We are pleased to announce an interdisciplinary joint call aimed at building competitive, resilient and healthy economies and societies through responsible AI. The call is now open and the deadline for applications is 12 September 2019. Successful awards will be announced in January 2020 and are required to begin on 1 February 2020.

This call is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), in collaboration with three Canadian federal research funding agencies – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Up to £8.2 million in funding will be made available for this joint research call. Canada and the UK will support up to approximately 10 collaborative teams, subject to peer review assessment of the quality of the proposal. Each grant will require a Principal Investigator (PI) based in Canada and a PI based in the UK who will jointly develop one application and equally share leadership and project management for each project. The total amount available for the Canadian component of the team from the Canadian funding agencies is C$5.2 million. The maximum amount per project is $C173,333 per year for three years for a total of C$520,000 per project. The total amount available for the UK component of the team from the UKRI is £5 million funded from the Fund for International Collaboration. UK grants will be awarded up to £625,000 at 100% full economic cost (fEC) of which UKRI will contribute 80%.

Scope of the call

The call aims to support innovative and cutting-edge interdisciplinary AI research that encourages the exploration of new interdisciplinary research methodologies, approaches and tools that cuts across at least two of the following research domains:

  • social sciences and humanities;
  • health and biomedical sciences; and 
  • natural sciences and engineering (including computational and/or mathematical sciences).

The call promotes the development of responsible AI through research that includes considerations of social-cultural variables (gender, racialised identity, socio-economic status, ability, etc.), biological variables (sex) and sustainable development in the research design, to ensure that the benefits of AI technologies and tools are shared broadly across society, to mitigate against potential harms, and to enhance the trustworthiness of AI. 

Application process

The applicants must submit a compulsory short Intention to Submit (ItS) by 23:00 British Summer Time (BST) and 18:00 Eastern on 19 August 2019 using the electronic form. Please see our intention to submit form.

Failure to submit a valid ItS will invalidate any submitted Full Application. ItS must be submitted by the PI based in the UK on behalf of both the UK and Canadian applicants.

Webinar for potential applicants

An English webinar, hosted by ESRC, will be held on 17 July from 16:00 to 17:00 UK time (11:00 to 12:00 EST), and a French webinar will be held from 17:00 to 18:00 UK time (12:00 to 13:00 EST). Spaces will be limited, so we encourage you to register your interest (deadline 12 July) by emailing aiukcanada@esrc.ukri.org

Call documents

Key dates

  • Call for proposal opens  - 21 June 2019
  • Webinar for potential applicants - 17 July 2019
  • Compulsory Intention to Submit - 19 August 2019
  • Deadline for submitting proposals - 12 September 2019
  • Commissioning Panel meeting - w/c 2 December 2019
  • Decisions to applicants - w/c 6 January 2020
  • Grants start - 1 February 2020