The Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship provides faculty members with a unique opportunity to focus on their research or creative activities. The fellowships are managed by the office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement (VCRE) and provide a one-year release from teaching and service duties in addition to a $3,500 cash award.
Fellows are chosen based on their record of outstanding accomplishments in research and creative activity and on their potential for continued excellence, particularly with regard to the project that would be undertaken during the Fellowship period and as proposed in their nomination materials. In considering whom to nominate from multiple meritorious faculty members, nominators should consider how the proposed project fits into the nominee’s overall trajectory: has the research reached a point where a year of uninterrupted work can lead to significant advances?
Accomplishments in research and creative activity as a UMass Amherst faculty member are paramount. Distinguished teaching or meritorious service will not enhance a nomination unless it is an integral part of the work to be undertaken. Conti Fellowship recipients are expected to continue as members of the faculty for at least one year post-fellowship.
During the fall semester, heads and chairs will consult with their departmental personnel committees to identify prospective nominees and assemble the required materials. Nomination packets include: a statement of up to 1,000 words from the candidate describing how the fellowship time would be spent; a complete curriculum vitae; a supporting letter from the nominee's department head/chair; and a list of no more than five external referees and their contact information (including email addresses), from whom recommendation letters may be requested. Self-nominations are also permitted, in which case the supporting letter may be written by a colleague or by the department head/chair. All nomination packets must be submitted to the dean of the candidate’s academic unit no later than Friday, Dec. 9.
Individual colleges may set additional internal deadlines or review procedures. Deans may forward two nominations to the VCRE on or before Jan. 13, 2017. Colleges with more than 200 tenure-stream faculty members may submit additional nominations up to a maximum of 1 percent (rounded) of their respective faculties. Nominators, or their designees, will work closely with the office of the VCRE to secure recommendation letters.
A committee of former Conti Fellows will be appointed by the VCRE, in consultation with the chair of the Research Council, to review nomination dossiers. Its recommendations will be submitted to the VCRE for consideration and approval. Fellowship recipients for the 2017-18 academic year will be announced mid-spring semester 2017.