Part of the mission of the Data Science and AI Institute is to strengthen the reputation of Johns Hopkins as a premier source of trusted datasets that can be used for research, scholarship, and the development of trustworthy AI systems. As the NAIRR notes, there is a need for “Trusted data providers and hosts for a transparent and responsible AI data commons. Access to data should be tiered, controlled by the data providers, and provided through the same portal through which computational resources are provided.” Poor data practices can lead to a variety of problems including ‘bad’ data, inherent biases, representational disparities, inability to generalize to real-world situations, and lack of robustness. In practical application, these problems can in turn lead to a host of consequences including miscarriage of justice, reputational damage, and liability.  

The Data Science and AI Institute invites projects that address the creation, documentation, quality assurance, and integrity of data used for the development of trustworthy AI systems.  We invite proposals for projects that address key elements of the data creation, documentation, and assurance challenge. Funding is available for two $25,000 projects in this fiscal year (FY24), with the expectation that additional resources at similar scale may be available in subsequent years. 

Projects should outline a concrete, publicly releasable deliverable for the project, such as the development of a data assurance tool, supporting tools for data governance and stewardship, synthetic data approaches, or new data sets with specific properties. We recognize that the funds available are small, consequently demonstration activities that demonstrate feasibility for subsequent larger efforts are encouraged. We expect to first support directions that have already established some level of sponsored funding for related efforts. 

The proposal should clearly articulate the data assurance challenge that is being addressed, and a use case that demonstrates the need and clarifies the nature of the solution would be particularly helpful. The proposal should describe how the results would be made publicly available, which may be in conjunction with the Data Science and AI Institute, and what documentation would be provided to potential users. The existence of an active user community that would use the resulting product would be particularly attractive and might be documented in short supporting letters or emails. 


  • Principal Investigator (PI) must be a Johns Hopkins faculty member with a primary appointment (either tenure-track or research-track) in any division. 
  • Co-investigators can be from any Johns Hopkins division, including non-faculty members with relevant expertise. 
  • MS/PhD students, undergraduates, and teaching faculty are ineligible to apply for this funding, and proposals from such individuals will be considered non-responsive. 


Call for Proposals: January 5, 2023
Proposal Submission: January 22, 2024 
Proposal Awards Announced: February 1, 2024
Funds Spent by: June 30, 2024
Final Project Report: September 30, 2024 

Proposal Format: 

  • Title Page: Please include proposal title, investigators, and their departments, schools, and e-mail addresses.  
  • Narrative: This should not exceed three pages and should include descriptions of the existing or potential user community. This page count does not include figures and their captions (at most one page), references (at most 10), and a list of current related sponsored research support. Please use 12-point font. 
  • Budget and Budget Justification: Budget must not exceed $25,000 in direct costs and must be spent over a period up to five months, February 1, 2024 through June 30, 2024.  Proposals must include a plan by which the project funds will be spent by June 30, 2024.  Facilities, administrative costs, and indirect costs cannot be charged to this grant. 
  • Curriculum Vitae: This should not exceed more than two pages for each investigator. Please use 10-point font. 

Proposal Submission Processes: 

Proposal submissions should be submitted in PDF format by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 22, 2024, with the subject line: (last name)_Trusted Datasets. Please email proposal submissions to [email protected]. 

Proposal Review Processes: 

Applications will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary committee of experts 

Criteria for Selection:  

The committee will assess proposals based on the following criteria: 

  • Feasibility and clarity 
  • Demonstrated need   
  • Potential impact  
  • Existence of an active user community 

The existence of related sponsored funding will be an advantage. 

Post-Award Requirements: 

Recipients will be required to submit a final progress report (no more than three pages) describing your use of the funding and work completed. Provide a list of any proposals to external funding agencies or foundations, and/or papers submitted or in preparation. Please submit the report to [email protected] before September 30, 2024.  

Recipients may be asked to present at a future Data Science and AI Symposium. 


Please address any questions on the program to [email protected].