Calls for projects mainlines

Applied research projects which receive FIRAH support contribute to improving autonomy, quality of life, and social participation in ways that respect the choices made by persons with disabilities.


What FIRAH defines as applied disability research


Applied disability research follows certain rules inherent to all scientific processes (ethical, methodology, rigour, evaluation). It is based on the needs and expectations of people with disabilities and their families, with a view to creating responses which are adapted to the realities of their everyday lives. It should thus be conducted in collaboration with people with disabilities and their families, carers, professionals and researchers.
The research results should be disseminated by all possible means, in particular via peer-reviewed scientific journals.
A particularity of applied disability research is that all knowledge produced by this research should also be shared with those stakeholders in the field (in particular, people with disabilities and their families, carers and professionals). This knowledge-sharing with a non-scientific group is indispensable, so that research results are applied to concrete improvements in the lives of people with disabilities. To be useful, this knowledge should be presented in a language and tools adapted to this non-scientific public.

What does the calls for projects cover?

The general call for projects encompasses:

  • all situations specifically encountered by persons with disabilities, be these present intellectual, physical, sensorial, or mental impairment, and regardless of the age at which the disability is acquired or of its cause; it includes:
  • all fields: education, work, access to health, culture, sports…
  • all regions of the world. Projects submitted by organisations not based in France will have to ascertain that at least part of the research is conducted in France and that there is a French organisation with which they can collaborate with a view to develop international cooperation in the specific field of research and to have their findings recognised and applied by French organisations.

These 3 conditions below may vary in thematic calls for projects.

Who can apply?

Not-for-profit organisations, NGOs, universities, and any public or private organisation can submit their project on applied research in disabilities to FIRAH.
To ensure the participative dimension of the research, applicants must establish a partnership with at least one other organisation. Also, the partnerships must combine researchers and organisations working in the field, for example:

  • an organisation working with disabled persons that submits a project will have to establish a partnership with a research institution;
  • a research institution submitting a project will have to establish a partnership with an organisation working with disabled persons.

The six selection criteria applied in all our Calls for Projects

Find all the details on the criteria on the tab « Submit a project » in each document of call for projects presentation.

1. Included the project into the dynamics of the human rights access

2. The originality and innovative nature of the project
3. The respective roles in the present project of the project leader and partners

4. The methodology and expected results
5. the material produced to disseminate and capitalise on knowledge generated by the research project (and methods for transferring these tools)

6. The match between activities and resources.

FIRAH doesn’t support

  • The creation and management of social/medico-social services or establishments,
  • Direct aid to a specific person with disabilities,
  • Research projects on disease mechanisms (aimed at establishing a prevention, diagnosis or treatment of deficiencies).

Action-research as part of a project financed by the FIRAH. In the case of this type of project, the FIRAH can finance only the research, and not activities for the implementation of the action.


Key words

The term persons with disabilities, is used in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The expression field stakeholder refers to persons with disabilities and their families, organisations representing them, human rights defence organisations (to encourage them to include disabled persons in their activities); service providers and other organisations working with disabled persons or who need to take into account the requirements of persons with disabilities, (e.g. architects, teachers, business firms, industry…), policymakers at the local, national and international levels, as well as the public at large.
Implementation support tools means findings and knowledge from applied research will be developed into products, services and content that meet the expectations and needs of persons with disabilities. Through proper adaptation they should help the field stakeholders improve their practices. These implementation support tools must include training and application tools, adapted written texts, videos, etc…
The term social participation covers every-day activities and the type of social interaction that is valued by the disabled person and/or by his or her socio-cultural milieu. It includes every-day practical activities in the home and elsewhere, but also includes those activities that contribute to the person’s self-fulfilment throughout his or her lifetime and in their social milieu.