Center for Socially Responsible AI accepting seed funding proposals

September 08, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s Center for Socially Responsible Artificial Intelligence (CSRAI) is now accepting proposals for its inaugural seed funding program. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 15 with projects expected to start in January 2021 and last for up to two years.

The center, which launched in February, promotes high-impact, transformative AI research and development, while encouraging the consideration of social and ethical implications in all such efforts. As a result, the center supports a broad range of activities from foundational research to the application of AI to all areas of human endeavor.

“With the launch of CSRAI, we’ve begun to harness the collective efforts of individuals spread across the University who are already engaging in transformative artificial intelligence research,” said Prasenjit Mitra, director of CSRAI and associate dean for research in the College of Information Sciences and Technology. “The center’s seed funding program provides an opportunity for interdisciplinary teams to collaborate on pilot projects that will ultimately lead to bigger externally funded projects.”

CSRAI will provide up to $300,000 in total awards, which will support two types of grants: Collaboration Initiation Funding, which assists faculty in forming interdisciplinary research teams and seed projects directed at pursuing external funding; and Pilot Project Funding, which supports research projects with specific research questions, a well-conceived theoretical basis, an identified team of Penn State faculty collaborators, and strong potential to obtain external funding.

All University faculty can participate, but the principal investigator must be a member of a Penn State college, institute, or unit funding the center. Proposals will be evaluated on several criteria, including but not limited to its connection to the center’s mission, its potential translational impacts, and its potential for securing external funding.

Added Mitra, “Given Penn State’s demonstrated strength in artificial intelligence research and the broad support for the new center, we anticipate a competitive funding process that draws new interdisciplinary teams together and advances collaborative discovery in new domains. We’re excited for this initial effort to seed projects that will have far-reaching scientific and societal impact.”

For complete details on the program, including criteria, allowable expenses, and the application process, visit the CSRAI Seed Funding page. Questions regarding this proposal solicitation may be directed to Mitra at

Last Updated June 28, 2021