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iHEAR Peers for Equity

Community-led initiative fostering a LGBTQIA+ and disability researcher-advocates cohort.


2022 - 2023




Dr. Anant Bhan



iHEAR Peers for Equity developed a cohort of young researcher-advocates from LGBTQIA+ and disability communities via a free digital course followed by a mentored fellowship. The six-week course equipped learners with tools for action-based research projects and advocacy. A small section of the learners proceeded to a six-month mentored fellowship, guiding them in developing outputs like research proposals and policy briefs. Recognizing the need for disability community representation, the project extended the fellowship in the second cohort.


Empowering the disability and LGBTQIA+ communities in research and advocacy is vital. Those with lived experiences are best suited to lead, as they possess unique insights into their communities' needs. Therefore, a capacity-building program focusing on research and advocacy was initiated. By equipping individuals from these communities with the necessary skills and knowledge, we aim to foster their leadership and amplify their voices in shaping policies and initiatives that address their specific challenges and aspirations.

Progress till date

133 learners registered, and 60 completed the digital course, gaining essential skills in research and advocacy. 20 full-time and 2 part-time fellows engaged in impactful projects with 15 partner organizations. Two in-person gatherings fostered collaboration and networking among fellows, mentors, and collaborators. As part of the dissemination event of the fellowship, fellows in the first cohort were asked to design posters summarizing their work in the fellowship. The second cohort, focusing on disability communities, addressed representation imbalances, with ten dedicated fellows.


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