Research for Justice and Equity Award

The Disability History Association (DHA) is committed to promoting innovative scholarship in disability history, pursuing justice and equity, and supporting the disability history community in countering different forms of oppression, including ableism, racism, and colonialism. The DHA is therefore excited to announce our second annual DHA Research for Justice and Equity Award. 

This US$500 award is intended to support a scholar engaged in disability history research whose work embodies this commitment to justice and equity and strives to engage communities. “Research” is defined broadly, and in addition to traditional academic work, it could include such activities as blogging, exhibit curation, or public presentations. Post-secondary students at all levels of study, community-based scholars, and precariously employed researchers are particularly welcome to apply.

Preference will be given to disability history projects that engage directly and thoughtfully with underrepresented historical topics and/or historically marginalized communities. These may include (but are certainly not limited to) disabled, Mad, neurodiverse, Deaf, or chronically ill communities, Black, Indigenous, or Global South communities, and/or LGBTQI2S+ communities. 

In addition to honoring the awardee’s important presence in the disability history community, this award is meant to provide support for their research. For example, the awardee may wish to use the money to travel to archives or conferences, carry out oral histories, build a website, or facilitate public presentations or community-based projects. 

To apply, candidates should prepare an application of no more than 1000 words that includes:

– an explanation of their research experience and/or personal experience in relation to disability history and the pursuit of justice and equity,
– a project statement that 1) tells us about the project overall, 2) explains the project plan, and 3) explains how the project will make a positive impact on the field of disability history and on relevant communities, 
– information about any partnerships (if relevant) and access to additional sources of funding, and 
– a budget that specifies how the funding will assist the candidate in carrying out their work.

Applicants may also include a resumé or CV, but it is not required. The resumé/CV will not count toward the 1000-word limit. Recommendation letters or references are not part of this application and will not be considered by the committee.

Please send your application materials to the Disability History Association via Tulika Singh at Questions can be directed to the Chair of the Award Committee, Dr. Sarah Handley Cousins, at Applications must be received by May 1, 2024.

The applications will be evaluated by a diverse committee that includes senior scholars and disability history researchers who are engaged in their communities. Key evaluation criteria will be: 

1) the applicant’s previous experience, especially as it relates to their commitment to the project and their preparedness for it, 
2) the feasibility of the project, 
3) the importance of the project, both for the field of disability history and for the communities involved, 
4) the project’s focus on community engagement and empowerment, and
5) the applicant’s access to other sources of funding (preference will be given to applicants who do not have ready access to other funding to help them complete the project).

The award recipient will be celebrated on the DHA’s website, social media, and other communication platforms. Recipients should also plan to share information about the outcome of their project within one year of the award; reporting on the project can take many forms, including a post for DHA’s blog, All of Us, or participating in an episode of the DHA podcast.