Funding

ACADIC offers grants, funding, and awards to researchers and institutions in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean and the Middle East, and North Africa to deepen the understanding of how responsible AI solutions can improve public health preparedness and response.

Open Call

AI4PEP Call For Expressions of Interest: to deepen the understanding of how responsible AI solutions can improve public health preparedness and response.
Deadline: January 15, 2023
Funding: Up to CAN$1,283,286 per region (up to CAN$362,500 per team)
Duration: 5 years

Eligible Regions and Countries

Africa:
Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Asia:
American Samoa, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam.

Latin America and the Caribbean:
Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Venezuela.

Middle East and North Africa:
Algeria, Egypt Arab Rep., Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia.

See detailed information below

AI4PEP CALL FOR IDEAS

AI4PEP invites the Global South research community to submit proposals to deepen the understanding of how responsible AI solutions can improve public health preparedness and response.

Deadline for Registrations: January 15, 2023 11:59PM (EST)

Overview of the Call for Proposals Process

The call for proposals will only be open to researchers from the regions and countries indicated above (see Eligible Regions and Countries Section). We will use a 2-phased approach: inception and exploration phase. This approach has been chosen, since we anticipate that some partners may take longer to deliver the expected outputs and/or will require more support than other partners. Therefore, the second part of the funding will be used to specifically support these partners.

During the Inception Phase (April 2023 – March 2026), selected research teams will coherently combine different theoretical tools, advancing the responsible development and deployment of AI-based tools within the One Health framework in order to build epidemic and pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. During this phase, research teams will have an opportunity to determine if their idea warrants additional in-depth investigation, make changes to their activities, identify and bring in new partners to strengthen their impact, and solidify the relationships needed to make the scaling of their innovations a success.

In Phase 2 (April 2026 – March 2028), some or all of the research teams will receive additional funding to expand and/or scale their ideas and solutions, as well as to disseminate findings and inspire the next generation of leaders in the use of AI for pandemic and epidemic preparedness and response.

We will be soliciting proposals only for Phase 1. All proposals will need to meet country-specific clearance requirements to advance. We will take into account regional balance whenever possible (to avoid funding all the strongest proposals coming from one or two countries).
We will use a three-stage process to select the most promising proposal.

STAGE I: REGISTRATION

The Registration stage is the first opportunity for applicants to describe their ideas that will enhance early detection, warning, and response to infectious diseases. The ideas should address the vision of AI4PEP: deepen the understanding of how responsible AI solutions can improve public health preparedness and response. For example, the ideas could address one or more of the Themes and or Pillars described below. The ideas should be ambitious enough to sustain the active engagement of outstanding researchers for at least five years and should also have a longer-term vision. The applicants are required to have at least one knowledge user (either from industry, civil society or policy maker) as a partner (preferably co-applicant). We expect the knowledge users to be identified at this stage so as to encourage meaningful and authentic collaboration. After a review of registrations by a selected international panel of reviewers, all eligible registrations will be invited to submit a letter of Intent (LOI).

 

Note we do not need any detailed information at this stage. We just need you to indicate that you are interested in joining our network. You will only be advised to withdraw if your idea is out of the scope of the call.

Required information for the registration form below:

Section 1: Principal Applicant Details (profile).

Section 2: Application Details (subject area, research themes, research question or challenge, research team).

Themes
  1. Early detection (e.g. Harnessing AI and Big Data Analytics (BDA) to identify contributing factors that influence emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (ERIDs) and direct and indirect pathways that lead to spillover events).
  2. Early warning systems (e.g. Leveraging AI and BDA to analyze early warning signals of ERIDs and the possibility of diseases establishment).
  3. Early response (e.g. Employing AI and BDA to provide early response management for ERIDs).
  4. Mitigation and control of developing epidemics (e.g. Deploying AI and BDA to inform mitigation and control of developing epidemics/pandemics).

 

Pillars:

  1. Timely and reliable data for public health decision-making
  2. Resilient, strong, and fair health systems
  3. Inclusion and equity for vulnerable groups

Registrations must be submitted electronically through the link below.

TIMELINE

Virtual Information Session (Registration): December 19, 2022 at 8 AM EST
Registration deadline: January 15, 2023 at 11:59 PM EST
Announcement of shortlisted proposals: January 29, 2023
Virtual Information Session (LOI): February 03, 2023, at 8 AM EST
Virtual workshop (LOI): February  10, 2023
LOI deadline: February 17, 2023, at 11:59 PM EST
Announcement of shortlisted proposals: March 03, 2023
Information Session (Proposal): March 10, 2023 at 9 AM EST
Virtual workshop (Proposal): March 17, 2023 at 9 AM EST.
Final Proposal deadline:
March 24, 2023
Announcement of competition results:  April 07, 2023

STAGE II: Letter of Intent (LOI)
  1. All invited teams will be required to attend a virtual workshop that will cover participatory research perspective, community engagement, equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization etc. We expect the researchers in LOI stage to outline the core elements of the research idea and the range of possible research questions for consideration. After a review of LOIs by a selected international panel of reviewers, all eligible NOI will proceed to Stage III. The selection will be based on the criteria listed below The LOI will be submitted electronically through an online portal as well. The deadline for LOI submission is February 17, 2023 at 11:59 PM GMT.
STAGE III: Proposal Development

All invited teams will work with the AI4PEP hub to convene a virtual workshop to help them prepare a full proposal. The purpose of the workshop is to bring researchers involved in developing the proposal together with other international researchers in order to refine the research question or challenge, how it could be tackled, and what intellectual resources are needed to make progress. We expect the full proposal to clearly articulate how the researchers will coherently combine different theoretical tools, advancing the responsible development and deployment of AI-based tools within the One Health framework in order to build epidemic and pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. The proposals will be reviewed by an international panel of reviewers. The deadline for the submission of the proposal is March 24, 2023, at 11:59 PM GMT. The competition results will be announced on April 07, 2023.

Pillars:
Timely and reliable data for public health decision-making
Resilient, strong, and fair health systems Inclusion and equity for vulnerable groups

Catalyst:Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics

Criteria for Selection

Our international review panel will use the following criteria to assess the submissions.

Research Significance

Researchers and partners must clearly articulate the proposed research questions to be addressed through sustained, deep collaboration within an interdisciplinary research team. They should provide a brief background on the data challenge being addressed; the rationale for the proposed project, including details on the anticipated outcomes of the proposed solution; detailed overview of the proposed project, including activities and expected outputs; a detailed overview of the communities and geographic regions engaged if applicable; project timeline and expected key milestones; assessment of the possible risks or barriers to success, and planned mitigation strategies etc. They must describe the current state of knowledge of the proposed topic areas (chosen from one of the themes below) that they wish to advance, including any necessary conceptual frameworks and/or methodologies. We expect a clear articulation of how the proposed project will advance current research being undertaken globally on pandemic and epidemic preparedness. Proposals should address how such an effort is distinct from existing national and international research networks that are exploring similar research questions. Researchers are required to explain how the project is interdisciplinary and rooted in a gender-sensitive approach and how an interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder collaboration will produce unique and important progress towards pandemic and epidemic preparedness.

Capacity Building and Knowledge Mobilization (Kmb)

A key aspect of our proposed network is a Knowledge Translation plan that creates pathways to societal impact as well as capacity building for the use of AI in addressing public health-related issues in the global south. Researchers should identify potential areas or issues their project may impact that can inform the development of the project’s Knowledge Mobilization plan, which will engage non-academic stakeholders from industry, the public sector, policymakers or civil society. A new generation of world-class researchers and practitioners in the area of AI for public health are in high demand by academic, industrial and government organizations. As noted in the 2014 Public Health Agency of Canada workshop report Economic Evaluation in Immunization Decision Making “The challenge for assessment in Canada will be the required support and training for analysts and reviewers of these models to promote a greater understanding of when traditional methods are inappropriate.” Projects should demonstrate how they plan to build capacity for the use of AI for public health.

Excellence of Research Team

Potential team members should include researchers who are recognized to be among the best in their fields globally. Proposals will be expected to demonstrate the scholarly excellence of proposed team members and make clear how the team reflects the necessary interdisciplinarity required to address the research questions or challenges. Proponents should include a plan to promote diversity of membership within the research team.

Potential Leadership

Each team is expected to describe the potential leadership in the NOI stage. Team leaders should not only be selected for their excellence in research, but also for their disruptive thinking and deep collaboration across disciplines and national borders, and their commitment to impact.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion& Decolonization Lens

Efforts to improve equity, diversity Inclusion & Decolonization (EDID) in research teams help the teams to attract and retain the best researchers, enable researchers to reach their full potential, and support research outcomes that are more relevant and strong. We expect to see EDID principles in the team’s composition and research design.

Alignment with IDRC AI4H Objectives

Proposals will be expected to clearly describe how the project aligns with DRC AI4H Objectives.

Required & Eligible Organizations

There is no maximum number of participating organizations per application. The participating organizations for a project must include a “recognized” public university and must be in Africa, Asia, LAC and MENA.

Budget & Allowable Expenses

In total, each team can apply for up to $362500 (Direct cost 320,796 (+13% indirect cost (41,704))). We anticipate sponsoring at most 16 research teams across Africa (4 teams), Asia (4 teams), Latin America and the Caribbean (4 teams), and the Middle East and North Africa (4 teams) in this initial phase. Each team is expected to request funds sufficient to complete the goals and activities outlined in the proposal. Proponents will be expected to provide a detailed budget justification.

Call for Proposal: Responsible AI solutions to support early detection, response, mitigation, and control of infectious disease outbreaks.

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