The Centre for Global Disability Studies is home to two grant programs open to University of Toronto affiliated researchers: our flagship Anti-Ableist Research Small Grants (March and October deadlines), and the annually awarded Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship (early spring deadline).

Anti-Ableist Research FUND

Small Grants from the CEntre for Global Disability Studies

Faculty, graduate students, and researchers who hold a primary appointment at one of the University of Toronto’s three campuses are eligible to apply for these grants. Beginning with the 2023 cycle, grants will be adjudicated twice a year, and awardees should spend funds in the 12 months following the award. Due to the volume of applications, we are no longer able to review grants on a rolling basis.

Grants of $100-$1500 will be awarded based on merit of the proposal and demonstrated excellence of the applicant, assessed in terms of contribution to the spirit of the award categories and the mission of the centre. Successful proposals, with the exception of funds to address disability access barriers for researchers or subjects, will directly engage the interdisciplinary field of disability studies, ableism, and the lived experience of disabled people.

Small grants are not intended as a vehicle for sole research support, but rather as a resource to promote global disability studies, disability access, and community engagement in already ongoing anti-ableist disability studies research and scholarly activity across the University of Toronto. CGDS requests that grantees name the Centre for Global Disability Studies as a supporter in event materials or subsequent publications, where appropriate. Grantees receive funds according to University accounting procedures, and complete a short survey describing how funds were used upon completion of the grant term. Prospective, current, and past grantees are invited to attend CGDS Core Lab, and may be invited to workshop or share their research in the CGDS Core Lab’s informal, supportive environment.

Types of Small Grants

Grants are offered in the following categories. Please carefully review the categories and in your application select one option that best fits your proposed project (although in many cases, the categories will overlap).

Research activities 

  • Accessible Research Small grants to support accessibility for researchers or research participants with disabilities. This can include addressing access barriers to research activities at field sites, archives, laboratories, etc. or disability access needs related to disseminating or presenting research (e.g. a research study requiring accommodations than typical grant budgets allow in a given city; a graduate student researcher with diabetes who needs financial assistance to ensure they will have sufficient insulin throughout a year long period of research abroad; a faculty researcher who will present at a conference but needs extra funds for a support worker to travel).
  • Disability Studies Knowledge Dissemination and Community Engagement Small grants to support scholarly publication or knowledge translation through the creation of public-facing scholarship, media, or community-engaged work. The work should translate disability studies research to broad audiences, including the general public, government, policy-analysts, activists, artists, research participants, or scholars. The purpose of this grant is to support researchers in creating outputs that benefit the broader community and support global disability justice. Possible requests may relate to: image rights in publications, technical costs related to creating videos, podcasts, websites, or other public-facing research outputs, costs related to reporting research findings back to a community of research participants, translation of outreach materials into non-English languages, etc. Media outputs should be designed to be accessible to a variety of audiences. Our centre is happy to work with you to plan for and determine disability access protocols (e.g. ALT text, Simple English, transcripts, audio description) appropriate to your proposed project.


  • Disability Studies and Disability Justice Events Small grants to academic units, working groups, faculty, researchers, and graduate students to support a visiting speaker, film screening, book launch, exhibition, etc. with significant themes related to disability studies, disability justice, and global disability studies. CGDS must be listed as an event co-sponsor, and events should be presented accessibly. Our centre will be happy to work with you to plan for increasing the accessibility of your event.  In some cases, those already involved with CGDS may approach the Centre Director directly to inquire about co-sponsorship from discretionary funds (a given event can either be funded through a small grant or through directed co-sponsorship, not both; please inquire with the director to determine the appropriate course of action for your planned event).
  • Accessible Events Matching Funds Small grants to support a unit undertaking measures to make campus events accessible to broader audiences. It is the responsibility of the hosting unit to budget for, and make, University of Toronto events accessible to audiences with a variety of needs related to disability and impairment. Too frequently, the matter is left unaddressed. The purpose of this grant is to incentivize and normalize unit support for accessibility. Therefore, CGDS will offer small matching grants to support accessibility elements at a research-related campus or public event (e.g. to support ASL, CART, or other accessibility measure), on any research topic or subject, in person or virtual. The grant is a “matching” grant in that the applicant must demonstrate that they have also obtained accessibility support funding from another institutional source before the grant can be disbursed. Other sources include a given unit’s Dean’s office, Departmental budget, AccessAbility Services, or an external grant.

We encourage all units to include access funds for public-facing events in annual budgetary requests, and all researchers to include access funds in their research design for SSHRC and other grant proposals. We hope that by normalizing the inclusion of disability access elements in research and events, these small grants categories will become redundant.

How to Apply 

Please download and complete the award application. The application includes: 

  • Applicant Identification and Contact Information
  • Description of how the proposed project or event will contribute to the mission of the Centre for Global Disability Studies and/or anti-ableist research.
  • Title and description of the project or event, a discussion of cosponsors, intended impact, and whether the proposed project is possible without the funds
  • Proposed budget describing how the award will be spent
  • Current CV for the applicant(s). 

Applications should be submitted by email to with SMALL GRANTS APPLICATION in the subject line.  All inquiries regarding the grants following submission should be sent to this address.


Download the application form as a .docx file

Download the application form as a fillable PDF

Application Deadlines

Grants are reviewed in two cohorts annually. Applications for fall review should be submitted by October 15th with a response in December or January. Submissions for spring review are due March 15th, with a decision in May or June. Please check back as the deadline approaches for any updates. You are welcome to submit at any time; your application will be reviewed with the next cohort.

How can I access the funds if I receive an award?

Awarded funds will normally be spent in the 12 months following the award decision. Funds must be disbursed according to university guidelines. For faculty and researchers with PI accounts, funds will be transferred directly. For graduate students, funds may either be transferred to a faculty PI account (e.g. of a supervisor), or expenses may be invoiced to or processed directly by CGDS (e.g. ASL interpretation, honoraria) or reimbursed with receipts (e.g. purchase of supplies, technology, or travel).


The Centre for Global Disability Studies Anti-Ableist Research Fund small grants are competitive, and we are not able to fund all proposals. As of 2023, we fund approximately ten to fifteen proposals each year, and in some years have received as many as 25 applications in a seasonal cycle. Our grant committee is committed to offering constructive feedback based on the peer review process to all applicants. In the case that a proposal is simply not suited to the grant criteria, our grant committee may send a desk rejection, rather than solicit peer review. Each grant is peer-reviewed by two reviewers: one member of the grant committee and one member of the Centre with relevant expertise. Award decisions are adjudicated by the grant committee based on peer reviews, award criteria described herein, and available funds. The grant committee works in consultation with the Centre Director as needed. 

Who is eligible to apply?

At present the CGDS small grants are available only to faculty, staff, and graduate students who hold a primary appointment in or are enrolled as a current student at one of UofT’s three campuses. Undergraduate students, researchers at other/affiliated institutions, and community partners may partner with UofT core faculty, graduate students, or campus units to apply. Please propose community partnerships with CGDS directly with an email to

What kinds of projects have been funded in the past?

Learn about events and projects funded through the CGDS Small Grants in past years here.

Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowships

This new fellowship is designed to support graduate students at the University of Toronto doing critical, anti-colonial, anti-ableist disability studies research.  

Two fellowship awards of $5000 each are available to support summer research endeavors that further the completion of the dissertation, either writing or supplemental research not covered by other funding. For instance, funds may support writing up time, a trip to an archive, or supplemental/follow-up fieldwork with research participants. Preference will be given to those applicants who are nearing completion of the dissertation, and to those who do not hold concurrent major funding or grant awards.  

Awardees must be enrolled in a PhD program at the University of Toronto, and must be conducting research in the critical interpretive disability studies tradition (research using clinical and curative paradigms are not eligible for this funding) that demonstrates the potential to make a significant contribution to the future of transnational, anti-colonial, and/or anti-racist disability studies. Applicants are not required to be members of the Centre for Global Disability Studies to apply, however, all those interested in applying are encouraged to attend the virtual meetings of the Centre’s Core Lab and consider becoming a member.  

The awards are intended to support summer research activities in the calendar year they are awarded. Awardees will provide to the director of the Centre for Global Disability Studies a 500-word written summary of the work undertaken at the conclusion of the grant period (usually the end of August). Awardees will give a presentation to the CGDS community in September following the completion of the award period.  

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of at least two faculty members of the Centre for Global Disability Studies. Applications are confidential.  

Decisions are usually made by the end of May and awards are usually disbursed in April or May. Awards are paid as a graduate student fellowship (T4A). 

Applications for the 2023 Summer Research Fellowship are now closed. The application period for 2024 Summer Research Fellowships will open in early 2024.

How to Apply

CGDS Graduate Student Summer Fellowship Application information

Applicants should complete the following form, and submit it along with a current CV by email to with “CGDS Summer Fellowship Application” in the subject line. 

Responses to the application form may be submitted in writing, or in an audio or video recording not to exceed 10 minutes in length. Your submission may be a digital text file (for example .docx, .pdf, .txt) or a digital audio or video file (for example .mp3, .mp4, or private streaming video or audio link). 

Please contact the CGDS administrative team with questions, concerns, or access needs related to the application process.

The Application Form entails the following questions:

Identifying Information
1. Name
2. Department at UofT
3. Year in Program
4. Estimated years remaining to completion of the PhD
5. Supervisor name and email address (committee may contact the supervisor of finalists as a reference)
6. Working Title of Dissertation
Project Description
7. One paragraph description of dissertation project (approximately 200-250 words)
8. Description of research to be undertaken in summer 2023 if awarded the fellowship. Be sure to demonstrate how the proposed project aligns with the mission of the Centre for Global Disability Studies in terms of (1) the transnational and/or anti-colonial and/or anti-racist nature of the research and (2) how the project engages the academic field of disability studies. (approximately 500-800 words)
9. Description of why the funds are necessary, and how they might be used (approximately 200-300 words)
Other Considerations
10. Tentative topic for fall 2023 research presentation (1-2 sentences)
11. Do you currently hold a major research grant (SSHRC/NSERC/CIHR/or other grant of more than $2000)? Have you applied to any other sources of funding for the coming summer?