About OER

The University of Manitoba is committed to facilitating student learning and enhancing the student experience. One avenue to achieve this mission is by making education affordable and accessible with OER.

What are open educational resources (OER)?

OER are teaching materials that have an open-copyright license that allow them to be created, adapted, adopted and shared by instructors and students at no cost.

Advantages of OER

While the cost of course materials can be a barrier to accessing courses for some students, OER provide advantages for both students and instructors:

  • Allows educators to create/adapt/adopt teaching materials to match the content of their courses.
  • Lowers the cost of education, making it more accessible and affordable for all.
  • Provides students the opportunity to create, collaborate, and share their learning.

Funding and support

Create, adapt, and/or adopt an open educational resource

Financial assistance and support

Grant value: $10,000 maximum
Application deadline: September 29, 2023 and will continue to be accepted until all funds are dispersed.
Grant application review: Beginning October 10th, 2023
Notification of successful applications: Beginning October 16, 2023
Final report, majority of funds expended: March 31, 2024
OER deliverables implemented: 2024-25 academic year

UM OER Grant Application Guideline

Apply now

  • Create a set of slide decks, interactive activities, or other supplemental content to be used in teaching with an OER textbook at UM in the instructor’s own courses.
  • Adapt a relevant OER to make it a better fit for teaching in the instructor’s own courses.
  • Create a new module or set of modules (text-based, video, or otherwise) to use in teaching at UM courses.
  • Edit and publish an Open Pedagogy project created with UM students.

*This is not an exhaustive list and is meant only to help applicants generate ideas for projects that could be funded.


To find existing OER in your discipline that you can adapt, and to learn more about the software available through UM to support OER, check the UM Libraries website or contact your subject librarian.

The OER by Discipline Guide provides one-stop access to OER that support the programs at UM.

Who can apply?

  • Full-time tenure track/tenured faculty
  • Continuing/probationary instructors
  • Librarians

Individuals interested in applying for the grant should first discuss their proposal with their dean/director before submission.

Completed applications should be forwarded to their dean/director for approval and prioritization from their faculty.

Application evaluation criteria

Project scope and impact - The application clearly outlines the project's scope, beneficiaries, and potential impact. It aligns with the UM OER Grant purpose and objectives.

Feasibility (organization and timeline) - The application provides timelines and milestones appropriate to the project and makes allowances for unforeseen challenges.

Budget and resources - The application presents a budget and identifies needed resources appropriately. It also demonstrates a cost-effective use of grant funding.

Inclusivity and accessibility - The application outlines plans for creating OER that are inclusive and accessible to a diverse range of learners.

Acceptable fund expenses

The grant may be used to cover expenditures such as:

  • UM student research/teaching assistants to help create, adapt, and/or adopt OER in a course.
  • Honoraria for external consultants, such as artists, editors, proofreaders, inclusivity and accessibility reviewers, and peer reviewers not covered by the OER Lab.
  • Equipment, such as computers, for student research/teaching assistants may be considered. (Computers will remain the property of the UM Libraries and will be returned to the Libraries after completion of the project.)

The grant may not be used for:

  • Material costs (e.g., books, etc.)
  • Infrastructure upgrades
  • Travel
  • Workshop and conference registration
  • Memberships to organizations
  • Stipends for salaried UM employees


Successful applicants will be expected to:

  • Submit a final report of no more than 250 words explaining how project goals were accomplished and funds were expended by March 31, 2024.
  • Share information about the project with the university community in at least one venue of your preference (e.g., by being interviewed for an article in UM Today or by participating in a panel discussion) during the 2024-2025 fiscal year.
  • Share any applicable resulting OER adaptations or new creations with a Creative Commons or equivalent license (CC BY or CC BY-NC preferred) on a relevant website or repository of your choosing. For text-based content, Pressbooks or MSpace are preferred but not required.
    Note: Criteria relating to Creative Commons or equivalent licensing may not be applicable to OER or portions of OER containing Indigenous Knowledge.

Get help from the OER Lab

To help cover some of the cost of creating, adapting, and/or adopting an OER outside of the awarded grant, successful grant receipts will have access to the OER Lab.

Time: October 2023 to March 2024

The OER Lab has the following supports available to grant recipients:

  • OER coordinator
  • Copy editor(s)
  • Course and curriculum developers
  • Student content developers
  • Copyright specialist
  • Additional support positions, such as designers, multi-media specialists, and GIS specialists can be hired as needed.

Examples of project support provided include

  • Help to create maps, illustrations, and diagrams
  • Copy-editing
  • Data entry and Pressbooks support
  • Help with curriculum development
  • Copyright advice

Principles of universal design, equity, diversity, and inclusion will be encouraged and supported. Other assistance will be provided as necessary depending on the individual projects. More information will be available as the Lab develops.

Apply to Review an Open Textbook

To ensure the high quality of open materials available to UM students, and further encourage the growth of open educational resource (OER) adoption in courses, we are seeking peer reviewers for textbooks available in the Campus Manitoba collection, the BCcampus Open Collection, or other repositories. Qualified reviewers can discover, evaluate, and enhance open textbooks, based on this rubric.

Preference will be given to reviews from instructors who either teach in a course related to the resource, or who have a reasonable expectation that they may teach a related course soon. Reviews will be shared with authors for their consideration and published under a Creative Commons license by Campus Manitoba and on the UM Libraries website.

A $500 honorarium will be provided for completed reviews.

Apply to review an open textbook and help ensure that University of Manitoba students and faculty have access to quality open learning materials.

Learning opportunities

Increase your knowledge

General information on open education and scholarship initiatives via the University of Manitoba Libraries can be found here.

Several learning opportunities are available for the UM community to participate in. UM will have an Open Education Speaker Series and Advance Open Ed 2023-24 will provide funding for some faculty members, graduate or undergraduate students to attend the Open Education Global Conference and the Virtual Open Education Conference.

Past events

Project Board

The OER Project Board comprises:

Lisa O’Hara, University Librarian & Vice-Provost, Libraries
Christine Shaw, Associate University Librarian
Glenn Bergen, OER Coordinator
Kyle Feenstra, Assistant Librarian
Janice Winkler, Assistant Librarian
Horace Luong, Associate Dean, Faculty of Science
Althea Wheeler, Copyright Strategy Manager
Iwona Gniadek, Educational Developer, Centre for Advancement T&L
Liam Pittman, UMSU Vice President External


Contact Glenn Bergen, OER Coordinator if you have any questions.
Ph: 204-474-7338