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Invitation to Apply for Funding for “Youth-led Projects in AI Ethics”

Invitation to Apply for Funding for “Youth-led Projects in AI Ethics”

UNESCO recognizes young people as drivers of change and seeks to work with individuals and youth-organizations as partners. In its Operational Strategy on Youth 2014—2021, UNESCO focuses on three types of youth engagement: 1) promote youth participation in decision making and public policy, 2) support youth leaders designing socially beneficial projects and youth engaging with marginalized communities, 3) support young people’s engagement in UNESCO’s areas of competence and work.

As part of this ethos, UNESCO Bangkok Office invites young people working in the field of ethics of artificial intelligence (AI) in the Asia Pacific region to apply for project funding. Background on UNESCO’s work on AI ethics, such as the Recommendation on the Ethics of AI, can be found on the UNESCO website here.   

Eligible Projects

UNESCO is interested in supporting activities that positively contribute to the below areas and beyond. 

  • Research work exploring the legal and public policy implications of the rise in AI technology
  • Research projects exploring the intersection of AI, the social sciences, and the humanities including but not limited to art, culture and philosophy
  • Development of knowledge products that contribute to increased understanding of AI technologies, its relevance and associated ethical challenges
  • Awareness-raising and advocacy work related to ethical usage of AI technologies
  • Projects using AI technologies for socially beneficial outcomes
  • Any other youth-led projects that contribute to increased understanding of AI technologies and AI ethics issues among young people, AI ethics stakeholders and the general public

Who can apply

  • Any individual or teams with members aged 18-35 (broadly defined as “youth” demographic by UNESCO Bangkok Office) at the time of application are eligible to apply.
  • Individuals aged 18-35 at the time of application, who have founded or run their own organizations (NGOs, start-ups, think tanks etc.) and are applying on behalf of those institutions.

Funding Amount

The total amount of funding available under this scheme is US$15,000. Funding amount per selected project (whether run by an individual or team) will vary, depending on the strength of the proposal, demonstrated need for funding, and ability to access alternative financial resources. Under exceptional circumstances we will consider projects and applications beyond the scope of this document.

Funding cannot be used to buy equipment (such as personal computers), to fund international travel, conference attendance and other similar events. 

Implementation Period

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis between Sunday, 13 June 2021 – Saturday, 31 July 2021, 11:59PM ICT. No proposals submitted after this time can be considered.

Selected projects must be implemented, and funding disbursed, between August—December 2021. Funding awarded must be acquitted by 20 December 2021. A template for a final report will be provided to successful applicants.

Selection Process

A Selection Committee will choose projects based on the relevance to UNESCO’s areas of competence, relevance and potential contribution to field of AI ethics. Please state explicitly in your application how your project aligns with one or more of these areas.

Total number of projects selected is dependent on available funding. We receive many exciting project proposals; however, we are unfortunately unable to fund them all. As such, in the event you are unsuccessful during this round, we encourage you to reapply for the next opportunity that arises. Due to amount of applications we receive we cannot provide personalized feedback on unsuccessful proposals. 

Shortlisted candidates may be asked for further information such as CVs or additional project documents.

For questions and further information please contact:
Ms Undral Ganbaatar at u.ganbaatar (at) unesco (dot) org


Proposal Template for “Youth-led Projects in AI Ethics” (Ms Word)


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