CSRAI Seed Funding graphic
Published on: Oct 26, 2021

Penn State’s Center for Socially Responsible Artificial Intelligence (CSRAI) is now inviting short proposals for its annual seed funding program. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 1, with projects expected to start in spring 2022 and last for up to two years.

The center promotes high-impact, transformative AI research and development, while encouraging the consideration of social and ethical implications in all such efforts. As such, projects should show potential for transformational AI-related research that can contribute to social good, social accountability, social consciousness, social justice, equity, ethicality, fairness, inclusivity, transparency, privacy, human agency, or related concepts.

“The purpose of this grant program is to sow the seeds for Penn State research on socially responsible AI,” said S. Shyam Sundar, director of CSRAI and James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. “We would like to see more collaborations between social scientists and computer scientists, and between humanists and AI engineers.”

Funding will be provided through three types of grants:

  • Collaboration Initiation Funding ($500-$5,000), which aims to assist Penn State faculty to form interdisciplinary research teams and seed projects directed at pursuing external funding.

  • Pilot Project Funding ($5,000-$25,000), which aims to support research projects with specific research questions, a well-conceived theoretical basis, an identified team of Penn State faculty collaborators, and strong potential to obtain external funding.

  • Pilot Project Funding - Diversity Track ($5,000-$25,000), which aims to support projects that meet the criteria required for Pilot Projects and also have a strong diversity, equity, and inclusion focus that can be demonstrated at any and all levels of the project.

All University faculty can participate, but the principal investigator must be a member of a Penn State college, institute or unit funding the center. Proposals will be evaluated on several criteria, including but not limited to its connection to the center’s mission and its potential for securing external funding.

Interested researchers who are looking for collaborators are invited to submit their interest on the CSRAI website. Penn State faculty also can consult the center’s directory of affiliates and consider becoming an affiliate themselves.

“This is a new initiative,” added Sundar. “It is designed to bring together Penn State faculty with complementary interests.”

For complete details on the program, including criteria, allowable expenses and the application process, visit the CSRAI Seed Funding Program page. Questions regarding this proposal solicitation may be directed to S. Shyam Sundar at sss12@psu.edu.

News Topics: AI Hub, Seed Funding