The CRPD PEKTUR Programme, which gives funding assistance to people to enable them to undertake continuous education, training, and research in areas related to disability, and the Department of Disability Studies within the Faculty of Well-being at the University of Malta, are allocating the sum of €25,000 grant provided by the National Good Causes Fund.
This grant is aimed at providing the opportunity for 2 disabled people to be fully funded to undertake a PhD in Disability Studies. They will be given €10,000 each to cover the fees. In addition to this, there will be €5,000 available for ad-hoc research projects in the area.
This will therefore enable disabled people who have the desire to undertake PhD level research to be able to apply to research without the need for covering the fees themselves.
Parliamentary Secretary for Active Ageing and Persons with Disability Silvio Parnis said that allowing disabled people to research this higher level also means that a rich seam of direct personal experience to enhance the understanding of the real-life experience of impairment in Malta will also be provided. There is very little research currently available about disability produced by disabled people and as always it is of great importance that the voices of disabled people are heard, and this is especially needed in research at all levels, the parliamentary secretary concluded.
Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disability Oliver Scicluna said that there is a lack of detailed research in some areas of disability which should be tackled if we want to bring about social change. It is hoped that resulting research will have the effect of shining a light on areas of disability which require attention. In a rapidly changing society, cross-thematic and intersectional research must be undertaken to enhance the well-being and improve the quality of life of disabled people.
“The University has always strived to be inclusive in and representative of the society it functions in. This opportunity for two individuals to explore their interest in challenging ways in which disability is currently constructed in society and eventually expanding our collective idea of diversity is a golden one. It is such because it will help us take a more proactive educational approach towards disability issues in a local context”, said Prof. Alfred J. Vella, Rector at the University of Malta.
“As a faculty, we are very much committed to conducting research which not only has a positive impact on the society we are a part of, but which is inspired by, learns from, and adapts to the needs of this society. This scholarship grant goes in line with our purpose because we must increase awareness of how disability influences the life course of human beings – and we recognise the need for the related rhetoric to enable these individuals to thrive”, said Prof. Andrew Azzopardi, Dean of the Faculty for Social Well-being at the University of Malta.