The Centre for Global Disability Studies is home to two grant programs open to University of Toronto affiliated researchers: our flagship Small Grants Fund (rolling deadline), and the annually awarded Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship.

Small Grants Fund

***Note: this grant is closed for the season, and will reopen for applications in late winter/ early spring***

Faculty, graduate students, researchers, and units affiliated with University of Toronto are eligible to apply for these grants on a rolling basis.

Grants of $100-$1500 will be awarded based on merit of the proposal and demonstrated excellence in the spirit of each award category and the mission of the centre. 

Small grants are not intended as a vehicle for sole research support, but rather as a resource to promote global disability studies and disability access in already ongoing research and scholarly activity across the University of Toronto.

Types of Small Grants

Grants are offered in the following categories. You may apply to more than one category. 

Research activities 

  • Accessible Research Small grants to support accessibility for researchers or research participants with disabilities. This can include addressing access barriers in the conduct of research at field sites, archives, laboratories, etc. or in presenting research at a conference or workshop (e.g. a wheelchair-user research participant requiring more expensive accommodations than typical grant budgets allow in a given city; a graduate 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). CGDS requests that researchers name the centre as a supporter in subsequent publications, where appropriate.
  • 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.  
  • 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. Our centre will be happy to work with you to plan for and to determine a budget for accessibility, and to assist you with approaching other units for matching funds.

How to Apply 

(Note: this grant is closed for the season, and will reopen for applications in late winter/ early spring)

Submit the following:   

  • Award Application Coversheet (completed) 
  • Proposal and budget describing how the award will be spent (including title and description of the project or event, a discussion of cosponsors, and intended impact) 
  • Current CV for the applicant(s).  

Applications should be submitted by email to with SMALL GRANTS APPLICATION in the subject line.  

Grants are reviewed on a rolling basis; please allow 6-8 weeks for response. If a request requires expedited attention, please indicate this in your email by providing a one sentence justification for requesting the expedited review. Grants are intended to be used in the academic year in which they are disbursed (July 1- June 30).

At present the CGDS small grants are available only to faculty, staff, and graduate student members of the UofT campus community. Undergraduate students and community partners may partner with faculty, graduate students, or campus units to apply. Please propose community partnerships with CGDS directly with an email to

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

Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowships

This fellowship – new in 2022 and fulfilling plans described in the centre’s founding documents – 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.  

Applications due: March 1, 2022 

Decisions will be made around March 15, and official award letters sent no later than March 31, 2022.  

Awards will be disbursed in April or May. Awards will be paid as a graduate student fellowship (T4A).  

How to Apply

CGDS Graduate Student Summer Fellowship Application information

Applicants should complete the Application Form, and submit those responses along with a current CV by email to Cassandra Hartblay (cassandra.hartblay at utoronto dot ca) 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 responses to questions 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). If you choose the audio/visual option, please be sure to answer the questions in the order provided below, and clearly state when you move between questions. The CV must be a text file. Please contact Dr. Hartblay or 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 2022 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 2022 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?