The information listed below applies to a round that is now closed. This competition will have a new round in 2023.
This competition is currently closed to new proposals. Please check back in fall 2023.
Value and Duration
CDN $10,000 for up to 12 months
The Data Sciences Institute (DSI) is a central hub and incubator for data science research, training, and partnerships at the University of Toronto. Its goal is to accelerate the impact of data sciences across disciplines to address pressing societal questions and to drive positive social change.
The DSI at the University of Toronto Mississauga, DSI@UTM, is launching a tri-campus initiative to encourage research activity in Responsible Data Science that includes grant support for research funding, training, and community-building.
Data science has tremendous potential to inspire positive outcomes in the world; however, there are concerns about the ethical deployment of data science techniques and the ways that the effects of data science may reify inequities and biases. The promotion of data science requires a dedicated understanding of power within societies and knowledge communities to ameliorate negative, unjust effects. Data science is and will continue to restructure multiple aspects of our world and it is important to maintain a commitment to questions of power, inequity, responsibility, surveillance, justice, and harm to ensure that collecting, manipulating, storing, visualizing, learning from, and extracting useful information from data is done in a reproducible, fair, and ethical way.
The DSI Critical Investigation of Data Science (CIDS) grant is designed to provide seed funding for scholars to engage in critical investigations of data science. Projects can vary in scope from analysis of specific data science projects and approaches to the articulation of potential harms in data science writ large. A variety of methodological and epistemological approaches are welcome, including critical analysis, social inquiry, phenomenology, qualitative investigations of lived experiences, content analysis, rhetorical approaches, and/or the creation or evaluation of models, algorithms, and other data science methodologies.
Single applicants proposing projects applying a critical lens to data science techniques, methodologies, or effects can apply for this grant. Funds of up to $10,000 can be used by successful applicants to fund such projects. The DSI will fund at least five projects each year and will hold rolling calls until our annual funding is used.
Applicants should be well versed in critical theory and ethics (defined broadly). Applicants should articulate the proposed goals for their critical project and elaborate on the proposal’s possible impacts on society, ethics, inclusion, and/or our understandings of power. Applications will be evaluated on their application of critical theory to data science projects and/or methodologies.
Eligible expenses are to be consistent with the appropriate tri-agency guidelines for NSERC Discovery grants, CIHR Project Grants or SSHRC Insight grants, with the exception of laptops which should only be included in application budgets when required for project-specific purposes (as opposed to general research). Expenses should not include events unless the event has a methodological purpose that is central to the proposed project’s outcomes. Proposals should clearly describe what role all research personnel will play in the research project. Questions on eligible expenses should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Successful applicants will be required to:
In addition, awardees may be called upon to act as reviewers for future DSI awards competition.
The DSI is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.
The award is open to applicants who meet the following criteria:
Applications are submitted via the DSI Good Grants application portal.
Register an account and select “Start Application” for “Critical Investigation of Data Science.”
The application is divided into tabs; each tab includes a set of instructions and fields to fill out. These instructions are also highlighted below.
Applicants will need to complete the following fields.
Tab 1: Start Here
The DSI will form a Review Committee to lead the review of all eligible proposals received by the submission deadline. Reviewers are asked to consider the following categories:
All application materials can be submitted directly onto the form. Certain fields on the form ask for uploads and require the following templates: