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Scholarly Communication

Course Material Fellowship Program is now Accepting Applications!

Call for proposals is closed. Please reach out to for additional questions.

The Course Material Fellowship Program (CMFP) is now accepting applications for the 2024-2025 cohort! The Course Material Fellowship Program supports instructors in their efforts to adopt and create zero-cost course materials. Instructors are provided with a stipend, the expertise of librarians and instructional technologists, and the opportunity to learn alongside their peers. Fellows are encouraged to utilize a variety of solutions and strategies to transition to zero-cost course materials. These may include Open Educational Resources (OER), library eBooks and databases, and instructor-created materials.  Those interested in OER can explore the Open Textbook Library and the Pressbooks Directory to find existing content they can build upon. 

Apply Now

Any instructor of record at IU Bloomington is eligible to apply. You can also preview the application as a PDF. Common questions about the Fellowship Program are addressed on the IU Libraries website. 

Other questions can be directed to Open Education Librarian Haley Norris ( Pre-application consultations are encouraged but not required. Applications are due October 16, 2023. 

Benefits and Compensation

Fellows will be given a grant ranging from $2,000-$5,000 based on the scope of their project. Fellows will apply based on their interest in and vision for making their course materials low-cost for students. Once accepted, fellows will participate in an asynchronous starter course with a consultation to describe their project in more detail. Based on this information, fellows will be offered a grant amount and support tier. These are agreed upon before a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is signed. All tiers must significantly eliminate course material costs.

The grant given to fellows can be used for:

  • Compensating yourself for your time
  • Copyediting
  • Student Work
  • Etc.

Support tiers include:

Tier 1: These projects require selecting, curating, and adapting open educational resources, free resources, and other affordable materials to move from a textbook to a zero-cost course for students. The final project can take a variety of formats and will have to be shared publicly under appropriate license if possible.

Examples of Tier 1 projects: 

  • Adopting an existing open textbook and writing a complementary question bank for student quizzes
  • Customizing an existing open textbook 
  • Replacing a textbook with library-licensed readings and instructor-created resources 
  • Combining multiple public domain texts to create an anthology, adding preface information as needed

Tier 2: these projects require an original creation of at least 75% of the course content. The remainder can be adopted from existing open educational resources. The final product must be created in the book-publishing tool Pressbooks (unless advised otherwise) and submitted as a complete textbook that can be used to fully teach a course. The final text will be shared under a Creative Commons license. See sample text-based projects from Portland State, University of Minnesota, and Iowa State. There are fewer available fellowships for this tier.

Examples of Tier 2 projects:

  • Writing a new open educational resource on a topic not covered well by OER repositories (see the Pressbooks directory and the Open Textbook Library to determine coverage) 
  • Organizing and adding to materials already created by the instructor, compiling them in a Pressbook, ensuring all images are Creative Commons licensed, and editing 
  • Making significant changes to an existing open educational resource or significantly increasing its scope (note: 75% or more of the content should be authored by the IU fellow) 

Fellows will also receive the support of IU Libraries, the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL), and the UITS Digital Education Programs and Initiatives Team. These staff will help with technical, logistical, copyright/ licensing, or pedagogical issues that arise as fellows are finding and creating course materials. 

Finally, the Fellowship provides an important opportunity for instructors interested in improving their teaching and documenting how their work has made an impact on both IU students and other educators. The CMFP team regularly writes recommendations for fellows and can help fellows communicate the impact of resources they create for tenure and promotion purposes. 


While the amount of time each project takes differs significantly, all fellows should expect to spend ~10 hours on fellowship activities during Spring 2024 term. Tier 2 fellows should also budget the same amount of time that they would for an intensive writing project or new course design as the creation of a new resource is often time intensive. 

All fellows are required to:

  • Participate in a short consultation in January 2024
  • Sign an MOU by January 31, 2024
  • Complete the CMFP asynchronous Canvas course in Spring 2024
  • Finish and bring one draft chapter or module of your project to the working sessions in June 2024
  • Participate in in-person working sessions/workshops in June 2024
  • Replace their textbook with new zero cost materials and teach with these materials in AY 2024-2025 (either semester)
  • Give a short presentation about their project during Open Education Week 2026
  • Complete a short survey assessing the program and sharing students’ reception of the new materials each year following completion of the CMFP

Fellows will be paid half of their grant in Summer 2024 after they complete CMFP Starter Course, workshops, and submit a sample module/ chapter. Fellows will be paid the other half of their stipend after they teach with their new materials the next academic year. 

Evaluation Criteria

Finalists will be notified in January 2024. Members of the CMFP Team will use the following criteria to assess applications and choose CMFP finalists:  

  • Clarity of the plan to move from a traditional textbook to zero cost course materials
  • Interest in serving as an ambassador of affordable course materials at IU 
  • Number of students impacted by the fellow’s work (applications that impact multiple sections will be prioritized) 
  • Estimated cost savings for students impacted 
  • Vision for how the project will serve underserved student populations

View the rubric that the Group will use to evaluate applications.  

Goals of the CMFP 

The goals of the Course Material Fellowship Program are to: 

  • Lower the cost of college for students, contributing to their retention and progression
  • Make course material access on the first day of class a reality for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status
  • Encourage the development of alternatives to high-cost textbooks by supporting the adoption, adaptation, and creation of Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Support instructors in navigating the variety of affordable course materials solutions available and aggregate instructor supports across campus into one space

Interested in Affordable Course Materials Generally? 

If you’re interested in making your course materials more affordable, finding OER, or learning about course material creation tools but don’t want to do the Fellowship, please still reach out! Already have an OER text you want to adopt as is? We are piloting a self-paced OER Adoption Canvas Course. Contact Haley Norris ( for general assistance with course materials. 

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