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UBC Library Open Textbooks | OER Grant Project: Home

Project and Application Information



UBC Library Digital Initiatives is pleased to announce a 1-year, TLEF-funded grant project to promote creation and use of open textbooks and open educational resources (OERs).

Beginning in May 2018, up to 5 grants of up to $1,800 each will be available to UBC faculty members interested in creating or adapting open textbooks or OERs to replace commercial materials in their courses.

At UBC and elsewhere, textbook affordability has become a major concern for students. A 2016 AMS survey showed more than 75% of UBC students have gone without a course text or other resource due to high cost.


  • cost-based access barriers are reduced when expensive textbooks are replaced by openly available resources
  • faculty are able to update and customize course content, as well as easily provision it in different formats (e-books, print, online)
  • faculty can, if desired, involve students in creating knowledge for wider audiences and to promote experiential learning
  • Educational Leadership faculty can count creation of open educational resources towards promotion and tenure (UBC Guide to Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Procedures: 3.41.)

Instructions for applicants: 

  1. Identify the open textbook or OER that you wish to create or adapt for your course, to supplement or replace a current textbook or course reading. The course must start prior to or during May 2019.  All UBC Vancouver undergraduate and graduate credit courses are eligible.
  2. Confirm with your department head that replacing the text is consistent with applicable curriculum policies.
  3. Complete this Open Textbook | OER online application including your agreement with the grant Terms and Conditions, by 5pm Thursday, April 12.

General requirements:

Grants will be awarded to promote open textbook or OER creation, adoption, and use.  Funds can be used to hire UBC students to support research and content development. For example, students can assist faculty members in researching and compiling content, editing textbook or graphical materials, or locating openly licenced material. This is a 1-year pilot project and all funding must be expended during the term of the grant, i.e., before April 1, 2019.

All content used or created must be openly licenced and free of third-party copyright restrictions.  In selected cases, copyright clearance fees may be funded.

A copy of the open materials will be housed and made available through the BCcampus Open Textbook collection and the UBC Library site or its cIRcle digital repository. Grantees are encouraged to upload or house materials in additional spaces such academic websites or subject-specific repositories, as well.

UBC Library Digital Initiatives will serve as project coordinator and assist faculty in:

  • locating openly available materials for their subjects in platforms such as BCcampus, OER Commons or OpenStax.  Students can also assist faculty members in this work.
  • confirming that content created or used is free of third-party copyright restrictions
  • formatting and loading open texts into the BCcampus Pressbooks system, or the Library’s digital platforms.  Pressbooks enables course texts to be viewed on mobile devices, in most e-readers, and students can also print textbooks for a fee.  At this time other platforms are not supported.
  • marketing and assessment of created materials
  • payrolling students hired from the grant

Detailed Terms and Conditions for grant recipients are available in the application form.

Applications will be evaluated based on these factors:

  • potential for student cost savings
  • number of students in the course
  • potential to use the resource in other sections or courses
  • pedagogic quality or uniqueness of the resource
  • opportunity for students to be involved in resource creation
  • ability to share the resource under an open licence, such as Creative Commons, allowing others to freely adapt, copy or redistribute the content
  • ability to accomplish work within the project timeline (May 2018-April 2019)

Application deadline: All applications must be received by 5pm Thursday, April 12. 


For more information:  Please contact Leonora Crema or Stephanie Savage at UBC Library.

UBC Library gratefully acknowledges UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund support for this project.