Seed Funding

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.

Seed funding is intended for small-medium projects at the discovery or pilot end of research. The MDI is interested in supporting projects that are likely to have practical outcomes, involve strong partnerships and have a clear pathway to sustainable funding.


The MDI is interested in projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Falls within one of the five MDI Research Themes
  • Addresses a clear gap in policy or practice
  • Scientifically rigorous project methodology
  • Potential to generate meaningful impact and engagement
  • Ability to scale and to obtain future funding
  • Demonstrated potential to build interdisciplinary research capacity and work collaboratively with proposed partners
  • Meaningful inclusion of people with disability throughout the research process
  • Clear and effective knowledge translation strategy
  • Has a feasible scope and budget

Please note as this is an internal funding scheme, applications for seed funding must list a coordinating investigator who holds a salaried academic appointment at the University of Melbourne. The intention of this scheme is to support new ideas and build capacity for interdisciplinary research at the University of Melbourne. We support active engagement with partners but projects must be led by University of Melbourne academics.


The 2020 MDI Seed Funding is dedicated to COVID-19 research. This round is open to all University of Melbourne researchers who have an interdisciplinary research project that address an identified need, gap or deficiency in responses to COVID-19 which affects people with disability, their families and carers. Additionally, to respond to the urgent and evolving nature of the pandemic, the project will need to demonstrate immediate impact.

Further information

Download MDI COVID-19 Funding Information PackDownload MDI COVID-19 Funding Application form