Nomination Procedures for the Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship

A University of Massachusetts Amherst Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship provides tenured Professors with a unique opportunity to focus on their research or creative activities. 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.

Conti Fellows are chosen based on their record of outstanding accomplishments in research and creative activity and on their potential for continued excellence, particularly regarding the project that would be undertaken during the Fellowship period and as proposed in their nomination materials. 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 Fellows 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, including comments on the impact of the proposed project; and a list of no more than five external referees and their contact information (including email addresses), from whom recommendation letters will be requested if the nomination packet is forwarded by the dean to the VCRE. Candidates who have been nominated in the previous three years may choose to rely on reference letters from the previous nomination. 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, including self-nominations, must be submitted to the Dean of the candidate’s academic unit no later than Friday, December 6, 2024. Please note that individual colleges may set additional internal deadlines or review procedures.

Deans may forward two nominations to the VCRE on or before Friday, January 3, 2025. Colleges with more than 200 tenure-stream faculty members may submit additional nominations up to a maximum of 1% (rounded) of their respective faculties. Nominators or their designees, will work closely with the office of the VCRE to secure recommendation letters.

Conti Fellowship nominations are reviewed by a committee appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research & Engagement, after consultation with the Provost and the Chair of the Research Council. The committee members will be full time faculty at UMass Amherst, including but not limited to former Conti Fellows, who are recognized for excellence in research and creative activities. The Committee membership and their recommendations will reflect the campus goals for a diverse and inclusive community. Prior to the formulation of recommendations, the Committee will meet with the Vice Chancellor for Research & Engagement to discuss the review process and guidelines for confidentiality and conflict of interest.

Fellowship recipients for the 2025-2026 academic year will be announced in spring semester 2025.