Call for PIT Faculty FellowS 2024-2025


Public Interest Technology at UMass (PIT@UMass) is pleased to announce our third round of PIT Faculty Fellowships for the 2024-2025 academic year. The theme for this year is Building Capstone Courses and Experiential Learning Opportunities for the Undergraduate PIT Certificate. Faculty from all schools and colleges are invited to apply to be a part of the 2024-2025 PIT Faculty Fellowship cohort. Selected faculty will be provided stipends of up to $6,000 to develop capstone courses and experiential learning opportunities eligible for inclusion in the PIT Undergraduate Certificate

Public Interest Technology (PIT) focuses on the development and realization of socially responsible solutions to the challenges of a technology-driven world. It serves as a critical foundation for 21st century education for people who create technologies, and for those who work with them, which is all of us. PIT@UMass is an initiative to build PIT content, community, skills, and expertise throughout UMass.  The PIT Faculty Fellows program builds community among UMass Amherst faculty across campus to support key areas of the PIT@UMass initiative.

This year’s PIT Fellows program provides an opportunity and resources for faculty to build content, engage with one another and the broader PIT community, and work with the Center for Teaching and Learning and the IT Program on their efforts. This year’s cohort will join the growing community of PIT Faculty Fellows at UMass Amherst.

The 2024-2025 PIT Faculty Fellowship is focused on developing or increasing PIT-focused content in undergraduate capstone and experiential learning courses.  These courses will be developed to be eligible for the PIT Undergraduate Certificate and should provide students experience with real-world PIT-related applications.  PIT@UMass will partner with the UMass Amherst Center for Teaching and Learning and the IT Program to provide PIT Fellows support for course development during their Fellowship.

We invite applications from faculty in every college and school at UMass Amherst.  Fellowship applicant’s courses should promote public interest technology by providing undergraduates experiences to:

  • Address a complex “real-world” problem with public interest impacts (privacy, safety, security, equity, sustainability, ethical behavior, etc.)
  • Involve the responsible use of information technologies
  • Reduce cultural, economic, and other societal disparities

Each Fellow will be given funding to support the development of or add public interest focused content to existing capstone and experiential learning courses.

PIT Fellow applicants will describe their proposed work in the application.  In addition to this work, all 2024-2025 PIT Fellows will meet as a cohort for monthly talks where they can share and discuss their work. PIT Fellows will also work with the IT Program and the Center for Teaching and Learning to prepare their courses. They will join the evolving PIT@UMass community, providing feedback for ongoing efforts, serving as role models for students and colleagues interested in PIT education, and helping raise awareness with the broader community.

PIT Fellows are expected to:

  • Give a presentation on their work as part of the PIT Fellows Luncheon Series
  • Attend all presentations and lunches
  • Attend a two-hour workshop co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Provide a brief final report to be summarized for the PIT@UMass website describing their work as a Fellow
  • Attend the PIT@UMass all-hands meetings in Fall 2024 and Spring 2025
  • Plan to offer the course at least twice as part of their existing responsibilities with their departments, and preferably more 


  • Full-time tenure track faculty from any UMass Amherst school or college
  • Full-time non-tenure track faculty who are on continuing appointments from any UMass Amherst school or college
  • Faculty must be able to teach a course within the UMass Amherst curriculum
  • The proposed capstone course development must not already be supported by external funds

Applications will be evaluated based on how well the proposed course provides students with opportunities to work on projects that:

  • Address a complex “real-world” problem with public interest impacts (privacy, safety, security, equity, sustainability, ethical behavior, etc.)
  • Involve the responsible use of information technologies
  • Reduce cultural, economic, and other societal disparities


  • Applicants may request up to $6,000 for course development or related support to be spent between June 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025.  Proposers are welcome to use the PIT Fellowship as complementary funding to investments from UMass departments and schools or colleges to incorporate public interest considerations into their work.  
  • Funding may be used for faculty or student stipends, course buyouts, or other legitimate uses that will support course and experiential learning development.  Please describe how and when the requested funds will be spent (part of the proposal package)

Faculty will submit an application addressing the following questions:

  • What is the course being proposed?  Where does it fit within the school or college curriculum?
  • Is it a new course or an existing course?
  • What are the public interest impacts of the work done by students in the course?
  • Describe the experiential or project aspects of the course.
  • How will information technologies be used?
  • How will the course projects approach cultural, economic and societal disparities?
  • What is the budget? 
  • How will the funding be used for course development? 
  • How will the applicant(s) benefit from being part of the interdisciplinary Fellows Cohort and the PIT@UMass community? 

Faculty will also submit a letter of support from their head/chair.

To apply, please complete this application formApplications are due by April 26, 2024.

Please contact Donna Baron.