PiTech PhD Impact Fellowship
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Public Interest Tech (PiTech)?
Public Interest Tech is an emerging scholarly and professional field that is broad in scope and intention. It is defined by the deployment of technological expertise in service of the common good, often with a focus on under-resourced communities and needs.
What is Cornell Tech?
Cornell Tech is a campus of Cornell University located on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan, New York City. Cornell Tech’s academic environment encourages tight integration across disciplines, couples fundamental research with practice, and supports societal and commercial ventures alongside research and education. In addition to world-class academic work, a distinguishing characteristic of our research is that it engages deeply with external communities, organizations, and industry to address real-world problems and contexts that amplify the direct societal and commercial impact of our research. Learn more.
What kind of support will I receive in this program?
In addition to full- or part-time funding of your time, we will also provide mentoring support throughout the summer from professionally relevant advisors with experience in your field and/or project domain. In parallel, our weekly values in design programming will help you incorporate deeper understanding of societal issues and ethical perspectives relating to your specific fellowship project. You will also have the option of engaging interns to support your work, and a cohort community of peer technologists leading similar projects.
Who are the partner organizations?
You may apply to the program with a partner organization in mind, but this isn’t required. We will work to pair you with a compelling public interest organization that is prepared to advance its mission with assistance from your contributions.
What will be asked of me?
The primary goal of this program is to position you to contribute to advancing the public interest mission of your partner through the application of your technical expertise. At the end of the fellowship, you will be asked to produce a summary report or blog post for your portfolio, and you will be invited to stay involved in Cornell’s growing PiTech and DLI communities.
I’ll be located internationally in the summer. Am I eligible to apply?
We will work with partner organizations based in New York. Remote participation may be possible due to the pandemic, although we will encourage active participation on site in New York City once it is safe to do so again. Remote work completed within the U.S. is allowable for students with an active visa. Remote work from an international location is not possible.
How do I apply?
We’ve prepared a short application form. It asks some basic questions about your technical background and your motivation to use it to advance the public interest. We hope to get your application by February 15, 2021; if you are interested but are not ready to submit, please email us ASAP.