The UT Libraries (UTL) eagerly invites applications for the second offering of a program to support faculty who will adopt and create open educational resources (OER): the Open Education Fellows Program. Through this program, we aim to reduce the cost of required course materials for UT Austin students and empower instructors to adapt or create course materials that meet their pedagogical needs.
UTL will select up to three (3) Fellows who seek to adopt or adapt existing OER to replace commercial materials in their course(s) and up to two (2) Fellows who will author and openly license their own course materials. Over the program period, UTL will provide Fellows with professional development opportunities to support their activities in finding, evaluating, and/or creating OER as well as stipends to offset the time and effort that we recognize these activities take. In addition to OER adoption and creation, Fellows will be expected to share their experiences in formats that may include participating in UTL and/or campus events, presenting at conferences, serving as an advisor to future Fellows cohorts, and more.
In this program, we will be learning together. We expect to identify some process and policy needs as we go, and we hope that Fellows will be understanding and eager to work alongside us.
Review the application questions for the program.
October 3 - 31, 2022: Call for applications open
November 1 - 15, 2022: Application review period
November 16 - 28, 2022: Selected Fellows notified
November 29 - December 16, 2022: Initial Fellows consultations with Colleen Lyon, Head of Scholarly Communications
December 16, 2022: Fellow acceptances due with agreements signed
Spring 2023: Professional development & consultation opportunities provided to Fellows (topics and schedule to be determined)
Summer 2023: Independent work time with continued consultations available to Fellows
Fall 2023: Expectation that adoption/adaptation Fellows will implement OER or other free course materials (unless course is not being offered until Spring 2024)
Fall 2023: Continued independent work time for author Fellow if needed
December 31, 2023: Expectation that author Fellow’s usable draft is openly licensed, deposited into one or more OER repositories, and ready for Spring 2024 course adoption
UTL will provide subject matter expertise and guidance to Fellows in OER and open education practices, copyright and licensing, and UTL collections as needed. This support will take the form of:
Stipends will be provided to both categories of Fellows:
Fellows will sign an agreement before commencing the program and being paid any stipend. The agreement will include the expectations that follow. Fellows will:
UT Austin instructors who are interested in adopting or authoring open educational resources (OER) and can meet the requirements of the program (outlined above) are encouraged to apply. The strongest applicants will have spent some time searching for OER relevant to the course(s) they teach and ideally identified those they might wish to adopt, adapt, or integrate into their own creations.
If more applications are received than Fellows positions are available, the following factors will be considered in selecting the pilot cohort:
Complete, thorough responses to all application questions
Previous search and identification of OER or other freely available materials for adoption in future courses (for adoption Fellows) or demonstration of need for new, unique OER (for author Fellow)
Number of students enrolled in courses taught by the instructor
Diversity of applicant disciplines and departments
Diversity of instructor levels and positions
If applicable: Ability of UT Libraries to offer support requested for project completion
Yes, teams or groups of instructors may apply together if they intend to adopt OER for the same courses in different sections, or if they intend to author OER jointly. The stipend will be shared between the members of the team. Only employees of the University of Texas at Austin are eligible to receive a stipend. Only one application per team is required.
Yes, any UT Austin instructor of record is eligible to apply for the Fellows program. Applicants must have the autonomy to select required materials for a course.
Please note that instructors who are also graduate students must be paid with scholarship funds instead of a stipend, which may affect financial aid. In applicable situations, if graduate students owe the university any payments, those funds will be debited before the scholarship is distributed.
If all of the courses you teach already require only OER or free materials, you would not be eligible for the Open Education Fellows program at this time.
However, if you are teaching a new course for which the materials have not yet been assigned and you wish to adopt or create OER for that course, you are eligible to apply. Similarly, if you have adopted or created OER but still require some paid materials for a course and wish to replace those materials with OER, you are eligible to apply.
We realize that instructors may receive course assignments or changes to assignments with little notice. You are still welcome to apply for the Fellowship. However, if more applications are received than Fellows positions are available, instructors who regularly teach the course for which they are applying may receive priority.
Yes. Those who wish to adapt existing content are eligible to apply for the adoption Fellowship. These positions award a stipend of $2,000 (less withholdings) to the Fellow.
Yes. Each application should represent a different course you teach.
You are not eligible for the same Fellows position type within a 5 year period (e.g., if you were selected as an Author Fellow within the last 5 years, you would not be eligible for another Author Fellow position). Former Open Education Fellows may apply for different Fellows positions than they were previously awarded (e.g., if you were previously selected as an Adoption Fellow, you may apply as an Author Fellow). If more applications are received than Fellows positions are available, priority may be given to qualified applicants who have never been awarded as any type of Open Education Fellow.
Adoption Fellows will be awarded the entirety of their stipend when the identified OER have been formally adopted and listed in the course schedule for Fall 2023 or Spring 2024 (whichever is the earliest semester that the OER can be adopted). The author Fellow will be awarded their stipend in two installments: the first payment will be awarded during Summer 2023 upon demonstrating progress toward the completion of their openly licensed work; the second payment will be awarded when the Fellow’s usable draft is openly licensed, deposited into one or more OER repositories, and ready for Spring 2024 course adoption. Please note that all payments are subject to payroll withholdings in accordance with state and federal laws governing payments of this nature to university employees.
Special note for graduate student instructors: Graduate student instructors are eligible to apply, but payments must be disbursed using scholarship funds instead of a direct stipend. This may affect your financial aid disbursement. In applicable situations, if graduate students owe the university any payments, those funds will be debited before the scholarship is distributed.
Professional development opportunities available to Fellows may be some combination of workshops related to open education topics as well as individual consultations or training with UTL or campus staff. Sample topics may include searching for OER, open licensing and copyright, and course materials accessibility. Not all will be required, though some will be (dependent on Fellowship type).
This program emphasizes the use of open educational resources (OER), which carry licenses that permit their free access, sharing, and modification. As such, applications for adoption Fellows that have already identified some OER suitable for use in their course will be considered first.
To be eligible, however, Fellows must be willing to commit to the adoption of only no-cost required course materials. It is acceptable to assign other types of materials available at no additional cost to students, including free (but not open) web content and materials licensed by UTL, in addition to OER.
Any type or format of teaching object is acceptable for those creating OER. You may also create more than one object that works collectively or separately. Examples may include open textbooks, websites or modules, lesson plans, syllabi, images or video, and other types of media. The requirement is that the object or objects created must replace all paid materials in the course for which you are applying, and we expect that even if existing OER or other materials are integrated, the object or objects include a substantial work of original authorship. Further, all objects must be openly licensed using Creative Commons CC BY, CC BY SA, or CC BY NC SA licenses and deposited into an open repository of the author’s choice.
UT Libraries and the OER Working Group offer one-time workshops on similar topics. Additionally, other organizations and institutions host sessions and even full conferences that are open to the public. These opportunities will be shared on the OER events page. Professional development opportunities are also regularly shared through the monthly OER newsletter, which you can sign up for here.
Librarians are always happy to offer consultations on topics related to open, free, and affordable course materials. You can learn more about our open education services, submit a request for a free and affordable course materials review, or contact Heather Walter, for more information.
Please contact Heather Walter, if you have any other questions.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.