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Open call: Diversity & Inclusion projects 2022 – focus on Digital transformation for people with cognitive disabilities

This call is targeting Digital transformation as a means to increase the inclusion and participation of persons with cognitive disabilities in society. Cognitive disabilities are common, and persons with e.g. neuropsychiatric conditions like ADHD, Asperger’s, Autism or similar often experience large challenges to participate in society, resulting in limited diversity and inclusion in many parts of the society of today. However, also other cognitive disabilities like post-stroke effects, traumatic brain injuries, post-Covid-19 conditions and similar have a large negative effect on the ability to participate in society without special adaptations or support.

Innovative digital solutions could result in larger and improved participation and inclusion of this group and address several of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). There is however a lack of this kind of focused research today.

Digital Futures welcome applications from researchers at KTH schools and Stockholm University (SU) to collaborate on projects targeting improved diversity and inclusion of persons with cognitive disabilities.

Important dates:

Call opens: 2021-12-03
Matchmaking event: 2021-12-10 (see below for time and registration)
Q&A session: 2022-01-12 (see below for time and Zoom-link)
Call closes: 2022-01-31

The funding decision is expected by May 2022.

The figure below shows the Digital Futures process for evaluation and decision:

Background

Digital Futures is a cross-disciplinary research centre that explores and develops digital technologies. We bring solutions to great societal challenges, in Sweden and globally. We generate knowledge, innovations, and future leaders of high industrial relevance and strategic importance. Digital Futures is jointly established by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden. Digital Futures awards funding to strategic research projects to support a specific action or project that furthers the vision of Digital Futures. Find out more about Digital Futures background here.

Purpose

Digital Futures targets several KPIs, Societal Outreach being one of the core KPIs and Diversity and Inclusion being another. The output of successful projects should target the challenges mentioned above and could include:

  1. Technical solutions that would particularly aid people with cognitive disabilities to participate in everyday work life and/or higher education in an equitable way
  2. Projects targeting means to better understand inclusion challenges for people with cognitive disabilities in the digital society
  3. Projects that aim to increase the scientific understanding of cognitive disabilities using digital methods

To be considered in the proposals

  1. The projects should have a clear target to improve the inclusion of persons with cognitive disabilities in the society
  2. It is encouraged to involve people and/or organizations working with cognitive disabilities in the projects (it is also possible to include researchers from the field of neuroscience or similar in the projects, but people outside KTH and Stockholm University cannot be funded)
  3. Projects that can demonstrate an immediate effect on participation in society or in higher education are particularly encouraged

Eligibility

To encourage interdisciplinarity and collaboration, each project should list two (2) PIs (principal investigators) of complementary backgrounds.

The researchers should belong to either:

  • Two different KTH schools, or
  • KTH school and Stockholm University
To be eligible, a PI needs to be
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Full Professor
  • Permanent full-time Researcher  (”tillsvidareanställning”)

with PhD degree and 80% employment or more at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University.

The PIs do not need to be Digital Futures faculty when applying but will become Digital Futures faculty if the project is granted.

Project duration and maximum funding

In this call, up to two projects will be funded. The duration of the projects is two years to the most. The projects will be funded with a maximum of 2 MSEK in total (1 MSEK per project year). The budget must be split between the PIs in even multiples of 100 KSEK with a minimum of 300 KSEK per PI for each project year, with the same budget split both years.

The funding decision is expected by May 2022. The earliest starting date of the projects is July 2022.

Please note the Digital Futures funding policy

Researchers can be involved in several projects under different instruments, but within Digital Futures, the funding per PI is limited to 1 MSEK/year. Hence, funding that you may have received under the current Digital Futures instruments Collaborative Research Projects, Research Pairs, Demonstrator Projects, and Collaborative projects targeting Diversity and Inclusion, will be taken into consideration. Digital Futures Postdoctoral Fellows projects or C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute projects are not taken into account.

Research focus

The projects should address cutting-edge interdisciplinary research within Technologies for a digital transformation for persons with cognitive disabilities. The proposals shall address subject areas at an intersection of the Digital Futures Research matrix illustrated below. We particularly for this call welcome applications addressing the educational transformation aspects of the matrix. More information about the research matrix can be found here.

The three research themes Trust, Cooperate and Learn cut across the four contexts Smart society, Digitalized industry, Rich and healthy life, and Educational Transformation.

Digital Futures Strategic Research Programme. The three research themes Trust, Cooperate and Learn cut across the three societal contexts Smart society, Digitized industry and Rich and healthy life.

How to apply

  1. Fill in the application according to the project description template: project-description-D&I_C_D-call-v01
  2. Create an account on the application submission system and register the application stating the title, PIs and upload the main project description to the submission system before the call deadline January 31, 2022, here: https://crp.dsv.su.se/cogdis-21/

Evaluation

The project proposals will be evaluated by an international external expert panel. The evaluation will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Potential for aiding persons with cognitive disability to participate in everyday society and/or into higher education as well as the degree of novelty with respect to impact potential
  2. Feasibility: Project plan and work planned in relation to the budget
  3. Competence: The degree to which the consortium has shown previous skills and research addressing inclusion for people with cognitive disabilities
  4. Degree of involvement of persons and/or organizations working with cognitive disabilities.
  5. Dissemination and outreach plan: Scope, audience and visibility of the project
  6. Conformity to the scope of Digital Futures and eligibility: Project proposal fit to research matrix, degree of interdisciplinary of the project proposed and the team composition

The evaluation will be carried out in two phases. In the first phase, the evaluators independently grade the project proposals according to the criteria. Based on the outcome, the top proposals will be invited to the phase 2 hearing, where the applicants present their projects and answer questions by the evaluation panel. After the hearing, the panel finalizes their ranking and recommends a set of projects for funding.

Based on the evaluation and available funding, the Digital Futures Executive Committee compiles a funding proposal on how many of the top project proposals to fund. The funding proposal is then sent to the Digital Futures Governing board and the KTH Rector for decisions in that order.

Matchmaking event & Q&A session

Digital Futures will host a Matchmaking online event open to all potential project applicants, to help with the creation of the proposal, on 10 December 2021 at 13.00-15.00 CET.

There will also be a subsequent Online Q&A session on 12 January 2022 at 13.00-15.00 CET.

Contact

Contact call@digitalfutures.kth.se for further questions Please include “Diversity and inclusion projects 2022” in the subject of your email.

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