Faculty: Apply by March 1 for state grants to support free course materials

November 8, 2023

VCU Libraries, in support of open and affordable course materials across the VCU community, announces a new round of VIVA Open Course Grants. These grants are designed to empower Virginia faculty with the resources and time they need to redesign courses by swapping expensive course materials for open, no cost, or library options. 

Applications are due March 1, 2024. 

The program includes four types of grants supporting different types of Virginia’s textbook affordability work: content creation, open pedagogy, ancillaries and large scale adoptions. Each grant type has its own funding scale between $4,000-$50,000 and differing expectations and timelines.

  • Content Creation Grants ($5,000-$50,000) support adapting or creating materials for credit-bearing courses. Grants include publication support. Preference will be given to multi-institutional teams or large-scale implementation (e.g. department-wide).
  • Open Pedagogy Grants ($5,000-$10,000) support faculty using open materials in innovative ways. Faculty will be asked to share syllabi and an instructor handbook to help with replication in other classrooms.
  • Open Ancillary Grants ($5,000-$30,000) support creating ancillary materials, such as test banks, assignments, slides and/or lectures, which supplement open materials.
  • Large Scale Adoption Grants ($4,000-$20,000) support departments or programs working with multiple faculty to transition a course or group of courses to free materials. 

VIVA, Virginia’s Academic Library Consortium, administers the grant program. Awardees will receive ongoing support from VIVA staff to complete their projects. Those creating new content will also receive publishing support such as copyediting, design and illustration work.

More information about the grant, including the full Request for Proposals, application guidance, and the application form are available on the VIVA Open Course Grants website. VIVA is also offering webinars to review the VIVA Open course Grant program and the application process:

A list of past grant recipients can also be found on the VIVA Open Course Grants website, including 11 projects involving VCU faculty. Once project, led by Matthew Pawlowicz, Ph.D.,Teaching Associate Professor in the School of World Studies, is working to create an open access textbook of anthropology. 

“The Open Course Grant gave us the time and resources to be able to create a textbook that reflects Anthropology as we want to share it with students.  In an introductory textbook, we are able to highlight all four fields of anthropology, exciting new research, and the diverse researchers who shape the field today. Because the textbook is OER, we've also reduced any barrier to entry, making the class and the discipline accessible at VCU and beyond."

VCU Libraries will assist faculty in conceptualizing their projects and completing their applications. Interested faculty should contact Open Educational Resources Librarian Abbey Childs at

Additional information on open and affordable course content at VCU can be found at

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