The International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies (OBVIA) is launching the 5th phase of its call for innovative projects to support interdisciplinary research projects from one to three years long, up to a maximum of $CA 120,000 per project.
In order to support the development of early career researchers and collegial researchers, a part of the budget is dedicated to fund at least one project submitted by an early career researcher and one project submitted by a college researcher.
OBVIA is an open research network that brings together the expertise of more than 240 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.
OBVIA’s mission, based on critical interrogation, is to identify the societal challenges of AI and digital technologies and to contribute to solutions that place living beings and the biosphere at the center of their development and use cycle. OBVIA’s research community, in collaboration with civil society, political actors, industry and developers, produces open knowledge and supports the strengthening of individual and collective capabilities.
Equity, diversity and inclusion
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.
Objectives of the call
This call for projects has for objectives to:
- Support research and creation on the societal impacts of AI and digital technology, on the major associated societal transformations and the dynamics that structure them, particularly from a responsible innovation perspective.
- Support the development of new interdisciplinary research teams, while attracting emerging researchers likely to conduct research on the societal impacts of artificial intelligence and digital technology.
- Support cross-sectoral projects of importance for Quebec and other societies facing similar issues in terms of the societal impacts of AI and digital technologies.
- Support the development of research projects and new knowledge in line with the five priority orientations of OBVIA’s Scientific Guidelines (in French only), which are :
- Contribute to promoting inclusion and mitigating bias
- Improving access to data while respecting the rights of everyone
- Contribute to better control of artificial intelligence algorithms and digital systems
- Supporting responsible and effective adoption of AI and digital technologies by organizations
- Promote constructive and democratic dialogue through accessible appropriation of AI and digital technology
- 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 directly based on the societal impact 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; Digital sobriety and socio-ecological transition; Ethics, Governance and Democracy; Law, Cyberjustice and Cybersecurity; Education and Empowerment; and Sustainable Health).
- 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 growth. Potential for societal impacts and creative outreach.
- Stimulation of partnerships and networking. Active participation of scientific and non-scientific collaborators and partners is strongly encouraged. The main focus needs to remain on the development of knowledge that contributes to the common good, not to the interests of organizations and companies.
- Knowledge mobilization. The project must demonstrate a strong potential for knowledge mobilization and transfer.
OBVIA ensure that its decisions are fair and objective, and that they are seen to be so. Evaluation is carried out by an independent evaluation committee, overseen by the Scientific Director – Research, who is jointly responsible for the Research & Creation function, and by OBVIA’s Scientific Executive Committee.
- Launch of the Call for Projects – Phase 5 : Friday, September 22nd, 2023.
- Deadline for submission of a project: Sunday, December 10th, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).
- Evaluation: January 8th to February 4th, 2024.
- Announcement of projects selected for funding: March 2024.
All project proposals must be submitted by email as a single document to firstname.lastname@example.org. and must include:
- the submission form in .docx version ;
- 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.
For further information about the OBVIA’s call for innovative projects, you can send your questions to:
Research Program Advisor