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.

Find out more

Seed Funding