Humane AI Seed Funding – Call 2021

Special focus on Responsible AI

For over three decades, the University of Amsterdam has featured world-class research and education programmes on Artificial Intelligence (AI). To create a distinct societal take on AI, the UvA launched a new Research Priority Area, Human(e) AI, which aims to synthesise ongoing work and stimulate new research on the societal, ethical and legal implications of AI. More information can be found here.

An important part of the RPA Human(e) AI is a ‘seed grant’ program. This program is aimed at fostering collaboration to investigate the societal implications of AI. The program offers faculties at the UvA the opportunity to conduct collaborative, interdisciplinary research. The grants are typically carried out in interdisciplinary teams. In addition to the research, the grant can be used as a seed grant for preparing an AI-related grant application.

This is the third round of our seed grant calls (for an idea of the projects that have been previously granted, see here). In this round of the seed grants we focus on developing an SSH perspective on Responsible AI. We have seen a range of notable responsible AI initiatives in the field of computer science. For this round of seed-funding we want to reflect on the role of SSH in contributing to the development of a comprehensive socio-technical perspective on AI, and how to introduce AI-based applications responsibly into society.
This call therefore focuses on ‘Responsible AI projects from a SSH perspective’: How can SSH research contribute to responsible AI, e.g. in sectors like media, culture/language or justice; what are the contextual socio-economic circumstances that need to be fulfilled for really responsible AI?; what is irresponsible AI? What is the role of human behavior, law and ethics in creating the framework conditions for responsible AI?

The seed-grants should fall under one of these areas: justice, media, or culture/language
The grants have a duration of max 1 year, counting from the starting date. The grants have a value of max EUR 50.000 per applicant team. This can be used for temporary teaching replacement, dedicated time to the research project, research assistance, data collection/processing costs etc.
The grants are available to all assistant, associate and full professors as well as post-doc/researchers at the UvA. At least one application must have a tenured contract. This is the third grant application round in the RPA.

Application procedure:

  • Applications should be submitted no later than March 1, 2021.
  • Applications should be submitted via email (see instructions at the bottom of this page).
  • Decisions will be taken in March.
  • The grants will be transferred to the faculties of the grantees in September 2021.
  • We ask applicants to discuss their budget with the RPA controller. Before submission, please contact Saskia Plandsoen.
  • The research would need to start between September 2021 and January 2022.
  • Please also include name, position and contact details (email, telephone) of the financial contact person of the unit of every (co)applicant (for cost allocation) in the application.
  • Decisions are made by the RPA Human(e) AI Steering Committee, using the criteria below.

    Evaluation criteria include:

  • Involvement of minimal 2 different faculties at the UvA
  • Minimum of 2 researchers (Assistant/Associate/Full Professors or Post-Doc/Researchers) with main affiliation at the UvA (maximum 3)
  • Innovative idea
  • Alignment with and innovation within Responsible AI and one of the areas listed above
  • The seed funding project is available for research that is to be executed within the UvA
  • Clear output (publication and grants) and outreach and contribution to the RPA Human(e) AI plan
  • Academic excellence and track record in AI related research
  • The committee may also apply additional macro criteria such as disciplinary, gender, thematic and programmatic diversity
  • Letter of support by the head of the department or group


To submit, please send your proposal to using this submission form