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Award for inclusion research program

The Award for Inclusion Research Program recognizes and supports academic research in computing and technology that addresses the needs of historically marginalized groups globally.

Launched in 2020, the Award for Inclusion Research (AIR) Program is an ongoing effort to support innovative research and professors working to create positive societal impact.

See awards recipients

Program status

Applications are currently closed.

Decisions for the 2023 application cycle will be announced via email in October 2023. Please check back in 2024 for details on future application cycles.

Research areas

Accessibility

Accessibility research is critical in its opportunity to advance inclusive technology that can enable and improve access for diverse user populations. Google's mission to "Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful emphasizes the importance of accessibility at the company-level. Google works on a broad range of topics in accessibility to ensure that our technology is accessible and that it empowers people with disabilities to be socially engaged, productive, and independent. We are committed to research that advances the state-of-the-art in usable, useful, inclusive, and accessible technology.

Google strives for broad inclusion through support for assistive technologies, and research and development that aid people with vision, hearing, speech, motor, and/or cognitive disabilities.

For our program, we call for proposals specifically in the areas of:

  • Wearable computing and augmentative technology
  • Inclusive remote communication and telepresence to aid in collaboration among people with and without disabilities
  • Transportation and mobility
  • Tools and techniques for cognitive inclusion

Collaboration

Collaboration is responsible for far-reaching advances in computing. For example, such collaboration can occur in online communities like Wikipedia, open source software development projects, or teams of information workers in companies. Diverse and inclusive collaborations can create technology and products that are more inclusive of all users.

For our program, we call for proposals specifically in the areas of:

  • Collaboration strategies to ensure that technological solutions meet the needs of a diverse set of users
  • Scalable and repeatable interventions to help avoid technological solutions that might cause harm to historically marginalized and underserved communities
  • Mitigating bias among collaborative teams
  • Increasing belonging in collaborative teams

Collective & society-centered AI

Collective & society-centered AI research at Google builds upon traditions of multidisciplinary research. A community-collaborative approach actively involves impacted stakeholders throughout the application, system, or service design process to ensure their needs are met and can lead to AI systems that have a higher potential to benefit the community. The hallmark of these projects is that these will involve at least two stakeholder groups collaborating. Stakeholder groups include: researchers, developers, creators, end-users, community organizations, governments, citizens, and others.

For our program, we call for proposals specifically in the areas of:

  • AI innovations for societal needs: transparency, work, education, collaboration, safety, quality, human-machine collaboration. Impact on creative community & regulation.
  • AI integration with society: sociotechnical investigations of adoption, data, attitudes, responsible AI, & marginalized communities.
  • AI development lifecycle: novel tools, infrastructure, and methods for collaboration, governance, and impact assessment.

Impact of AI on education

As we look towards the future of computing education, artificial intelligence (AI) is set to transform learning, teaching and assessment. At Google, we are committed to ensuring that the benefits of new technologies are universally accessible and useful. Given the current inequities in the computing education ecosystem, it is critical to support academic research on how and to what extent AI will impact computing in primary, secondary and higher education (at a systems-level) and pedagogical innovation.

For our program, we call for proposals specifically in the areas of:

  • Examination of system-level effects of generative AI on K-16 computing education.
  • Investigation of the effects of generative AI tools on pedagogy and learning, both opportunities and risks.
  • Assessment of scalable models of educator professional development that incorporate generative AI tools.
  • Exploration of foundational skills and knowledge students will need in computing education enabled by generative AI tools.

Award details

We encourage submissions from professors globally who are teaching at universities and meet the eligibility requirements. The AIR Program funds topics including accessibility, impact of AI on education, collaboration, collective & society-centered AI and gender bias, and many other areas that aim to have a positive impact on underrepresented groups.

  • The funds granted will be up to $60,000 USD and are intended to support the advancement of the professor’s research during the academic year in which the award is provided.
  • Awards are disbursed as unrestricted gifts to the university and are not intended for overhead or indirect costs.

See the FAQ for details on the proposal format.

Eligibility criteria

  • Open to professors (assistant, associate, etc) at a university or degree-granting research institution.
  • Applicant may only serve as Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI on one proposal per round. There can be a maximum of 2 PIs per proposal.
  • Proposals must be related to computing or technology.
  • Proposed research must impact users from historically marginalized groups. The definition of who is historically marginalized is responsive to a specific region, context, and its nuances; the proposal should define the users from historically marginalized groups the research aims to impact, and how the research will address their needs.

Strong proposals demonstrate a clear understanding of the users from historically marginalized groups the research aims to impact, such as direct collaboration with the users in the research process, describing the relationship of the PI(s) to the users/research, and describing the motivation to pursue the research.

Review criteria

Faculty merit

What is your prior research work? Are you qualified through your prior research experience to conduct the proposed research? Have you done preliminary research to show your investment in this space?

Broader impact & research merit

What is the impact of this research work being done successfully? Is it innovative? Could it change the academic landscape if successful? Do you have resources to conduct the research at hand?

Proposal quality

Is the proposal clear, focused and follows guidelines? Is it easy to navigate and how you plan to approach the research problem? Do you provide further documentation as needed?