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 applications for seed funding must list a coordinating investigator who holds a salaried academic appointment at the University of Melbourne.


The next round of MDI Seed Funding will open in mid-September.  The round will be open for four weeks, and the MDI will host a series of drop-in sessions in which interested academics can pitch their idea.

Key dates:

  • 16 September: round opens
  • 7-11 October: drop-in sessions
  • 25 October: applications due
  • Late November: applicants informed of outcome

Drop-in sessions

The Melbourne Disability Institute will be running drop-in sessions for interested academics to come and discuss their idea or ask any questions.

The sessions will allow prospective applicants to receive guidance on the seed funding requirements, guidelines and eligibility, and seek answers to any questions specific to a project before submitting an application. The MDI team can also help make relevant introductions which would help the project. Due to limited places per session, bookings are essential.

Book now!

Please Note: Applicants are advised to read the program guidelines online and gather information on project proposals prior to attending a drop-in session. If you would like to check whether your project meets the seed funding criteria beforehand, please contact MDI Executive Officer Tessa de Vries.

Further information

Download MDI Seed Funding Information PackDownload MDI Seed Funding Application form