Michelson Spark Grants

The 2021 Open Educational Resources funding cycle call for proposals is open from June 2, 2021, until June 23, 2021. You can download copies of the LOI and full application.

Submit a Proposal

Spark Grants is an innovative, just-in-time grantmaking process.

Our vision is to introduce a process that can fill urgent needs for education organizations that are well-aligned with our focus areas. We seek to fund highly impactful initiatives that would not be possible if they needed to wait through a traditional grant decision timeline.

The Spark Advantage

Timing

In the spirit of acting quickly, grants will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Eligibility

For this round of funding we have decided to focus our impact on organizations that are doing work in California. Organizations whose work does not impact California will be ineligible for this opportunity.

Velocity

We are committed to reaching a decision on each application within 15 business days of our call for proposals closing.

Spark Grant Awardees

Click the logo to learn more about the work we have funded.

What We’re Looking For

Our vision is to introduce a process that can fill urgent needs for education organizations that are well-aligned with our focus areas.  We seek to fund highly impactful initiatives that would not be possible if they needed to wait through a traditional grant decision timeline.

R

Alignment with focus areas

R

Lasting organizational sustainability

R

Measurability of project impact

Grant Evaluation Criteria

Baseline Grant Criteria

  • Grant ask is up to $25,000.
  • We welcome proposals where Michelson Spark Grant funds are part of a larger overall project with multiple funding streams.
  • We will not be funding initiatives that primarily seek to develop Open Educational Resources (OER) content during this Michelson Spark Grant cycle. While we realize there is a tremendous desire from faculty for this type of support, we are leveraging our funding to effect broader systemic change at this time.
  • For this cycle of funding we have decided to focus our impact on organizations that are doing work in California. Organizations whose work does not impact California will be ineligible for this opportunity.
  • Preference will be given to grants that cover a specific self-contained milestone focus including inflection points, things that may open up a new foothold with a partner (i.e. enabling a new partnership with a market leader), or a new proof of concept.
  • For this funding cycle we will not be funding general operating expenses such as rent, utilities, server costs, etc.

Open Educational Resources (OER) Funding Cycle Focus Areas:

  • Incorporating OER into the tenure and promotion process within higher education systems;
  • Raising awareness to policymakers and higher education leaders around the issue of automatic textbook billing with a focus on how these programs impact students and faculty;
  • Using OER to provide an actively antiracist and more culturally responsive learning environment for students;
  • Research that demonstrates how open educational resources and zero textbook cost degree programs impact student success within California;
  • Providing opportunities for faculty statewide to engage in professional development around OER with a particular focus on sharing resources that have already been developed and breaking down silos in the space;
  • Improving efforts around data collection in California to understand the current metrics around OER adoption by higher education faculty.

Spark Grants Evaluation Process

Grant Application is Received

After LOI is submitted the Grant Committee will do an initial assessment.

Reject or Move Forward Decision is Made

Within 6 business days you will be notified if your proposal is moving forward in the process.

Complete Full Application

Proposals that advance will be asked to complete a full application.

Applications Assessed

Full applications will be assessed and a follow up call will be scheduled with those that advance to the finalist stage.

Final Decision Made

You will be notified of the Grant Committee decision within 15 business days of our call for proposals closing.

 
 

Grant Committee

Phil Kim

Phil Kim

Chief Executive Officer

Mayra Lombera

Mayra Lombera

Chief Operating Officer

Ryan Erickson-Kulas

Ryan Erickson-Kulas

Programs Director

Sign Up For Notifications

Want to Learn More?

Michelson 20MM hosted an informational webinar on this funding cycle on May 26th. Watch the video below for additional details.