UK-Japan joint call for social science and humanities projects on Artificial Intelligence and society

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society (RISTEX) of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), are pleased to announce a joint call for proposals exploring the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies on society and the economy. The call invites collaborative projects between Japan and UK researchers. A proposal should have a lead partner from each country. The total UK budget for this call is £2 million. UK applicants may request between £360,000-£500,000 per project. If successful, UKRI will meet 80% of the full economic costs and the host institution is expected to support the remaining 20%. The total Japanese budget for this call is ¥180m. Japanese applicants may request up to ¥30m per project. Together ESRC and JST expect to fund between five and seven joint proposals for a period of three years. 


Scope of the call

This call aims to foster collaboration between UK and Japanese social science, arts and humanities researchers around the theme of Artificial Intelligence and its impact on society. The call aims to promote interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and to position the social sciences, arts and humanities as an integral part of the process for developing and exploring AI systems, and ensuring that those systems provide the greatest benefit to people and societies. Ultimately, the call aims to contribute towards the development of a platform for effective and sustained dialogue and engagement between a range of researchers and other relevant stakeholders, eventually leading to practical implementation and policy recommendations. Thematic areas for the call are listed below:

  • Impacts on humans and society
  • Economic implications, skills, work and education
  • Transparency, responsibility, governance and ethics.

Proposals are encouraged to use following approach to explore the themes:

  • Interdisciplinary approach exploring how to co-design the research with different disciplines within and beyond the social sciences, arts and humanities.
  • Collaboration with non-academic stakeholders such as policy makers, public, third sector and business
  • Comparative research looking at key similarities but also differences in the context of Japan and the UK
  • Use of innovative research design and methods.

Application deadline: 17 July 2019

Further information: ESRC