Partnership for Affordable Content

Project grants: $500 - $1,500

The University Libraries works to encourage faculty and instructors to move away from high cost commercial textbooks and course materials and explore new curricular resource strategies.

We help faculty and instructors as they think broadly and creatively about how to make their course materials better. University of Minnesota Twin Cities faculty and instructors can apply for a Partnership for Affordable Content grant to support the transition to, and implementation of, new readings and resources.

Librarians can collaborate on the development of proposals, share expertise in copyright, licensing, Open Access, course management software and tools, electronic reserves, and multimedia resources to be used in course offerings.

Contact Kristi Jensen and Shane Nackerud at learnlib@umn.edu to set up a consultation.


Deadline for proposals

Applications are accepted until April 6, 2020.


Applicant information

  1. Full name(s)
  2. Course, including number, title, number of students, current textbook or other course materials and their costs
  3. Department
  4. School/college
  5. Email address
  6. Position title/rank

Brief narrative

Provide a narrative of 500 words or less to describe your proposed alternative to a commercial textbook or other course materials. Include:

  • your idea of the new curricular resource strategy, and what will make the project a success,
  • the intended impact (for student learning, the University, pedagogy, etc.),
  • timeline/semester course is offered, and sustainability for future courses,
  • and anticipated challenges of using alternative course materials.

Commitment to partner

The Partnership includes the expectation that faculty and instructors work with a team to determine deployment details. This includes:

  • identification of alternative course resources,
  • how students access assigned content,
  • and potential technology and teaching and learning support as applicable.

Share your previous experience working with similar teams, and/or willingness to work with a customized team designed to accomplish your project as part of your application.


Selection criteria

Proposals are reviewed in the Libraries by eLearning Support Initiative librarians, subject liaison librarians, and Libraries administration.

Grants will be awarded on the basis of:

  • strength of application, and how well it responds to application requirements (vision of success, intended impact, timeline, and challenges),
  • willingness to partner with the Libraries and work with a customized support team,
  • potential savings to University of Minnesota students,
  • innovative course materials and proposed pedagogical practice,
  • positive impact on teaching and learning strategies,
  • sustainability of the project for future courses,
  • use of open textbooks or other open educational resources,

Preference given to projects implemented by either fall of 2020 or spring 2021.


Participant commitments

Participants are asked to participate in some minimal level evaluation of the project with their students, license newly created materials with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (or similar open license), and participate in a Library event showcasing the Partnership projects for campus.

Participants will submit a 1-2 page final report with a summary of accomplishments and how awarded funds were spent.


Submit your application:

Submit your application to Kristi Jensen or Shane Nackerud at learnlib@umn.edu.