Equitable AI activating opportunities

Equitable AI


Many public health issues often involve complex combinations of individual, environmental, socio-cultural and political influences that are difficult to measure and evaluate using traditional approaches. Artificial intelligence (AI) approaches like machine learning provide new opportunities for public health to both advance health equity through the analysis of complex, multi-layered, multi-modal data, as well as design impactful solutions that draw on a far wider range of insights.

In our Equitable AI Initiative, IPPH is striving to build the capacity necessary in the population and public health research community to take advantage of emerging AI approaches. In order to achieve this goal, our efforts are focused on supporting researchers through opportunities that facilitate interdisciplinary partnerships and developing training initiatives that will equip the next generation of researchers with the necessary tools.

As the CIHR institute that champions equity and focuses on population-level outcomes, we recognize the importance of ensuring equity is built into AI research from the start and have emphasized this need by naming our initiative “Equitable AI”. Only through prioritizing equity can we ensure health solutions benefit everyone.

Activities and Goals
CIHR Directive Objective Activities
Funding Catalyze new research areas at the intersection of AI and public health Seeding interdisciplinary collaborations among AI and public health researchers, especially on the ethical, legal and social challenges of AI
Training Build capacity to use AI approaches in public health research Launching a national summer school for graduate students and early career researchers to learn AI skills and apply them to public health challenges
Knowledge Translation Nurture dialogue about the use of AI in public health decision-making Starting discussions on the benefits, challenges and opportunities of applying evidence generated by AI to policies, practices and programs

Initiative info

Funding opportunities
Funding Opportunity Competition Status Funding Decision
Health System Impact Fellowship: Equitable AI 202202HIF Closed  
Planning & Dissemination Grant: Equitable AI 202201PCS Closed View
Project Grant : Fall 2021 Priority Announcement (Specific Research Areas) 202109PJT Closed View
Training Grant : Health Research Training Platform (2021/22 Pilot) - AI, Public Health & Equity Pool 202106RTP Closed View
Project Grant - Priority Announcement (Equitable AI) 202010PAA Closed View
Planning Grant: Equitable Artificial Intelligence for Public Health 202003PCS Cancelled  
Fellowship: Health System Impact Fellowship 202102HIF Closed View
Planning Grant: Women Deliver 2019 201909PCS Closed View
Operating Grant: CIHR Summer Institute on Equitable AI for Public Health 201908EAI Closed View
Planning Grant: Equitable Artificial Intelligence for Public Health 201903PCS Closed View
Fellowship: Health System Impact Fellowship 201904HIF Closed View
Planning Grant: Ethical, Social and Political Challenges of Using Artificial Intelligence in Health 201809PCS Closed View
Collaborative Health Research Projects (CHRP) with a Special Call: Artificial Intelligence, Health and Society 201810CPG Closed View
Planning Grant: Artificial Intelligence in Population Health 201711PDP Closed View

Initiative activities and opportunities

  • TOPHC presentation: Here for Good - Using AI to promote public health for a healthier more equitable future – March 2019. Watch the presentation.
  • IPPH-CIFAR Joint Workshop: Artificial Intelligence for Public Health Equity – January 2019. Read the report.
  • CPHA Collaborator Panel Session: Exploring the Ethics of AI Approaches in Public Health – May 2018. Read the report summary.
  • IPPH-CIFAR Joint Workshop: Application of Artificial Intelligence Approaches to Tackle Public Health Challenges – January 2018. Read the report.



  • CIFAR, Wellcome Trust
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