CIFAR AI & Society Call for Workshops


Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)


"AI & Society" Workshops

For More Information

Call for Workshops


CIFAR invites the global research and innovation community to submit proposals for workshops on the social, ethical, economic, and legal dimensions of artificial intelligence (AI). Open to applicants anywhere in the world, this call will provide up to $80,000 to support short-term collaboration between international, interdisciplinary groups. This collaboration will culminate in a CIFAR-supported publication targeted to non-academic sectors, such as policymakers or NGOs. CIFAR Proposals are welcome on any aspect of the intersection of AI and society, however proposals exploring AI through the following themes are encouraged:
Policy Considerations: As AI technologies continue to accelerate their pace of development, there is considerable debate as to the effects and potential responses across sectors and policy domains. CIFAR seeks workshops that examine a diverse range of policy considerations of AI systems, for example, urban planning, transportation, education skills, work and law.
Global Dynamics of AI: AI technologies are increasingly being developed and deployed across borders and jurisdictions, even as significant regional differences exist. CIFAR seeks workshops that will explore questions about AI on a global scale, as it relates to globalization, trade, development, international relations, culture, competition, inequality and governance.
Discovery and Creation: While prediction and analysis are the primary functions of most AI systems, some AI technologies are creating new works of art, music, science and journalism. CIFAR seeks workshops that will examine questions such as the nature of intelligence, creativity, authorship, art, bias, accountability, transparency and scholarship.


  • Workshops must be comprised of a core team of three to four international and interdisciplinary researchers or practitioners who intend to address topics of global importance. At least one core team member must be based in Canada. Other participants are expected to be geographically diverse. One of the core team members must serve as the lead applicant for the proposal. CIFAR will work with the core team to identify and recruit additional participants.
  • Workshops must address a new area of research, or a gap in the research agenda.
  • Workshop proposals submitted by existing CIFAR fellows must be outside the research scope and evolution of the current CIFAR programs.
  • Proposals should outline the plan for the workshop, including themes and anticipated outcomes, possible location(s), and length. A high-level budget (travel, accommodation, meals and onsite costs, pre- and post-meetings for planning) is required for up to a maximum of $50,000 CAD for a single workshop, or $80,000 CAD for two workshops. Proposals that exceed this cost will be excluded from consideration. CIFAR will work with selected applicants to further develop a detailed budget.
  • It is expected that all members of the core team will be internationally recognized leaders who are considered experts in their field.  
  • CIFAR does not provide sponsorship for workshops/conferences that are already planned. This program is intended for workshops that are in the earliest stages of planning. Note that CIFAR will work with the applications to further develop the workshop, including invite list and budget if awarded.
  • Workshops are intended to develop new collaborations. Proposals should demonstrate that this is a new group coming together to advance the proposed research topic.

Maximum Project Value

Maximum of $50,000 CAD for a single workshop, or $80,000 CAD for two workshops.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

From the date of notification of acceptance, the organizing team has eight months to implement the workshop unless agreed upon in advance by CIFAR.


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

Internal Deadline

Please submit a full application package and a signed OR-5 form to

External Deadline

Please submit the complete application through the CIFAR Portal.

How to Apply

Submissions must be done through the electronic form found on the CIFAR Portal. You may wish to draft your proposal in a word document and then copy and paste into the electronic form. 

Submitted proposals are required to answer the following questions:

  1. What is/are the research question(s) or thematic area that this workshop will address? Why is this issue significant today (e.g. timeliness, global relevance)? (Max. 500 words)
  2. How will this interdisciplinary workshop add value to the current state of knowledge and/or practice related to this area? Why is an international network beyond your established collaborators necessary for this workshop? (Max. 250 words)
  3. What is the proposed format of this workshop? Please be sure to clarify what the expectations of participants are during the workshop (e.g. presentations, breakout sessions). (Max. 250 words)
  4. What are the intended outcomes of the workshop? In your response, please consider potential CIFAR-supported outputs (e.g. policy brief, report, best practices or other recommendations, future research agenda) as well as target audiences. (Max. 400 words)
  5. What is the strategy for expanding the workshop network beyond the core team of participants (e.g. what additional perspectives do you hope to add to the discussion)? (Max. 250 words)
  6. If applicable, please list any proposed or existing partners. Include the level of support (committed, approached, proposed) and the type (direct financial, in-kind, expertise etc). (Max. 250 words)
  7. Please list the proposed core international team (lead applicant, plus up to three others), including their expertise. At least one team member must be based in Canada.
  8. Applicants will also be asked to submit as appendices:
  • Literature cited (max. 1 page).
  • Short CVs (max. 2 pages each) for each core member of the workshop.
  • If applicable, letters of support from partner organizations or collaborators describing their contribution (in-kind, cash, expertise) to the proposed workshop.
  • Workshop budget that includes travel, accommodation, meals, and onsite costs. Please provide a brief justification for each line item. The need for funds should be specified, along with any existing funds that would be used to offset workshop costs (direct or in-kind). Note: budgets over $50,000/$80,000 CAD will not be considered.
For Questions, please contact

Office of Research

Carolyn Osborn, Director, Grants & Contracts
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x52935

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