Education: Training

JCB Scholars Program in AI Ethics & Health 2019

The University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB), in partnership with AMS Healthcare, is seeking applications for the JCB Scholars Program in AI Ethics and Health. The purpose of the program is to invest in the capacity of trainees to complete high quality projects on the topic of AI ethics in health care, both to enhance their career development and to generate novel insights into AI ethics and health broadly speaking. In this inaugural call for applications, we will support projects on the theme of AI and the Future of Caring that explore ethical and social issues in the use of AI technologies in healthcare, including their potential impact on the patient-provider relationship and the caring environment, implications for the training of health and other professionals, or important developments in health policy.

Program Overview:

The JCB Scholars Program in AI Ethics & Health offers trainees a short-term (4-6 month) intensive experience completing a research project related to AI and the Future of Caring. Trainees will propose and lead a rapid-cycle project at the JCB. Trainees will develop and implement a project plan with support of an expert mentor and participate in bi-weekly JCB Scholars Program lab meetings (in-person), at which they will be expected to share progress on their projects, contribute input to other JCB Scholars’ projects, and explore broader ethical and social implications of AI in healthcare. Each trainee will have a dedicated workspace on-site at the JCB.

  • Eligibility: Applicants must be current university students in good academic standing or postgraduate trainees working in a research or health setting in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
  • Trainee Support: Three (3) trainees will be supported up to $10,000. Trainee support shall be either in the form of a stipend (for students) or a research allowance (post-graduate trainees). (Please note: The JCB Scholars Program is not intended to fund a trainee's graduate or post-doctoral research project. The JCB Scholars Program project must be a discrete stand-alone project.)
  • Program Duration: May – October 2019

How to Apply:

The application package should include the following:

  1. Cover Letter – Please outline your reasons for applying to the JCB Scholars Program, including: a brief description of your academic background and interests in AI ethics and health, any current or previous work relevant to this research area, and your academic and/or professional goals.
  2. Project Proposal (max 2 pages) – The proposal should include the following components: i) project goal, ii) background and rationale, iii) approach (e.g., methods), iv) expected outputs, and v) project timeline. (See Appendix 1 for examples of potential projects.)
  3. Academic Curriculum Vitae
  4. Academic Transcripts
  5. Academic References (2) – Please provide contact information for 2 academic referees who have agreed to provide a reference in relation to this call for applications. For research trainees, one of the referees should be your supervisor.

All application materials should be sent to by April 19th. Applications will be evaluated based the applicant’s academic record, quality of the proposal (will it offer novel insights? is the approach appropriate?), and feasibility of the project plan (can it be completed within 4-6 months?). Eligible candidates may be invited for an interview to discuss their proposal in greater detail. Successful applicants will be notified in early May.


If you have any questions about the program, please contact

Examples of Potential Projects:

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Environmental scans of the field to identify emerging issues and trends
  • Theoretical or conceptual explorations of topics that are central to AI ethics and health, e.g., ‘bias’, ‘equity’, the nature and role of ‘explainability’ of AI in health care delivery
  • Analysis of organizational or professional issues related to the adoption of AI and their implications for compassionate care, governance of AI, professional practice, etc.
  • Curriculum design to inform training of researchers, professionals, and other stakeholders about ethical and social issues of AI in healthcare.
  • Guidelines development related to ethical conduct of AI research or practice in healthcare.
  • Knowledge syntheses of research evidence and/or emerging best practice to inform ‘ethics by design’ in the development, deployment and evaluation of AI in healthcare.
  • Sub-projects of existing projects that address ethical issues associated with AI in health care in empirical ways, and that already have Research Ethics Board approval (*This option is dependent on a collaboration with a mentor who already has related work underway.)

Applicants may wish to run their project ideas by us ( in advance to ensure fit with the aims of the JCB Scholars Program and this year’s theme of “AI and the Future of Caring”.