1. What is the Open and Affordable Textbooks (OAT) Program?

The Open and Affordable Textbooks (OAT) Program aims to encourage faculty and instructors to replace existing course materials with open educational resources (OER) or library-licensed materials such as electronic books and articles.. This means that the course materials will be free (or of very little cost) to students, reducing the financial burden many students face.

  1. Who is eligible to apply?

Any faculty (full-time or part-time) or other instructor teaching courses at Rutgers University–Camden, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, Rutgers University–Newark, or Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences is eligible to apply.

  1. Can I apply for more than $1000?

At this time the OAT Program is capped at $1,000 per applicant per year.

  1. If I have already won an OAT award, can I apply in another year?

Yes. Each round of applications is judged on its own merits. If you have applied in the past and were successful, you are welcome to apply for the OAT Program again.

  1. Can I apply more than once per application cycle?

Yes, but the OAT Program is limited to one research fund per person per year. You can opt to use your OAT award to modify multiple classes, but funds are capped at $1,000 per applicant per year.

  1. I am not a full-time faculty member. Can I still apply?

Absolutely. Anyone who is teaching a course is encouraged to apply.

  1. What kind of support can the library offer?

The Libraries want to make sure that you have all the support you need in order to implement the project successfully. In addition to assigning an OAT team member to work with you, the Libraries provide support in the following ways:

  • Access to experienced and knowledgeable subject specialist librarians
  • Expertise in identifying open/affordable course materials
  • Advice on basic copyright inquiries
  • Course reserves and media reserves services
  1. What are the main reporting requirements? 

At the completion of the OAT cycle (18 months), we request documentation of any resources used in the course. This can be provided in the form of a syllabus or a list of OER or affordable class materials. In addition, you will be asked to administer a student survey to all students in your course at the end of the semester.

  1. How will students know my course is an OAT course?

We recommend you work with the Office of the Registrar to place a note about OAT in the course listing. We will also supply an OAT logo for you to insert in your syllabus or course materials.

  1. When will I receive my award?

The funds will be transferred to your department as soon as we receive all of the required information: 1) signed agreement form, 2) name/email of your administrative contact, and 3) account number into which to transfer the funds.

  1. Is this a cash award?

No. In fact, this is technically a "research fund," which means that it will be transferred to your department and not directly paid to you. The funding may be utilized as you see fit as long as it is in accordance with Rutgers policies and procedures. Please provide an administrative contact for your area and the appropriate account to use for your transfer. 

  1. What can I use the research funds for?

The funding may be utilized as you see fit as long as it is in accordance with Rutgers policies and procedures. Some examples (from previous OAT winners): hiring a graduate or undergraduate student to help with the course redesign, attending a conference on best practices in teaching with open educational resources, or helping with expenses for other professional development or work-related travel needs.

  1. I am a graduate student teaching a course. Will this award impact my financial aid? 

If you are receiving financial aid, you are advised to check with the financial aid office to determine if there would be any impact to your personal financial package.

  1. Who is funding this award?

The OAT Program is funded by Rutgers University Libraries and private donors. In 2017–2018, additional funding was supplied by Rutgers University–Camden.