Public Interest Technology University Network Challenge Grant

Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) Challenge Grant

The application period for this opportunity is closed. Please check back in Spring 2023.

Administered by the New Venture Fund (on behalf of Ford, Hewlett, and New America)

Internal Submission Deadline: Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Sponsor Deadline: Friday, June 24, 2022

Sponsor Website:

Contact for Questions: limitedsubmissions [at] (limitedsubmissions[at]stanford[dot]edu)

Limited Submission: Network members can submit three proposals for new projects. There is no limit for additional funding to continue and/or scale a previously funded project that meets eligibility requirements.

Award Amount

Tranche 1: Up to $90,000 ($0-$90,000) for direct and indirect costs, and Tranche 2: Up to $180,000 ($90,001-$180,000) for direct and indirect costs.


The Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) Challenge is a limited submission funding opportunity — a university-wide Internal selection process is required. No more than three new proposals from Stanford are permitted, with only one application in funding Tranche 2. Stanford faculty with PI eligibility are invited to submit to the internal process as described below.

Potential applicants should consult the program website and eligibility criteria here. The RFP is available for download here.

New America will conduct the “Building a Better PIT-UN Application” information session on Thursday, April 28 from 11:30a – 12:30p PT. Registration instructions and other details will be posted in the Key Dates & Contact section.

Opportunity Summary

The PIT University Network Challenge seeks to encourage new ideas, foster collaborations, and incentivize resource- and information-sharing among network members. For its fourth year, projects addressing any of the priority areas below related to public interest technology in university settings are welcome to apply for a grant.

  • Educational Offerings
  • Career Pipeline/Placement
  • Faculty & Institution Building
  • Strengthening the PIT University Network

The PIT-UN Challenge will prioritize projects that center the needs of communities who have historically been denied access to new technologies, been systematically left out of conversations at the intersection of technology and policy, and who have been denied opportunities to join the technology workforce. PIT-UN will prioritize these projects in an effort to further the positive social impact of technology for all communities. Projects may demonstrate centering community needs by incorporating community partners in the design and execution of their work.


PIT-UN is inviting proposals in two funding tranches. Budgets should be inclusive of an indirect rate, set at 20% of total direct costs.

  • Tranche 1: Up to $90,000 ($0-$90,000) for direct and indirect costs
  • Tranche 2: Up to $180,000 ($90,001-$180,000) for direct and indirect costs

Network members may submit only one application in funding Tranche 2.


Stanford faculty with PI eligibility (members of the University's Academic Council or UML faculty).

A person may be listed as the Principal Investigator (PI) on only one Challenge application, but individuals may be listed as collaborators on multiple applications.

Required Stanford Internal Proposal Elements

  1. Project concept including the following sections in accordance with “C. Project Information, Objectives, Plan, Outcomes and Deliverables” instructions on pages 11-13 of the program RFP.
    • Project Plan (750 word limit).
    • Impact (500 word limit)
    • Qualifications & Capacity (300-word limit)
    • Institutional Support and Budget Description (300 word limit)
    • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (750 word limit)
  2. Stanford lead PI’s current and pending research support (include the sponsor name, term, and amount of funding).
  3. Short CV or biosketch for the PI and (if applicable) Collaborator.


Please submit the internal proposal elements as separate PDF files here.

If you would like someone other than yourself to submit your proposal, please create a "proxy". Instructions at: Have Someone Submit an Application on My Behalf (Proxy).


For the selected applicant(s)

  • June 24, 2022: Applications due to the New Venture Fund

Applications must be submitted to your institutional representative in OSR or RMG according to the University Proposal Deadline Policy. Proposal Preparation and Submission guidelines are available here.

Selection Process

Proposals are reviewed by the VPDoR Limited Submissions Faculty Review Committee. The committee will select the applicant to represent Stanford. All internal applicants receive an update via email with the status of their submission.

Additional information is described in the Limited Submission Frequently Asked Questions.