Iowa Regents libraries offer new grants to support open educational resources

Libraries at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa announce a joint funding opportunity for the creation of Open Educational Resources (OER). This program is open to small teams of faculty, graduate students, and staff at any of the three public universities governed by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

The Regents OER Grant Program was recently created via support from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER Fund), which was established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress in 2020. The program will support the development and growing use of sustainable, affordable course content at the Regent institutions. OER provide teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and are licensed for open use (SPARC, n.d.).

Two types of awards are available through this program:

  • Textbook development grants, up to $7,500 per team member, are intended to fund the development of new open textbooks to fill gaps in existing OER coverage within a discipline.
  • Grants for ancillary materials projects, funded at up to $1,500 per team member may be used to develop presentations, test banks, and/or other support materials to accompany an existing open textbook.

In addition to financial stipends, successful applicants will receive intensive training on OER creation and development. This training will include an OER development “sprint” in September 2021, where grantees will have the opportunity to work on their projects over an intensive two-day workshop. Grant recipients will also receive support for finding source material, using OER authoring tools, developing content, understanding open licensing, and OER project management before and after the workshop.

More details about the Regents OER Grant Program will be distributed with the call for proposals on June 22, 2021.

Questions about the grant program should be sent to the grant coordinator for each institution, Abbey Elder (Iowa State University), Mahrya Burnett (University of Iowa), and Anne Marie Gruber (University of Northern Iowa).