Opportunity for Funding

ACADIC offers grants, funding, and awards to researchers and institutions in Africa to build equitable, resilient governance strategies & increase societal preparedness for future global pandemics and climate disaster using AI and Big Data Analytics.
Open Call:
Call For Expressions of Interest: to deepen the understanding of how responsible AI solutions can improve public health preparedness and response.
Deadline: December 31, 2022
Funding: Up to $1283286 per region (up to $362500 per team)
Duration: 5 years
See detailed information below


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: December 31, 2022 11:59PM (EST)


Overview of the Call for Proposals Process

The call for proposals will only be open to researchers from LMICs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). 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 (May 2023 – April 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 (May 2026 – April 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.
We will use a three-stage process to select the most promising proposal.


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).

  1. Themes:
    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)
    Early response (e.g. Employing AI and BDA to provide early response management for ERIDs)
  3. Mitigation and control of developing epidemics (e.g. Deploying AI and BDA to inform mitigation and control of developing epidemics/pandemics )
  4. Timely and reliable data for public health decision-making
    Resilient, strong, and fair health systems
    Inclusion and equity for vulnerable groups


  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.

Catalyst: Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics


Registration deadline
December 31, 2022
LOI deadline
January 31, 2023
Announcement of shortlisted February 15, 2023

Final proposal deadline
March 31, 2022
Announcement of competition results April 15, 2023

STAGE II: Letter of Intent (LOI)

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 January 31, 2022 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 31, 2022 at 11:59 PM GMT. The competition results will be announced on April 15, 2023.

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.