Library funding to reduce the cost of course materials at MSU for undergraduate students.


Overview: The Initiative will fund grants to migrate existing course materials for undergraduate classes at MSU to open educational resources (OER). The amount of funding depends on the needs of the proposed project, and the reach/impact of the outcomes for MSU students.

Individuals, teams, and departments/programs may submit proposals describing a project to:

    • Adopt an existing open textbook (or other educational resource); up to $1,000
    • Adapt existing open educational resources to your instructional needs; up to $2,500
    • Author a new resource where no appropriate item exists; up to $5,000. While this funding may be used toward summer salary, it may not be used for course buy-outs. 

In FY23 there are two new options for funding:

    • Smaller awards may be distributed to fund the transition to library held materials that save students money and provide easy, digital access to required content; up to $800.
    • Secondary awards may be awarded to instructors for maintenance, revision, further adaptation, or expansion of an OER currently in use; up to $2000.

These new options are exempt from the Review and “Course Redesign Class” requirements.


How to Apply:  

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis during FY25 and reviewed on the 15th of each month. Awardees will be informed via email by the end each month. The FY25 grant cycle will end on June 1st or when funds are dispersed. Funding will be distributed to as many excellent proposals as feasible.


Questions may be directed to Brian Rossmann. For more information see our guide at

The web form will ask applicants to submit information including:

    1. Your name
    2. Your rank/position/department
    3. Approval of funding plan from unit head. Do you have your unit head’s approval? (Y/N)
    4. Course information:
      1. course name,
      2. number, section/s,
      3. average enrollment (please indicate either total enrollment or per section),
      4. semester/s offered
    5. Information on the current textbook:
      1. title
      2. cost
    6. A narrative OER Plan stating your plan to use an OER in this course. Explicitly:
      1. Do you plan to adopt an existing open educational resource, adapt existing materials, or author your own materials? transition to library held materials that save students money and provide easy, digital access to required content? or apply for aSecondary award for maintenance, revision, further adaptation, or expansion of an OER currently in use?
      2. What platform will you use, what format(s) will be used (e.g., PDF/A, e-book, video, etc.)?
      3. Is the proposed OER central or peripheral to the course? (is it the primary resource or acillary?)
      4. How will relevant copyright issues be addressed? (e.g., if creating OER and utilizing content owned by 3rd parties, is the use of copyrighted material allowable under fair use or through a Creative Commons license?) Faculty looking for copyright assistance can have the library assist in assessing the licensing.
      5. What kind of support will you require from colleagues at the Library or other campus units (e.g., to identify or compile resources, consult on copyright or accessibility issues)?
      6. What problems do you anticipate? (e.g., will students be challenged to access the resources, are there time constraints or technology barriers, etc.)
      7. What are your anticipated outcomes? How will you know they were achieved?
    7. Budget: Level of grant requested and plan for using funds (dollar amount). A maximum 1 page proposed budget and justification. Examples include: salary, hiring a graduate student to help write or compile text, travel to work with a co-author, copyediting, formatting, etc.

Submission of Application:

Applications will be reviewed on the 15th of every month.


Selection and Additional Criteria:

Complete submissions will be evaluated by committee. Awardees will be selected based on the narrative responses to the proposal questions, as well as:

  • Impact; strong consideration will be given to those projects that offer the highest potential savings to students (based on enrollment numbers and current text costs);
  • Quality and strength of the application and how well it meets requirements;
  • Timeline to implementation (preference for shorter over longer);
  • Ability to adapt or produce a quality product and actively engage students in the learning process;
  • Sustainability of the resource beyond initial use;
  • Accessibility and usability of the resource for all students


If you're funded...

Grant Disbursement

Funding will be distributed to as many excellent proposals as feasible. Awardees will be informed via email by the end of the month of application.

Conditions of the Award:

Awardees are expected to comply with several provisions designed to ensure the openness and availability of the funded project, as well as provide feedback to inform assessment of the grant initiative. Awardees agree to the following conditions:

  • Application of an open license (e.g. Creative Commons) to the final product (if adapting or creating).
  • Awardees will attend trainings before the award term begins.
  • OER, either the initial plan or a derivative, shall be used for at least two semesters of the course (regardless of instructor).
  • If creating or remixing an OER, awardees will make the most appropriate version of the work available for deposit into MSU’s ScholarWorks or similar repository of OER.

  • Awardees will submit short project evaluations reflecting on their experience implementing the open textbook and the outcomes upon use. Evaluations will be due approximately a month after the close of the semester of OER use, or a different previously agreed upon time.

  • A Memorandum of Agreement will be required between the awardee and MSU Library outlining expectations and obligations of both parties.

  • Awardees who do not meet these requirements will be required to reimburse the library.

MSU Library Responsibilities:

  1. The library will:
    1. Support the administration of the fund,
    2. accept and process the applications,
    3. manage awards,
    4. ensure data is collected about impact,
    5. provide copyright and open license consultations, and
    6. deposit a copy of the finished products inour institutional repository (ScholarWorks) or consult on another appropriate repository.

Material eligibility: the fund cannot be used to cover purchase of commercial electronic versions of textbooks, coursepacks, rentals of textbooks, or for already adopted open texts.