Faculty: Apply by March 6 for state grants to support no-cost course materials and innovative pedagogy

January 9, 2023

VCU Libraries, in support of open and affordable course materials across the VCU community, announces a new round of VIVA Open Course Grants is open for applications. 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 6, 2023. Award notification will take place on May 19, 2023.

The program has been revised this year to include 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. 

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, including the full Request for Proposals, application guidance, and the application form are available on the VIVA Open Course Grants website. A list of past grant recipients can also be found on that page, including eleven projects involving VCU faculty. Once such project, led by Serra De Arment, Ph.D., assistant professor of special education, hopes to create an open access repository of curated materials to support teacher preparation in special education. 

“Our VIVA project is an exciting multi-institutional effort to pool expertise and resources for supporting teachers entering the field of special education with a provisional teaching license,” said DeArment. “We are working to curate a dynamic and adaptable resource that attends to the often unheard voices in our field and points emerging special educators across Virginia to evidence-based information they can use and reference well beyond their introductory coursework. The open educational resources expertise of VCU Libraries was integral to our proposal development and continues to be invaluable as an ongoing thought-partner as we develop and pilot our project. “

VCU Libraries faculty will assist faculty in conceptualizing their projects, completing their applications, and identifying non-VCU partners. The libraries can also support projects by serving as a project partner. Interested faculty should contact Open Educational Resources Librarian Jessica Kirschner at

“I’m excited to see the expanded grant program from VIVA this year,” said Kirschner. “This statewide support ensures Virginia faculty have all they need to create fully open, engaging, and impactful learning experiences for their students. VCU faculty have long demonstrated a dedication to innovative teaching methods and a focus on improving student success. VCU projects have a strong history of success in previous iterations of this grant program, and these revisions will only expand the possibilities to support VCU students. We look forward to supporting another round of creative proposals from VCU faculty for these funds.”

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

VIVA will be hosting webinars to review the VIVA Open course Grant program and the application process.

Additional questions about the grant program may be submitted to

Full or part-time faculty may apply. Proposals may involve one person or teams that include: teaching faculty, librarians, instructional designers, subject matter experts, editors, graphic designers, or others as needed. 

Projects may apply for one of four grant categories: 

  • Content Creation Grants ($5,000-$50,000). Support for adapting or creating materials for credit-bearing courses. Grants will 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 for 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 for 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 for departments or programs working with multiple faculty to transition a course or group of courses to no-cost materials. 

Additional guidance on each grant type and guidance for the application can be found on the VIVA Open Course Grants website.

VIVA, Virginia’s Academic Library Consortium, administers the grant program. VIVA is a consortium of academic libraries that collaborates on public policy priorities and shares costs and negotiates joint use of resources to strengthen stewardship of state dollars. The Virginia General Assembly and member libraries fund VIVA, which is also sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV). 

< Previous  Next >