Summer 2021, Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 OER Awards

Applications for the 2021-2022 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.


Open Educational Resources (OER) are “teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.” (UNESCO

Tisch Library is offering an awards program for Summer 2021 & the 2021-2022 academic year. The program provides financial support for faculty & instructors in the Schools of Arts, Sciences & Engineering who are interested in adopting or creating low-cost, free, or open course materials, 

The program encourages cost savings for students and aims to contribute reusable learning objects created at Tufts to the larger scholarly community. By facilitating the use & creation of open material, it 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. The program also helps address some of the challenges of accessing textbooks and other course materials during ongoing hybrid & remote learning.

This program is a continuation and expansion of our Spring 2021 OER Mini Awards program. Read about the winning projects from our first round of funding


The awards are open to all Tufts faculty & instructors who are the instructor of record in a Summer 2021, Fall 2021, or Spring 2022 course in the Schools of Arts, Sciences & Engineering.  

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

  • Adoption of open course materials to demonstratively reduce costs for students

  • Creation or adoption of an open syllabus that results in a zero or low (less than $30) cost course for your students 
  • Engagement of students in an open pedagogy project

  • Development of a fully open course, including syllabus, learning modules, and assignments, that is zero or low (less than $30) or cost to students 
  • Creation or significant contribution to an open textbook project

More details about each of these tiers are available in the Award details, examples, and resources page

If desired, awarded funds may be allocated toward hiring Tufts-affiliated individuals, including graduate students, as assistants on the project. 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. 

If you’re not sure if your project is eligible for the award, or which tier your project falls into, feel free to reach out to Andrea Schuler, chair of the Tisch Library OER Steering Committee, and we’ll provide feedback. 

Award requirements 

Materials submitted for this award should be of potential value to instructors, students, or others beyond the course they are created for. 

Applicants agree to provide materials developed as part of the award to Tisch Library to be deposited in the open access Tufts Digital Library under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license.  

Applicants will participate in at least one speaking engagement or interview to share their experience of using or creating an open resource with the Tufts community. 

Specific tiers for the award may have individual requirements. Please see the Award details, examples, and resources page for more information. 

In evaluating the applications, we will consider:

  • If applicants have clear objectives for incorporating OER into their course and can demonstrate how the award will support this incorporation
  • The number of students impacted
  • How creating and/or incorporating OER into a course improves access and equity for students
  • How creating and/or incorporating OER into a course reduces overall costs for students
  • If applicants are creating new OER, that the material is of potential value to instructors, students, or others beyond the course they are created for
  • If applicants are engaging in an open pedagogy project, that there are demonstrated goals for the project and learning outcomes for students

Application process 

Applications are now closed.

  • Materials created from the grant will be submitted to Tisch as they are available, no later than August 31, 2021 (for summer courses), December 31, 2021 (for fall courses), or May 31, 2022 (for spring courses)


If you have any questions about the awards or application process, get in touch with Andrea Schuler, chair of the Tisch Library OER Steering Committee.