OER Rapid Innovation Grants

The OER Rapid Innovation Grants provide funding for a wide range of activities and events that seek to engage the UBC community in increasing awareness and capacity for supporting and sustaining the adoption, adaption, and creation of OER at UBC V.


OER Rapid Innovation proposals can request up to $2,000 per grant. Applications will be reviewed several times per term by the Open UBC Working Group with a total of $24,000 in funded grants per year. Proposals will be funded continually, with no specific application deadlines and limited only by the allocated funds per year. Grants are not awarded on a competitive basis.

Proposals will be funded until the fund depletes. The intent is to distribute funds to maximize direct benefits to a wide range of projects and across a diversity of disciplines, units, or UBC organizations. Projects should happen within the current fiscal year.

The OER Fund Rapid Innovation Grants are available for all members of the UBCV community, including faculty, students and staff.

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.

Examples of Activities Funded

Collaborative Open Resource Authoring

  • Open Resource Sprint facilitation
  • Learning/Resource design consultation
  • Community engagement
  • Participation activities (e.g., gift cards for prizes, honorariums, etc.)

Rapid OER Prototyping and Implementation

  • Adoption/adaptation and deployment of OER within a course within a short timeframe
  • Porting of existing assessment materials to open test/quiz/problem banks or repositories
  • Refinement and sharing of already implemented OER
  • Student engagement activities (surveys/partnerships/focus sessions) for learner centred feedback of already implemented OER
  • Participation/engagement activities for bug, error, mistake finding (e.g. providing a gift card for students who find a mistake in the resource)

OER Awareness and Capacity Growing Activities

  • Support for department-level OER events
  • Keynote speakers
  • Development of workshops, resources, and trainings to support OER adoption for faculty, students, and staff within specific departments or units.
  • Hiring of students to support OER efforts
  • Recognition of existing open champions and OER efforts
  • OER community development events

Department, Unit, or Institutional OER Evaluation

  • Evaluation of OER usage, barriers in specific department or unit
  • Analysis of current learning materials costs, student uptake
  • Development of departmental or subject-specific metrics for measuring effectiveness and outcomes of OER at UBC


Proposals will be reviewed 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 the project with effective teaching and learning practices
  • The plans for the evaluation and sustainment of any OER that is developed through the grant.



  • All members of the UBCV community (faculty, students and staff) are eligible to apply as Principal Applicants for funding. Project members may individually or jointly submit grant proposals. Students will need to have a faculty co-applicant.
  • 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 can hold an OER Fund grant and external open education grants (e.g., BCcampus) to develop the same project.
  • Priority will be given to projects that involve students as partners in the project.


  • 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.
  • Applicants may not hold two OER Rapid Innovation grants in consecutive years.


  • While OER and open initiatives often have a broad reach, projects and events supported by an OER Rapid Innovation Grant must contain a primary focus on UBCV audiences or impacts.
  • 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 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)
  • Resources developed will follow the guidelines in the Open UBC OER Accessibility Toolkit.
  • Activities and events will support UBC’s commitment to a respectful environment.
  • Funded activities and projects will acknowledge support from the UBC OER Fund within any adapted or newly created work.
  • Grant recipients will provide a short written update at the conclusion of the project.

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.

Submission Process & Adjudication

The OER Rapid Innovation Grant application cycle will be available on a rolling basis until the $24,000 allocated each year is exhausted. The application form will be available online via the Open Fund Website.

The Open UBC Working Group reviews all applications on an on-going, scheduled basis and makes funding recommendations to the CTLT Academic Director.

Application Form

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