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NDRP Funding Round

NDRP 2021 Funding Round (now closed)

The NDRP 2021 Research Funding Round is designed to fund disability research that will deliver new findings and test and refine the NDRP processes. Research must be done by and with people with disability, align with the NDRP Guiding Principles and address an area of demonstrated importance to people with disability.

Applications closed Friday 2 July and we were delighted to receive 124 proposals, proving the need for dedicated disability research funding.

Will there be more funding rounds?
Yes, the NDRP will facilitate regular funding rounds to support inclusive disability research that delivers on the priorities set out in the research agenda. The NDRP receives its next round of funding in early 2023, and we anticipate running a funding round sometime in 2023. These funding rounds will be similar to our pilot funding round: research projects must align with the NDRP principles, be done by and with people with disability, address the priority for that round, and can be led by any organisation.


Projects must address a topic of importance to people with disability, within one of eight key themes. These eight themes are listed below.


Research projects are expected to align with the NDRP Guiding Principles, the UNCRPD and the National Disability Strategy.

Funding & timeline

Projects can apply for funding up to $150,000. Projects must be achievable in ten months. The total funding pool is $1 million.


The National Disability Research Partnership (NDRP) is piloting a research funding round to build the evidence base and to demonstrate and refine NDRP processes. The purpose of this research funding round is two-fold: 

  1. To build evidence for successful innovation in disability policy and practice  

  2. To test and refine NDRP processes, approach and ability to deliver on the vision 

Research Themes

Despite advances in some areas of disability research and increasing quality and quantity of data available, eight themes are consistently raised as priorities in disability research agendas and strategies. This round of NDRP Research Funding invites proposals for high quality, collaborative research that addresses topics of importance to people with disability within one or more of these themes:  

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people with disability 

  • Women with disability  

  • Children and young people with disability  

  • People with disability in rural and remote areas 

  • People with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds 

  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people with disability 

  • People with disability who require support to express their will and preference, and to implement their decisions 

  • People with disability who experience other intersectional disadvantage. 

Selection Criteria

Project proposals will be assessed against the following criteria: 

  1. Research that addresses the priorities of people with disability. The proposed project must address an area of demonstrated importance to people with disability, fall within one of the eight themes listed in section 3.2 in the call for proposals document (ink below), and align with the UNCRPD and the National Disability Strategy. 

  2. Research by and with people with disability: Reviewers will look for projects that are led by and/or conducted with people with disability who have decision-making power. People with disability must be paid and supported appropriately. The NDRP expects genuine working relationships. The research proposal must clearly describe how people with disability are involved in the conception, execution and dissemination of the research, how decisions will be shared and acknowledging the diversity of people with disability.  

  3. High quality research. The proposed method should be appropriate for answering the proposed research question, and feasible in the time and with the resources available. 

  4. Knowledge that is accessible to the community: The project proposal must outline a clear and thoughtful research translation approach to making findings widely accessible.  

  5. Capacity to undertake research in an area of demonstrated importance to the disability community. The proposal should outline the team’s capacity to do the proposed research, including track record, proven ability to work together, and demonstrated experience in doing disability research by and with people with disability. The proposal must also demonstrate that it is achievable in the timeline available and within the budget proposed. Projects that build research capacity of people with disability will be highly regarded.  

Call for Proposals - Application

Applications are invited from any incorporated Australian organisation. The NDRP encourages collaborations that draw on expertise from across Australia. 


Contact with any questions related to this call for proposals. Answers to queries will also be posted on this page. 

Q: Does “incorporated Australian organisation” mean only not-for-profit organisations, or does this include proprietary limited businesses?
A: What we mean by ‘any incorporated organisation’ is any organisation who has an ABN or ACN.


Q: Can you please advise if there is any restriction on the number of applications that a researcher can be listed on (as either a principle investigator or co-investigator) during this funding round ?A: You can be chief investigator one only one project, but there is no limit to how many you can be co-investigator or partner on, given we are encouraging collaborations. 

Q: Is buying out teaching time for salaried academics an eligible budget item?

In exceptional circumstances we will provide funds to cover teaching up to a maximum of $10,000 across the entire project. The application should provide a breakdown of how the funds requested will be used. Applicants requesting funds for teaching relief must submit a 300-word justification about why the funding is essential to complete the project and submit a letter of approval from their Head of Department. The NDRP will also ask for evidence at the end of the project that the funds were spent on teaching relief. The NDRP will make a final decision as to whether the request for teaching relief is supported. 

Q: Ten months seems short for good quality co-design with people with disability or collaborations with DPOs. Is there a reason for this time limitation?

A: Yes, the reason the projects have to be finished by May 2022 is because the NDRP Establishment Phase ends 30 June 2022. By June we will need to have finished all our projects, shared the findings and built any final learnings into our Guide to NDRP Research document. Unfortunately we’ve done everything we can to extend the timeline for research projects. The longer-term NDRP, if it is successful, won’t have the same time restrictions.
Q: Can you please clarify what is meant by research that is done ‘by and with people with disability’ in the case of research that is focussed on issues most relevant to people with severe or profound intellectual disability can this phrase be taken to include parents or significant others?
A: As outlined in the NDRP Guiding Principles, we acknowledge that some people with disability face barriers in communicating their goals and aspirations and making decisions. This may include people with cognitive disability, young children, or others with episodic disability such as mental illness. In these circumstances the NDRP acknowledges the role that family, caregivers, allies or supporters may play in supporting decision making and facilitating expression of preference and will. So if family members are supporting the decision making, expression and communication of people with disability then they may be considered as by and with people with disability.


Q: Can we apply for a grant for an overseas project?

A: No. The National Disability Research Partnership (at least the establishment phase we are currently in) is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services and the intent is for it to benefit Australians with disability.

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