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Open CMU: Open Educational Resource Incentive Program: Start


Through partnership with the Simon Initiative and Eberly Center, the CMU Libraries is soliciting proposals for grants that will expand the adoption of open educational resources (OER) across CMU courses. OER are freely available teaching and learning materials, such as open textbooks, modules, or homework materials. They are free for students to access and for instructors to modify. They allow instructors to easily pick and choose parts of resources to use based on their course’s needs.  They are licensed to be shared, used, and modified, as long as proper credit is given. 

Open educational resources - Wikipedia


There are both pragmatic and principled benefits of OER, including lowering the costs of higher education for our students, increasing the accessibility to higher education, increasing the visibility of work, and allowing coursework to be tailored to the CMU curriculum. The aim of this program is to incentivize instructors to adopt, adapt, or create OER for their courses. 


This program aims to support individual faculty members or teams at CMU to adopt or create OER materials that are high quality, accessible, sustainable, and can be integrated into the existing curriculum or a newly developed course. 

  • Award Level I ($500) - Select and adopt an existing OER
  • Award Level II ($1,500) - Adapt an existing OER with significant added value for local needs
  • Award Level III ($2,500) - Create an original OER with significant proportion of original content


Examples of OERs which may qualify for awards include but are not limited to: 

  • Instructional Materials
  • Textbook
  • Videos
  • Tutorials
  • Lab Manual

Application and Process

Applicants should fill out the linked form

Applications are due by April 15. Applicants will be notified of award status by May 3, 2024. 

OER projects could be implemented in the designated course(s) as early as in Fall 2024 or as late Fall 2025.

Awardees will be supported throughout the OER adoption/creation process by the Eberly Center and CMU Libraries. Awardees should anticipate a series of meetings and workshops throughout the summer and 2024-2025 academic year. 


Applications will be evaluated by the members of the Eberly Center, Open Learning Initiative, and CMU Libraries. Applications will be evaluated for impact, including high enrollment and/or high cost savings per student. 

One of the main purposes of this program is to lower the cost of required course materials to CMU students. Project that lower material costs to enrolled students in the designated course by replacing a commercial resource are preferred, though compelling cases for additional learning materials (that will not place commercial resources) are still welcome to apply. 

Eligibility Criteria

The primary applicant must be a current faculty at CMU. Postdoctoral fellows are eligible, though they should speak to their department's business office on if they can can utilize a discretionary account. 

The funded OER project must be associated and used within a CMU credit-bearing course, including mini or micro courses. As these resources will be shared and openly licensed, use may extend beyond the specific CMU course. 


Please contact Emily Bongiovanni (, the Open Knowledge Librarian, with any questions or for more information. 

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Emily Bongiovanni