Call for innovative projects – Phase 3 – 2021-2024

The International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies (OBVIA) is launching the third phase of its call for innovative projects with a total budget of $CA 1,000,000 to support projects for up to three years with a total budget of maximum $CA 125,000. In order to support early career researchers, this phase will fund a minimum of two projects submitted by early career researchers (1).



OBVIA is an open research network that brings together the expertise of more than 220 researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Engineering, and Health. It is also an open space for discussion and reflection for all stakeholders in the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital technologies.  Centred around a critical interrogation of technological innovations, the Observatory’s mission is to raise crucial issues and identify plausible solutions for the problems and opportunities stemming from the rise of AI and digital technology in the province of Quebec and elsewhere in the world.  OBVIA aims to contribute to the common good that must be pursued through digital innovation. Via knowledge production and research-creation projects, OBVIA addresses technology’s benefits to society and engages democratic institutions. 


OBVIA promotes and integrates the values of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in all of its activities. An open and diverse community promotes the inclusion of the voices of those who have been under-represented or discouraged. OBVIA welcomes individuals/projects who/that have demonstrated their commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion values and will help us increase our capacity for diversity in the broadest sense. We encourage applications from groups members who have been marginalized for any of the reasons listed in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (CHRF), including gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability status, political belief, religion, family status, age, First Nations, Metis or Inuit status or Indigenous status. 


  • Support research and creation on responsible innovation and the major societal transformations associated with AI and digital technologies (NumerIA) and the dynamics that structure them. 
  • Support the development of research teams likely to conduct research on the societal impacts of NumerIA, while attracting early career researchers 
  • Supporting cross-sectoral projects of importance for Quebec and for other societies facing the same issues in terms of the societal impacts of AI and digital technologies. 

Eligibility criteria

  • A principal investigator must be a Researcher member of OBVIA. 
  • At least two other researchers must also be Researcher member of OBVIA. 
  • The project must be based on the concept of responsible innovation. 
  • The project must contribute at least to two different OBVIA’s research themes (Arts, Media and Cultural Diversity; Industry 4.0, Work and Employment; Environment, Smart Cities, Territory and Mobility; International Relations, Humanitarian Action and Human Rights; Ethics, Governance and Democracy; Law, Cyberjustice and Cybersecurity; Education and Empowerment; and Sustainable Health). 

Evaluation critieria

  • Research and creation. Precision of the project, its hypotheses and methodology, and their coherence with OBVIA’s mission. Quality of the principal investigators and co-investigators’ CVs. 
  • Team, attraction, training and retention of research actors. Support for the next research generation. Relevance and justification of the size and complementarity of the team. 
  • Capacity for scientific growthPotential for societal impacts and creative outreach. 


  • December 9th2020: Launch of the call for projects – Phase 3 
  • March 1st20214:59 p.m. (EST) : Submission deadline  
  • March-May 2021 : Evaluation  
  • End of May 2021 : Results 

Apply - Project Submission

All projects proposals must be submitted by email as a single file to et must include IN THIS ORDER :

  • The submission form in .docx version;
    • If you run out of space to submit all your team membres, complete one (or more) additionnal Team page (document available in French) .
    • If you are not able to enter correctly your budget in the form, you can use this spreadsheet in .xlsx
  • CVs of principal and co-investigators (two-page CVs);
  • Letters of support from partners, if applicable ;
  • Illustrations and/or graphics may be included in the appendix.



(1) Researcher within five years from the date of their first research-related appointment, excluding justified delays in research. A research-related appointment is defined as one where the individual has the autonomy to conduct research independently. All eligible leaves of absence (maternity leave, parental leave, medical leave and bereavement leave) may be deducted from the period. Professional leaves (training, sabbatical, administrative leave) are not deducted.

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The International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology is made possible by the support of the Fonds de recherche du Québec.