Open to all post-secondary institutions in British Columbia for which open education is at the foundational stage. The purpose of this grant is to assist institutions that are launching or relaunching an open education initiative and require resources to maximize the impact of this effort.


In light of the financial constraints being faced by B.C.’s post-secondary institutions during the current pandemic, BCcampus has decided to remove the requirement that applicants must secure matching funds from their institutions, equal to the grant total.

If an applicant’s institution is willing and able to provide in-kind and/or financial contributions to their proposed project, this information should be included in the grant application.

Application Form

Application form: Open Education Foundation Grant for Institutions

Since 2012, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has funded B.C. open education initiatives and tasked BCcampus with managing them. BCcampus’ goal is to provide flexible and affordable access to post-secondary learning resources in B.C. by making available openly-licensed textbooks that align with the most highly enrolled first- and second-year undergraduate subject areas, as well as with select skills-training and trades subject areas.

In 2020, BCcampus will continue to advance the province’s open and affordable education vision with funding for B.C. post-secondary institutions at the foundational stage of adopting and incorporating open education into their teaching systems and practices.

With financial support from the Hewlett Foundation, BCcampus will support efforts offered in three key ways:

  1. Curation and — when needed — the customization of open educational resources (OER) that replace or supplement commercial resources used by faculty
  2. Education of faculty and students about open educational practices (OEP) and how these might be incorporated in their teaching
  3. Strategies that consider how open education might fit into institution-wide planning and policies

Why Apply for this Grant

According to Stats Canada, as many as one-third of post-secondary students in British Columbia owe money when they graduate. Using open textbooks or other OER in the classroom is one way to save students money. Preliminary research indicates that OER usage can also increase student retention, through reduced course dropout rates, (Hilton, Fischer, Wiley, and Williams, 2016) leading to administrative savings for the institution (Clinton, 2018). Some students also earn higher grades when using OER in a course (Hilton et al., 2016).

A 2017 study from UBC found that the vast majority of students using an open textbook in a first-year physics course judged the book to be of the same or better quality than textbooks typically used in other courses (Hendricks, Reinsberg, Rieger), a trend confirmed in 2018 by Jhangiani, Dastur, LeGrand, and Penner. 

An open textbook is a textbook licensed under an open copyright licence and made available online to be freely used by students, teachers, and members of the public. Print-on-demand copies are also made available at cost.

Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing, as well as for research purposes.

Open educational practices (OEP), also known as open pedagogy, is the use of open educational resources (OER) to support learning, or the open sharing of teaching practices with a goal of improving education and training at the institutional, professional, and individual level.

The Open Education Foundation Grant for Institutions call for proposals is intended for British Columbia post-secondary institutions wishing to explore, initiate, or relaunch open educational practices, resources, support, and training on their campuses. Examples of how these funds might be used include:

  • Awareness building
  • Helpdesk support specific to open education
  • Open education working group
  • Open educational practices (OEP)
  • Pressbooks support and training
  • Workshops for instructors on how to use or adopt OER

Three grants of $16,125 each will be awarded to one post-secondary institution in each of the following regions:

  • Northern B.C.
  • Interior of B.C.
  • Lower Mainland of B.C. or on Vancouver Island

Examples of Grant Recipients and Their Proposed Projects

The Open Education Foundation Grant for Institutions is a new grant. However, for examples from another open education support grant, Open Education Sustainability Grant for Institutions, please see below.

Camosun College: Establish the Open Education Demonstration Initiative (OEDI), which will bring together a team of up to ten faculty with librarians, educational technologists, curriculum developers, and specialists in adaptive technology and indigenization to redevelop ten courses using open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP) over a 12–18 month period.

Capilano University: Create four new OER Fellow positions, each tasked with promoting awareness and increasing the utilization of open textbooks and OER. OER Fellow positions will be targeted specifically in the four new baccalaureate degree programs, where maximum benefit can be realized due to high enrolment (Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts with a major in psychology, Bachelor of Arts with a major in English, and Bachelor of Human Kinetics).

Justice Institute of B.C.: Host two Open Education Showcases and a professional development day; create an open education website; facilitate a criminology ancillary sprint to complement the upcoming criminology book from KPU.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University: Host an annual Open Education Research Institute; develop a LaTeX support service and graphic design and layout support; create a pre-publication peer-review program; develop a question bank sprint guide.

Application Process

To apply please mail the Open Education Foundation Grant for Institutions application form to This grant is currently open for submissions – deadline is May 31, 2020.

While the application form indicates the required, basic information, those wishing to submit more details may attach appendices. The selection committee looks for proposals that are well written and specifically address the guidelines. Other application items to note include:

  • The proposal should be submitted by a lead representative chosen for the project
  • The proposal must include a letter of support for the proposed project plan from a member of the institution’s senior administration

Criteria for Successful Proposals

Successful proposals must meet the following mandatory criteria:

  • Exhibit characteristics of quality teaching and learning, such as alignment with learning outcomes or curriculum guidelines
  • Identify deliverables and their due dates
  • Include a budget documenting the use of the funding being requested
  • Include a timeline
  • Include a letter of support from a member of your institution’s senior administration

Grant proposals are also evaluated for how they might:

Funding Requirements

Grantees must submit interim and final reports regarding the open educational activities resulting from this grant. These might include:

  • Workshops, training, and other events related to open education
  • Creation or adaptation of open textbooks or other OER
  • Release time for a faculty or staff member to organize open educational events
  • Release time for a faculty or staff member to develop open educational support materials and/or systems
  • Release time for a staff member to investigate and track open textbook and/or other OER adoption or usage on campus
  • Release time for a faculty or staff member to explore how OEP and OER might fit within an institution’s overall strategy on teaching, learning, and scholarship
  • Stipends for faculty interested in reviewing, curating, adopting, and/or adapting an open textbook or other open educational resource

In addition, grantees must:

  • Complete deliverables on time
  • Follow sound open publishing practices for all OER created or adapted with these funds — it is highly recommended that grantees identify members of the OER publishing support team prior to soliciting authors
  • Agree to and participate in an interview about the project

Review and Selection Process

Evaluation, selection, and awards are determined by an internal review committee against the Evaluation Criteria.

If you have questions, please email


Clinton, V. (2018). Cost, outcomes, use, and perceptions of open educational resources in psychology: A narrative review of the literature. Psychology Learning & Teaching18(1), 4–20.

Hendricks, C., Reinsberg, S.A., Rieger, G.W. (2017). The adoption of an open textbook in a large physics course: An analysis of cost, outcomes, use and perceptions. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning18(4).

Hilton, J. Fischer, L., Wiley, D., Williams, L. (2016). Maintaining momentum toward graduation: OER and the course throughput rate. International Review of Research on Distance and Open Learning, 17(6), 1–10.

Jhangiani, R.S., Dastur, F.N., LeGrand, R., Penner, K. (2018). As good or better than commercial textbooks: Students’ perceptions and outcomes from using open digital and open print textbooks. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9(1)

Statistics Canada. Table 37-10-0036-01 National Graduates Survey (NGS), student debt from all sources, by province of study and level of study.