Job Opening: Global Research Fellow (Data Trust), March 2022

November 18, 2021

Project Title: Improving the engagement and representation of developing
countries in the work of CEIMIA and GPAI.


CEIMIA is seeking a postdoctoral fellow to support the engagement, cooperation, networking and representation of experts, organisations and governments from low and middle income countries in the projects supported by Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) and to support Responsible AI dialogues in Canada. To support these work activities, we are seeking an experienced fellow from Africa to join the CEIMIA in Montreal.


Level of study: Post-doc

Desired start date: March 2022

Project duration: 12 to 18 months

Salary: ≈ 60,000 CAD

Discipline: Social Science, Law, Engineering, International Relations

Language: English required, French an asset

Country of origin: African country, French-speaking African country an asset

Other: Wiling to relocate to Canada (Montreal) for the duration of the project. Please note that this is an unaccompanied position

Deadline: December 3rd , 2021

To submit your candidacy, please send your CV and cover letter to this address: [email protected]

Description of the organization

The International Centre of Expertise in Montreal on Artificial Intelligence (CEIMIA) contributes to the responsible development of artificial intelligence (AI) based on ethical principles, human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation and economic growth. CEIMIA’s activities are organized around two clusters of work. The first one consists in supporting the international expert groups of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), a multi-stakeholder initiative which aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice on AI by supporting cutting-edge research and applied activities on AI-related priorities. CEIMIA supports coordination in the design and launch of applied AI projects aiming at contributing to the responsible development of AI around the world.

The second cluster of work supported by CEIMIA is promoting the development of skills in responsible AI development among the various stakeholders of the AI ecosystem in Quebec and Canada. The research fellow will contribute to activities that support both clusters of work

The GPAI is a multi-stakeholder initiative involving 18 countries and the European Union, which aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice on AI by supporting cutting-edge research and applied activities on AI-related priorities. The GPAI consists of two centres of expertise, one in Montreal (CEIMIA) and one in Paris, and a secretariat, hosted at the OECD. GPAI facilitates international project-oriented collaboration in a multi-stakeholder manner with the scientific community, industry, civil society, international organisations, and countries, taking into particular account the interests and contributions from emerging and developing countries. It also monitors and draws on work being done domestically (in Canada) and internationally to identify gaps, maximise coordination and facilitate international collaboration on AI.

The GPAI brings together a large number of experts from the scientific community, industry, civil society, governments and international organisations. It works on four themes, two of which are supported by CEIMIA: Responsible Use of AI and Data Governance. In the current pandemic context, CEIMIA is also supporting a sub working group examining how AI can be leveraged to address pandemic needs.

Project Description

The objective of the project is to develop expertise within CEIMIA and GPAI that can foster understanding of the issues related to artificial intelligence for countries of the Global South, foster their inclusion within the Partnership and support the Partnership’s collaboration with these countries. In addition, the research fellow will undertake this project to also seek to build strong links between world-class researchers from the Canadian ecosystem and members of the international ecosystems.

One of the activities within GPAI that will be central to the research work of this mandate will be “Data Justice” whose objectives are to combine to help AI/ML system designers and users move beyond understanding data governance as an individualised privacy compliance issue to include considerations of equity and justice in terms of access, visibility and representation of data used in AI/ML system development.

General Objectives

  • Ensure the development and updating of information related to AI projects conducted in Africa.
  • Create an environment and processes that promote input, participation and consideration of African reality and needs in GPAI activities and projects via community building, engagement, and networking.
  • Build relationships with Southern AI ecosystem actors, particularly those in Africa, and work with these actors to identify potential areas of collaboration with GPAI, CEIMIA and Canadian AI ecosystem actors.
  • Contribute to the development of rigorous, African-specific eligibility criteria that will be used to properly assess the candidacy of countries in Africa and other developing countries wishing to join GPAI.
  • Ensure early and adequate consideration of African stakeholders’ interests and concerns in GPAI, CEIMIA and GPAI Working Groups activities and projects.
  • Contribute directly, as a researcher, to applied research projects conducted by GPAI, CEIMIA or by AI research actors in Canada. Prepare a report and make recommendations to promote the integration of developing country concerns in the development and use of AI.

Objectives related to the Data Trust Project:

  • Actively participate in the assessment of the current state of research on inequalities that leads to the unequal distribution of benefits and harms in the deployment of significant AI/ML systems in developing countries, and the extent to which current efforts at guidance address these considerations.
  • Revise, contribute and share findings and recommendations and engage with delivery partners of the Data Trust project.

Expertise and skills:

CEIMIA has a diversity and employment equity policy, so we encourage applications from women and people from under-represented communities. Please note:

  • Have a strong interest in AI ethics and responsible AI, and demonstrated understanding of these issues.
  • Demonstrate a strong understanding of the issues surrounding the use of AI in developing countries, particularly in Africa.
  • Experience with facilitation and networking, or a description of how you would approach the facilitation of the inclusion of experts from developing countries, particularly Africa.
  • Have a good knowledge of AI ecosystems in developing countries, particularly in Africa.
  • Demonstrate good knowledge of issues related to the responsible use of AI in practice.
  • Have relevant professional or academic experience in the field of responsible use of AI or data governance will be considered an asset.
  • Possess good analytical research and synthesis skills.
  • Have experiences demonstrating good communication and teamwork skills.
  • Demonstrate good working and analytical skills in a multicultural, multi sectoral and multidisciplinary environment.
  • Have good knowledge of computer tools (Google Suite, Office, Outlook, etc.)

Deadline: December 3rd, 2021

To submit your candidacy, please send your CV and cover letter to this address: [email protected]