AMS Healthcare: Compassion and Artificial Intelligence Small Grant


This program is offered as a partnership between the AMS Healthcare and the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit.


Compassion and Artificial Intelligence Small Grant


Technology will transform healthcare in ways we are only beginning to understand and healthcare’s readiness to embrace this transformation – and ability to translate technology opportunities into sustainable solutions to the most pressing issues in healthcare – will be the central challenge for practitioners, providers and policymakers alike. Expectations about compassionate care will also evolve as patients increasingly look for empathy, as well as connectedness, responsiveness, and empowerment to act together to improve health and address illness. AMS Healthcare is inviting health professionals, educators, academics and clinicians of all disciplines to seize the opportunity to explore and lead this transformation by deepening our understanding of the various aspects of compassion through the lens of technology and better ensure that technologies are enabling of healthcare’s compassionate purpose.

The AMS Healthcare Compassion and Artificial Intelligence Small Grant program provides highly qualified individuals (prepared with either a PhD or Master’s degree) a unique opportunity to apply their research and analytic talents to the critical challenge of the impact of digital technology and artificial intelligence (DT/AI) on the delivery of compassionate healthcare. This innovative grant program is designed to support projects that will generate new knowledge and evidence to advance the education/training of undergraduate, graduate and practicing healthcare professionals, and clinical, health systems and related field researchers on compassionate patient care and DT/AI.

Proposals may include development and testing of new ideas, innovation in education or practice, or knowledge translation. Projects might also include requests for seed funding to develop research initiatives. The project grants are expected to advance the education of health professionals or the provision of compassionate patient care and system delivery modalities that enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care services. There is an expectation that during the period of these grants or within a year of their completion, one or more publications/presentations will result from this funding.

Core criteria for the grants include:

  1. the grant explores specific attribute(s) of compassion (i.e., provider-patient relationship, equity, trust, patient safety, suffering, provider burnout, etc.) in relation to digital technology/AI;
  2. compassion is clearly conceptualized and defined in the proposal; and
  3. the exploration of compassion in relation to digital technology/AI is core to the proposal.


To be eligible for this award, the applicant must be either:

  • an early or mid-career academic health investigator working in a CIHR eligible institution in Canada. CIHR defines a new/early career investigator as someone who has assumed their first independent academic position (e.g., faculty appointment) within the last 5 years. Mid-career is defined as 5-15 years as an independent academic.
  • a regulated healthcare professional with graduate school training or an academic in a field related to/focussed on healthcare (i.e. health ethics, health law, computer scientist with an interest in health applications) working in an Ontario health care organization, provincial government, academic setting or a provincial/national health professional organization in Ontario.

Preference will be given to applicants who reside in Ontario and are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Activities proposed in the application must occur at an organization located in Canada.

Funding Availability

AMS Healthcare’s financial contributions for this initiative are subject to the availability of funds. Should AMS Healthcare funding levels not be available or are decreased due to unforeseen circumstances, AMS Healthcare reserves the right to reduce, defer or suspend financial contributions to awards received as a result of this funding opportunity.

The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $200,000, enough to fund ten (10) grants of up to $20,000 each for up to a maximum of 24-months. 

Indirect Costs


Special Notes

Information Webinar

Questions regarding the program will be addressed at the Information Webinar Call 1:00 pm (EST) on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. 


Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Please submit your application, along with an OR-5 Form to

External Deadline

Applicants are required to submit a complete Full Application as well as additional documentation requested in the call to OSSU at

How to Apply

Applications for this funding opportunity will undergo a single Full Application stage. Application guidelines and templates for this award can be found on the OSSU website

Applicants are required to submit a complete Full Application as well as additional documentation requested in the call to OSSU, at, by 5:00pm, Thursday, June 3, 2021 (see internal and external deadlines above).

All applicants will be notified of the results on or before September 2021. Funding will commence on December 1, 2021.

For Questions, please contact

John Riley, Assistant Director

Office of Research

Ornella McCarron, Grants Officer
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x52832

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