Disability-Related Participatory Research RFP

Funding Available for Grants

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to fund up to three organizations to support a person with a developmental disability (DD) to participate as a researcher in a study that could impact the lives of people with DD. Through this RFP, Texas-based teaching or research entities can include people with DD in either new or existing participatory research projects. The deadline to submit a proposal is May 18, 2018.


Information collected from research studies may improve the understanding of complex issues, aid in the design of innovative practices, and ultimately contribute to the improvement of people’s lives. Participatory research is a partnership approach to research that equitably involves multiple people in all aspects of the research process. With this approach, all partners contribute expertise, participate in decision-making, and share ownership of the research project. For example, a participatory research project could include members of the community, organizational representatives, and researchers, and everyone would have the same level of commitment and accountability.

Research studies that focus on how people with DD are affected by certain issues or practices often don?t include people with DD on the research team. If people with DD are included as researchers in studies, they can provide a valuable perspective that may influence the direction and design of the study. Also, a person with DD could add an extra dimension to the interpretation of the data. Although there appears to be an increase in the use of participatory research, people with DD have not traditionally been involved as researchers in studies that focus on their experiences.

About the RFP

TCDD intends to provide funds to assist up to three teaching and/or research entities located in Texas to support at least one person with DD to participate as a researcher in a nonclinical study. The study should emphasize full participation and action. The project must be coordinated by someone who is qualified to oversee the research. TCDD encourages the involvement of student researchers in addition to the person with DD. This may be a class project.

The participatory research studies, which will include perspectives of people with DD, will inform TCDD’s future activities on a wide range of topics. Funding can be used to conduct a new project or to include people with DD in existing research projects.

Listed below are some examples of the methods that could be used to gather and/or present data for this project:

  • focus groups
  • statewide surveys
  • literature review
  • class projects
  • student led research or evaluation
  • analysis of existing data sets from the perspective of a person with DD
  • photography to document information
  • personal stories on a topic

The primary requirements are that the project (A) involves a person with DD as a researcher; (B) is supervised by a qualified individual or individuals; and (C) be related to a topic in TCDD’s FY 2017 to FY 2021 State Plan.


Public agencies, not-for-profit organizations, secondary schools and post-secondary institutions, faith-based institutions, technical and/or professional schools, and for-profit businesses may apply if they can meet the requirements noted elsewhere in this RFP. The entity that applies for this grant must be the entity that will administer the grant and receive, disburse, and account for grant funds. Individuals are not eligible.

Grant Funds Available

TCDD has made available up to $25,000 per year, for up to five years, for up to three organizations. Applicants may choose to do a one-year project or a project for more than one year, for up to five years. Funding for the second through fifth years is not automatic.

Key Dates

Proposals are due to TCDD by 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, May 18, 2018. Late proposals will not be accepted. TCDD will notify proposers of decisions within 30 days following TCDD’s August 2018 Council Meeting. The earliest expected project start date is November 1, 2018 (this date may change).

If fewer than three projects are awarded funding at TCDD’s August 2018 Council Meeting, proposals received after May 18, 2018, may be considered at a future TCDD Council Meeting.

Learn More and Submit a Proposal

For more information, the complete RFP is available on the Notice of Funds Available 2018-3 Disability-Related Participatory Research webpage on the DD Suite website. Proposals for this RFP and all forms must be submitted using DD Suite.

If you have questions after reviewing the complete RFP, listed below are additional opportunities for you to ask questions and get more information:

  • Bidders’ conference:
    TCDD will hold a bidders’ teleconference call at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2018. During the call, TCDD will provide more information about the proposal review and grant award processes. You are not required to attend in order to apply.

  • Submit questions:
    If you have questions about the RFP or the application, submit your questions via email to Joanna Cordry at joanna.cordry@tcdd.texas.gov. The deadline to submit questions is 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. TCDD will not answer questions about the RFP or the application after the deadline. Questions and answers will be posted on the DD Suite website as an attachment to this RFP by 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on Wednesday, April 25, 2018.