr (UBC graduate student)
$23.48-$25.63/hr (UBC undergraduate student)
$56.00-$75.90/hr (UBC staff)
Evaluation support/consultation$37.53-38.99/hr (UBC graduate student)
$23.48-$25.63/hr (UBC undergraduate student)
$56.00-$75.90/hr (UBC staff)

The CTLT Research and Evaluation Team can provide up to five hours of in-kind OER project evaluation support and consulting.
Additional WagesProject Worker: $17.23 – $18.43/hr
Project Assistant: $20.11 – $21.34/hr
Office/Library Worker: $18.02/hr
Researcher/Professional: $24.78 – $35.70/hr

Includes benefits
OER Hosting and SharingThe UBC Library and CTLT will support OER hosting and sharing. Free OER hosting is available through a number of platforms including UBC cIRcle, UBC Blogs, UBC CMS, UBC Wiki and external OER repositories.

Eligible Expenses

  • Course release coverage for a single term up to $10,000
  • Support for undergraduate and graduate student assistants
  • Support for copy editors, graphic designers, media production, and project management personnel
  • Support for peer, student, and community engagement, feedback, review, and participation activities

In Kind Support

The CTLT and UBC Library will provide in-depth information, consultation, and support on open textbooks, open educational resources, and open homework options to any prospective applicant. Additionally, the CTLT and UBC Library will provide in-kind support for successful grant applicants, which includes:

  • Identifying, evaluating, and adapting high-quality OER
  • Guidance and consulting on best practices for open licensure, such as Creative Commons
  • Copyright review of third-party materials
  • Pedagogical consulting on effective implementation of OER to support the projects’ teaching and learning goals
  • Consulting on accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles
  • Learning technology and OER publishing platform support and consulting
  • Consultation and support in sharing OER in open access repositories and through the UBC OER Catalogue
  • Instructional and open resource design expertise
  • Project evaluation consulting

Submission Process & Adjudication

All proposal applications must be submitted through the OER Affordability Grant online form. The deadline for applications is January 18, 2024 at 3pm.

Departmental Head Approval

For OER Implementation grants, the Department Head/Unit Head, Director, or equivalent of the Principal Applicant, must be consulted and agree to support the project.

As part of the application process, the applicants must confirm that their Department Head/Unit Head, Director, or equivalent has been consulted on the nature of the project, is aware of potential resource commitments, including any potential faculty releases, and has agreed to support the project, which is indicated by their signature below. If there are resource commitments from the departments of any co-applicants, their Department Heads must also be aware of, and in support of the project.

Attend a Consulting Session

Between September and November, we will be hosting weekly drop-in consulting sessions. The full schedule of OER Fund consulting sessions, as well as OER related workshops, is available on the CTLT Events Open Education Calendar.

Project Budgets

  • Please see the OER Fund Apply page for cost estimates, including student or staff hourly wages. Project budgets must be reasonable and in line with the objectives of the project. OER Implementation Grant budgets must include a clear explanation for all costs associated with the project.
  • OER Implementation grants cannot be used to purchase external consulting or other types of services where expertise and support is available within UBC at a reasonable cost and in a timely manner.
  • Any catering requests should be proportionate and reasonable and clearly show how such support will maximize the benefit of the overall project goals.
  • You can consult with CTLT to develop the budget for your project either at OER Fund drop-in sessions or by contacting Will Engle, CTLT (will.engle@ubc.ca) to arrange a time for a private consultation

Adjudication Committee

The OER Affordability Grants Adjudication Committee will review all applications and make funding decisions. The CTLT Projects and Faculty Partnerships team will provide administrative support for the UBC OER Fund. Please see the Adjudication Committee page for a list of individual members

Important Dates

2024 OER Affordability Grant CycleDates
Call for ProposalsSeptember 19, 2023
Application DeadlineJanuary 18, 2024 at 3pm
Adjudication CompleteLate February, 2024
Funding StartsApril 1, 2024
Implementation/Completion Deadline*April 1, 2026
*Latest possible implementation cut-off. Projects may be implemented any time within the year.

Application Form

All proposals must be submitted through the OER Affordability Grant online form. Please see the OER Fund Apply page for more information and application templates that you can use to develop your proposal.