Apply for a Mini-Grant


The Miller Open Education Mini-Grant Program, inspired by the Miller Faculty Fellowship Program, was created to promote the growing number of instructors utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER) at Iowa State University. Similar to the Miller Faculty Fellowship Program, these grants aim to support faculty development through the use of new and innovative resources in the classroom. This mini-grant program is co-sponsored by the Iowa State University Library, the Center for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT), and the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost (SVPP). 

The goal of the Open Education Mini-Grant Program is to encourage instructional innovation and enhance the scholarship of teaching and learning at Iowa State by providing instructors with the time and resources they need to redesign their courses around the use of OER. OER are defined as “educational materials that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use.” The open licenses under which these items are released allow users to create, reuse, and redistribute copies of the resources, which can include full courses, modules, textbooks, videos, test banks, lecture slides, software, and any other materials used in education.

How Do I Apply?

Complete the 2020 Mini-Grant Application form [doc], consisting of three sections: General Information, Project Narrative, and Budget. Proposals must be submitted as an attachment to the Mini-Grant Box folder by April 15th, 2020 at 11:59 pm CST.

A workshop for potential applicants will be held on April 6th, 2020 from 2:10 to 3:00 pm virtually via WebEx. In this Q&A-style workshop, staff will guide instructors through the application process, share example applications, and answer questions.

CELT has put together an Assessment Planning worksheet [doc] to help instructors compile the assessment section for their proposal as well. 

Who is Eligible to Apply?

To be considered for this grant, proposals must meet the following criteria:

  • Submitted by an Iowa State University employee with teaching responsibilities.
  • The proposal includes the intent to use an Open Educational Resource in a credit-bearing course.
  • Only one (1) proposal is submitted by a single instructor per academic year. 
  • The PI agrees to the expectations listed below.

This grant may NOT be used for:

  • The adaptation or creation of a resource for commercial publication. 
  • The adaptation or creation of educational resources without the accompaniment of a Creative Commons license. 
  • The release of a resource under a Creative Commons license that includes a "No Derivatives" provision.

Award Levels

The award levels outlined below provide guidance for grant applicants on the amount of funding that may be approved for different types of proposals. 

Award Level Award Range Expectations
Level 1: Course Conversion $500 - $1,000 Locate, evaluate, and adopt an existing Open Educational Resource for your course
Level 2: Adaptation $750 - $2,500 Adapt, update, or combine existing Open Educational Resources into a new resource to enhance your course
Level 3: Content Creation Up to $5,000 Create an original Open Educational Resource for your course
Level 4: Multi-section Integration Up to $5,000 Integrate Open Educational Resources into every section of a single, multi-section course

Note: The funds from this grant may be spent on any item that the PI deems necessary. This can include summer salary. All expenses should be clearly articulated and justified in the budget section of the proposal and must align with the project's objectives.

Example Projects

The following proposal titles have been provided for illustrative purposes only. There are many ways these grants could be utilized. You can see a list of past Miller Open Education Mini-Grant recipients and their projects by visiting the Miller Open Education Mini-Grant Archive.

  • Level 1: 
    • "OER integration for [Course]"
  • Level 2:
    • “Adapting OER for accessibility”
    • “An updated open textbook for [Course]: Modeling professional practices”
    • “Adding diverse and inclusive examples into OER for [Course]”
    • “Combining OER into a cohesive lab book for [Course]”
  • Level 3:
    • “New open application activities for [Course]”
    • “Developing a lab book with students through open pedagogy”
    • “Ancillary OER to accompany [open textbook]"
  • Level 4: 
    • "Finding OER for [Course]"
    • "Creation and implementation of OER for [Course]"

How Will Proposals be Reviewed?

The proposals will be reviewed by a subcommittee made up of faculty volunteers, members of the Iowa State University Library Advisory Committee, and members of the CELT Advisory Board. Evaluations will be based on the quality of applications as determined by the criteria of the Miller Open Education Mini-Grants Rubric: 

What Are the Expectations of a Grant Recipient?

Before the Grant

Attend a grantee workshop with support staff over the summer of 2020 to discuss project planning and time management.

During the Grant

  1. Complete projects and use resources in a credit-bearing course by June 30th the following year.
  2. Publish OER created through a grant in an open, editable format. Text-based OER created through the grant must be published through the ISU Digital Press. 
  3. Check OER adopted or created though the grant for accessibility and compatibility with instructors' course design.
  4. Publish OER created through the grant with an open (Creative Commons) license that allows modification.
  5. Store a copy of any OER created through the grant (not published through the ISU Digital Press) in the ISU Digital Repository.

After the Grant

  1. Showcase the outcomes of the project on the Iowa State University OER Trailblazers website.
  2. Give a presentation about the project's outcomes in the spring or fall semester following completion of the grant.
  3. Submit a report on the grant's outcomes by May 20th the following year using this form: Mini-grant Report Form [Word doc]

Additional Support

Each awarded PI or Project Team will receive a project orientation and ongoing support from University Library staff, including project management, professional development, production support, and Creative Commons license support where needed. 

Please contact Abbey Elder, Open Access & Scholarly Communication Librarian for Parks Library, if you have any questions.