The Melbourne Disability Institute (MDI) is an interdisciplinary research institute that was established by the University of Melbourne in 2018 to build a collaborative, interdisciplinary and translational research program to improve the lives of people with disability.
Ultimately, the MDI research program aims to capitalise on national reforms and active partnerships with the disability sector to deliver evidence for transformation. The MDI research program is centred around providing much-needed evidence for the disability sector and broader community to address the complex problems facing people with disability, their families and carers.
The MDI research program is underpinned by four foundation principles: data; interdisciplinarity; experience-based co-production with people with lived experience of disability; and active partnerships. The MDI will facilitate research through seed funding, research translation funding and community-based research, in addition to leading several flagship projects in response to priority issues raised by the disability sector.
To transform the social and economic wellbeing and the health of people with disability through high-quality research, teaching and training, and knowledge translation.
MDI Seed Funding Round | Now Open!
Each year we run a seed funding round open to researchers from across the University of Melbourne. The funding is aimed at small to medium sized projects at the discovery or pilot end of research. We are looking for projects that are driven by the priorities of people with disability, likely to have practical outcomes, involve strong partnerships and have a clear path to sustainable funding.
The Melbourne Disability Institute has a small team who coordinate our research and engagement activities.View
The Committee is the key governing body for the Institute and consists of academics from law, public health, economics, education and the arts.View
Hallmark Disability Research Initiative
The Hallmark Disability Research Initiative was an interdisciplinary disability research hub at the University of Melbourne.View
The MDI Strategic Plan 2019-2021 is now available for download.View
Disability Research APO Collection
Established in November 2020, the Disability Research APO Collection supports the work of the National Disability Research Partnership to facilitate a collaborative and inclusive disability research program that builds the evidence for successful innovation in policy and practice. Wherever possible, accessible versions of documents such as plain language summaries, Easy English or audio versions have been included in the Collection.
Connect with other researchers in a supportive environment to share ideas and receive assistance to develop your research capabilities.
At MDI we offer services that foster your development at every stage of your research career.
Disability Research Community of Practice
The Melbourne Disability Institute invites researchers from across the University of Melbourne to join a Community of Practice focused on Disability Research.Learn more
PhD Student Network
The Melbourne Disability Institute has launched a peer driven network for PhD students in disability research.Learn more
MDI is committed to research being done in partnership with people with disability, and working collaboratively with communities and people with lived experience.Learn more
Research Translation Tools
Conducting high-quality research is important, but it's also important to make that research accessible and relevant to those who can use it. Research translation is about bridging the gap between knowledge and action.Learn more
Funding and support
The MDI is committed to supporting disability research at the University of Melbourne and in the broader sector. Researchers and community organisations can apply for funding to support pilot projects, community-led projects, events and research translation.
Researchers applying for Fellowships or large grants are encouraged to get in touch to discuss ways in which the MDI can contribute to help strengthen applications. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Seed funding to support research ideas and pilot projects that are likely to lead to direct outcomes or further funding.Learn more
Community-based Research Scheme supports the evaluation and research of innovative ideas in the broader disability community.Learn more
Funding and network support to research programs which have reached ‘critical mass’ of knowledge which would benefit from targeted knowledge translation.Learn more
Funding to support events that share disability research findings, exchange knowledge and bring people together.Learn more
COVID-19 Research Fund
The Melbourne Disability Institute, an interdisciplinary research institute at the University of Melbourne, has directed nearly $300,000 to fund 14 new projects designed to help support people with disabilities and their families and carers in the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.View projects
The Melbourne Disability Institute (MDI) is committed to facilitating disability research that is interdisciplinary and can demonstrate significant impact on the well-being of people with disability, their families and carers. By providing seed funding, the MDI seeks to encourage and support innovative ideas and interdisciplinary research collaborations.View projects
Community Based Research Scheme
Through the Community-based Research Scheme, the MDI seeks to encourage and support the evaluation and research of innovative ideas in the broader disability community, by linking community organisations to researchers or students who can help do the research or evaluation.View projects
The Melbourne Disability Institute conducts disability-related research in partnership with universities in Australia and internationally, governments, community sector organisations, the private sector, advocacy groups, and people with disability and their families and carers, drawing on a range of funding sources, to inform policy and practice.View Projects
The podcast gives voice to people with disability and asks about their experiences with employment, housing, the law, supporting families and early intervention.Read more
In the News
The latest news and happenings from the Melbourne Disability Institute.Read more
Access the archive of newsletters from the Melbourne Disability InstituteRead more
Designed to improve policies and practices, the Disability Research APO Collection is for people with disability, their family, caregivers, allies or supporters, disabled people’s organisations, policymakers, researchers, advocacy organisations, service providers and practitioners. The Collection aims to share evidence and knowledge on a range of topics to help advance the rights of people with disability.
Established in November 2020, the Collection supports the work of the National Disability Research Partnership to facilitate a collaborative and inclusive disability research program that builds the evidence for successful innovation in policy and practice. Wherever possible, accessible versions of documents such as plain language summaries, Easy English or audio versions have been included in the Collection.
Access the collection here: