Affordability and Equity:  A program promoting the use of Open Educational Resources 

UPDATE: Deadline extended from 1/7 to 1/14 because of weather-related power outages in the Charlottesville area. 

From Judith Thomas, Director of Faculty Programs:

The Affordability and Equity grant program, sponsored by the Jefferson Trust and offered by the University of Virginia Library, will provide support to faculty who want to adopt, adapt, or create open educational resources (OER).

This is the first year of a two-year pilot program; projects will be selected through a competitive process.

OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.  Open resources have the potential to provide equitable access to knowledge, drive down student costs, and create a more inclusive learning environment.

The awards, which will be given as either as taxable award or as research funds, will be given in three categories:

  1. Adopt a resource:  $1000*
    • Intended for faculty who would like to adopt an existing resource for their course, revising their syllabi and lesson plans.
  2. Adapt (edit or augment) a resource:  $2500*
    • Intended for faculty who would like to make changes or additions to an existing resource. Examples of adaptation include customizing, updating, or localizing a resource; combining existing resources with changes; adding interactivity; developing ancillary resources (such as quiz questions, slides, etc.) for an existing work; adapting an open data set.
  3. Create a resource: $5000
    • Intended for faculty who would like to create a brand-new resource (in any format that allows for free use and repurposing) where an acceptable open alternative does not exist.
    • We recognize that the creation of a new textbook is time-consuming and challenging.  If your project involves textbook creation, please identify the part that you will be able to complete under this grant and how you will test it or use it in class. Proposers of large projects will be eligible to apply for a second year of funding in 2023.

*Faculty who intend to adopt or adapt a resource should select that resource in advance of submitting an application.  For help in discovering a relevant work, consult with your subject librarian or contact Judith Thomas at


This program is open to anyone holding a faculty appointment at the University of Virginia who is teaching a two-, three-, or four-credit course.


  • Proposal deadline:  Friday, 1/14/2022*
    • (*deadline extended due to weather-related challenges)
  • Notifications:  Friday, 2/4/2022

Selection criteria

  • Demonstrated need for adoption, adaptation, or use of OER
  • Benefits to students
  • Sound project plan:
  • Clear objectives
  • Feasible methods, considering the current technology and support environment
  • Reasonable timeframe
  • Accessibility plan
  • Assessment plan
  • Sustainability plan (i.e., ongoing review, updating)
  • Extent of curricular impact (e.g., single or multiple, one-time or repeated courses; effect on departmental curriculum).
  • Alignment with institutional, school, or departmental goals for diversity, equity, or inclusion.

Expectations of faculty

  • Pre-submission:
    • Select your resource if you are planning to submit an “adopt” or “adapt” proposal (contact your liaison or Judith Thomas for help)
  • Post-award:
    • Begin work in summer 2022, with implementation by school year 2023-24.
    • Attend a consultation session and a minimum of two workshops (about three hours total)
    • Acknowledge the grant program and funder in external communications
    • Use the work in class within the year following completion
    • Clear all rights (copyright and licensing guidance available from the Library)
    • Publish the work with a Creative Commons license that allows for access and re-purposing (preferably CC-BY)
    • Follow accessibility guidelines
    • Upload a version to UVA’s institutional repository, Libra
    • Submit a final report to the Library summarizing the project and the outcomes within a year of class implementation
    • Attend a meeting with recipient cohort
    • Commit to a local presentation of project
    • Participate in selection process for new cycle.


What the Library will do

  • Help with discovery of existing content (in advance of your proposal)
  • Provide training in copyright and licensing
  • Provide technical and instructional design support in recommended technologies for authoring and disseminating content
  • Help with project design and management
  • Help with ADA compliance
  • Provide a forum for local presentations
  • Provide the framework for a local community of interest around open education

For further information

Review this guide for more information about OER at UVA.

For an individual consultation, contact Judith Thomas.

Information sessions:

Apply now for an Affordability and Equity grant.


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