2023-2024 Affordable Course Materials Awards

Applications for the 2023-2024 awards program are no longer being accepted. Please visit the Affordable Course Materials Awards page for information about the current call for proposals, or browse funded projects from this round of awards.


The Tisch Library Affordable Course Materials awards program provides financial support for faculty & instructors in the Schools of Arts, Sciences & Engineering who would like to reduce costs for their students by identifying no-cost course materials to incorporate into their syllabus. 

The program encourages cost savings for students and increased use of openly-available course materials while enabling the customization of course materials to a particular class. It also aims to create more equitable access to learning and enable inclusion of diverse perspectives and experiences that may be absent from existing textbooks or literature.

Note that instructors may request support from Tisch in a syllabus affordability review or DEIJ review even if you're not applying for an Affordable Course Materials award. Please use our contact form to request a review.


The awards are open to all Tufts faculty and instructors who are the instructor of record in a Summer 2023, Fall 2023, or Spring 2024 course in the Schools of Arts, Sciences & Engineering.

Eligible no-cost course materials may include open textbooks, texts and media freely available online, instructor-created materials, or materials available through Tisch Library. Priority will be given to projects that use a high percentage of open educational resources (OER, i.e., those freely available to all audiences and licensed under a Creative Commons license).

Award descriptions and requirements 

Awards are available at three different funding levels, based on the anticipated amount of time involved and the impact of the project.

Award typeAmountDescriptionDeliverables
Fully free$1000Create a new course or replace existing course content with 100% freely available course materials to reduce cost to $0Award recipients agree to submit a statement about their experience creating or revising a no-cost course, a course description, and list of the course materials used. This document will be shared under a CC-BY license in the Tufts Digital Library.
Low cost$500Replace some existing course content with freely available course materials to reduce total cost to students to $50 or lessAward recipients agree to submit a statement about their experience revising a course to reduce costs, a course description, and list of the course materials used. This document will be shared under a CC-BY license in the Tufts Digital Library.
Design your own awardUp to $2000

Tell us about a project you'd like to work on to use or create free course materials, and what funding you'll need to accomplish it. Projects should demonstrate a cost savings for students.

Projects may involve, but are not limited to: authoring an open book chapter or textbook; creating open instructional materials; engaging in an open pedagogy project.

Applicants will submit an initial project proposal and consult with Tisch Library to define a project scope, deliverables, and award amount.

Any new digital materials that are created as part of funded projects must conform to the Tufts Digital Accessibility Policy.

All award recipients will have an initial consultation with a Tisch librarian to discuss your project and course materials and librarians will be available for further consultations and support in locating open materials as you work on your project. If your project involves revising curricular components, we will also facilitate a consultation with Center for the Enhancement of Learning & Teaching (CELT) staff.

Award recipients may also choose to perform a DEIJ syllabus review with support from Tisch Library. This review would aim to incorporate materials that address diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice and/or incorporate diverse voices and course content from historically marginalized scholars.

If desired, awarded funds may be allocated toward hiring Tufts-affiliated individuals, including students, as project assistants. Please note that the full award amount will be transferred to the faculty applicant, who will then be responsible for disbursing funds to their hired assistants.

Applicants will participate in at least one speaking engagement or interview to share their experience of reducing course material costs with the Tufts community. 

If you’re not sure if your project is eligible for the award, feel free to reach out to the Tisch Open Educational Resources Steering Committee via our contact form and we’ll provide feedback. 

Application process

Applications are now closed.

  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • We will respond to your application via email typically in about one to two weeks
  • Deliverables from the grant will be submitted to Tisch as they are available, no later than August 31, 2023 (for summer courses), December 31, 2023 (for fall courses), or May 31, 2024 (for spring courses)

In evaluating the applications, we will consider:

  • If applicants have clear objectives for incorporating no-cost course materials into their course and can demonstrate how the award will support this incorporation
  • The number of students impacted
  • The total reduction in costs for students
  • How replacing course content with free materials will improve access and equity for students

You can view a full list of application questions at the following links before filling out the application form:


If you have any questions about the awards or application process, reach out to the Tisch Open Educational Resources Steering Committee via our contact form.