ICDE Chairs in Open Educational Resources – call for proposals      


International Council for Open and distance Education, ICDE, is considering the extension of the network of ICDE Chairs in Open Educational Resources (OER). The network, where possible, works in collaboration with UNESCO and existing UNESCO Chairs in OER.

ICDE member institutions are invited to propose an expert who:
1)      has a Chair at that institution
2)      has an extended record for his/her work and achievements in OER.

The total number of ICDE Chairs in OER should not exceed ten in total, as stated in point 2 of the guidelines for ICDE Chairs.

The network of ICDE Chairs in OER currently consists of six distinguished and internationally recognized academics in the field of OER including:

  • Rory McGreal from Athabasca University, Canada, who is a UNESCO-COL Chair in OER

  • Wayne Mackintosh from Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand, who is a UNESCO Chair in OER

  • Martin Weller, The Open University, UK

  • Maria Soledad Ramirez Montoya, Tecnólogico de Monterrey, México, who is a UNESCO Chair in OER

  • Daniel Burgos, Universidad Internacional de la Rioja (UNIR), Spain, who is a UNESCO Chair in eLearning

  • Tolly S.A. Mbwette, Pan-African University Council, Tanzania

Proposal structure

  • Declare an interest in making a proposal

  • Provide contact details

  • Describe why the institution wishes to host an ICDE Chair in OER

  • Describe how the applicant intends to establish and exercise its ICDE Chair

  • Document the candidate’s qualifications for holding an ICDE Chair in OER

  • Proposal must be signed by the head of the institution, e.g. Vice Chancellor, Rector etc.

  • Proposal should not exceed 10 pages


The proposal must be submitted to the ICDE Secretariat by email to icde@icde.org, by 30 September 2016.

Women are encouraged to apply.


Enquiries should be addressed to Torunn Gjelsvik, Senior Advisor at ICDE, and sent by email to icde@icde.org.


The ICDE Executive Committee will, after review by independent experts, appoint new ICDE Chairs.

Guidelines for ICDE Chairs

  1. ICDE Chairs are restricted to a closely defined set of subject areas within the scope of ICDE’s mission.

  2. ICDE Chairs in OER is chosen as the first theme. The number of Chairs within this theme should as a guideline not exceed ten in total.

  3. For each subject area, in this case OER, Chairs should be well-distributed around the globe.

  4. Applications for an ICDE Chair can be made only for an expert at an ICDE member institution who has a Chair at that institution and who has an outstanding record for his/her work and achievements in the subject area. The research project portfolio of the institution and its Chair holder in the subject area in the past, as well as envisaged for the future, should be significant.

  5. UNESCO Chairs for the given subject area, in this case OER, that are ICDE members are invited to also become ICDE Chairs.

  6. The ICDE Chair label is not a funded position, but awarding it provides extra profile to the Chair holder, expressing ICDE interest in his/her research, underlining his/her reputation, and probably contributing to better conditions to acquire funding for research projects in the given subject area, in this case OER.

  7. In each subject area, in this case OER, ICDE Chair holders are bound to establish a network in which they and their teams collaborate and to which experts in the subject area from other universities may be admitted.

  8. ICDE Chair holders are not only expected to do research and to report and publish on the work done, but also to contribute through reports and presentations to the utilization/valorization of the outcomes of their work for the further innovation of ODL and Lifelong Learning in general.

  9. ICDE Chair holders are expected to be prepared to play a role – generally on invitation or request – at e.g. ICDE World Conferences, SCOP Meetings, Regional Conferences, or Expert Seminars.

  10. There is no formal hierarchical relation between the ICDE Chair holders and ICDE. The ICDE Chair holders have an independent position and will inform ICDE of their activities through a light-version annual report.

  11. The ICDE Chair label will be awarded for a limited term of 4 years. It can be extended, after evaluation, with a second term but not beyond that.


The UNESCO website for UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks:


Guidelines and Procedures for UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme


Overview of the 773 UNESCO Chairs per 30/04/2014


Commonwealth of Learning – UNESCO-COL Chairs


OER Logo 2012, J. Mello, used under a Creative Commons license CC-BY