The Application Deadline was Friday, March 9, 2018

Free online Open Educational Resources (OERs) enable faculty members to alleviate the burden of high textbook costs for students. These instructional materials can be used, reused, and often remixed and customized under an intellectual property license that permits their free use while ensuring authors retain copyright to their work. Beyond cutting costs, OER is introducing a quiet revolution in pedagogy by helping instructors rethink their courses. Early research shows a promising increase in student engagement, lower drop-out rates, and improved course outcomes.

The CUNY Office of Academic Affairs is soliciting applications from teams of CUNY faculty and administrators from CUNY two-year and four-year schools, who are seeking to build OER capacity in foundational/gateway STEM courses in biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, math, or physics. Proposals must involve a collaboration between community and senior colleges and explore ways in which OER can be incorporated into lectures, labs, or course-related activities across a shared curriculum. The collaborative projects should also develop proposed models for scaling within large multi-section courses and include plans for comprehensive assessment of student learning outcomes. Awardees will be expected to implement their course redesign during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Faculty who are PI or Co-PIs on the proposal may each request up to one month of summer salary (combined total of $10,000) for June 2018.  The grants will be disbursed as tax levy funds.

Faculty should have some facility with an online platform, e.g. OpenLab, WordPress or consider using a platform such as Lumen Learning, which is under contract with CUNY.

In fiscal year 2019, the New York State Governor’s budget included $4 million for CUNY OER initiatives. There are currently OER projects underway on all CUNY campuses and there may be campus support services available.


    • All active faculty (including teaching adjuncts, lecturers, tenure-track, and tenured faculty) are eligible to apply.
    • Proposals must have at least two faculty as co-PIs, with one from a senior college and one from a community college. Proposals from teams with more than two faculty members are welcome, but individual faculty may only be a Co-PI on one proposal.

Proposal Preparation

Proposals should be a maximum of 3 pages (single spaced, 12-point font, one inch margins).

  • Proposals should list the project title and the names, departments, and colleges of each investigator.
  • Proposals should include a 200-300 word summary. Proposals should list the course(s) being redesigned, describe the rationale and purpose of the redesign, and explain how the coordination between campuses will take place. The body of the proposal should also detail the OER resources that have been identified, and how they will be used.
  • Proposed projects must employ formative and/or summative assessment strategies to measure the effectiveness of the course redesign, and explain how the project will measure student learning outcomes.
  • A two-page CV for each investigator that lists STEM courses taught, STEM courses/programs developed or redesigned, and publications related to STEM pedagogy should accompany the application.
  • Any OER-related questions as proposals are developed should be addressed to


Budgets of up to $10,000 will be considered.  The funds are drawn from a tax levy account and must be spent by June 30, 2018.  Investigators may use the funds towards one month of summer salary for June 2018.


Proposals must be submitted by Friday, March 9, 2018 via our online submission system as a single PDF and contain the following:

  • Signature page signed by the campus Grants Officer (see template)
  • 3-page proposal
  • 2-page CV for each team member

Review & Evaluation Criteria

A committee of CUNY faculty and administrators will review each proposal.

OER Resources:

OER training is available.  Please contact for more information.