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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

The Horticulture Innovation Lab's Trellis Fund

Photo: Student listening to men explain current pest practices in vegetable field in Bangladesh

PRIDE in Bangladesh worked with graduate student Brittany Pierce on a Trellis project about pest management. See more photos from the Horticulture Innovation Lab's Trellis projects by visiting our Trellis Fund album on Flickr.



Trellis projects (all)

Browse photos from Horticulture Innovation Lab Trellis projects (photo slideshow on Flickr).



Supporting local organizations with student agricultural expertise

The Horticulture Innovation Lab's Trellis Fund provides small-scale, in-country development organizations access to U.S. graduate student expertise, providing benefits to both the student and the in-country institutions. While addressing horticultural challenges, the organizations build relationships with tomorrow's agricultural experts while also broadening students' perspectives. Trellis Fund projects may address horticultural crop production, irrigation, plant nutrition, pest management, postharvest practices, marketing issues in relation to fruits, vegetables and high-value horticultural crops.

Current status: The Trellis Fund is currently completing its fourth round of projects and is in the recruitment and review process for a future, fifth round of projects. Jan. 18, 2016, was the deadline for organizations to submit a proposal. All organizations that applied for Trellis funding have been notified; if you are part of an organization that applied, but have not heard whether your Trellis Fund proposal was funded or not, please contact for details. Graduate student recruitment is not expected to take place until the fall of 2016. Funding for selected projects will be available for the 2017 calendar year. Questions about the proposal, review, and application processes should be sent to Details from the past application processes are below.

Trellis accomplishments

The Horticulture Innovation Lab has completed three rounds of Trellis Fund projects so far. Accomplishments from the first 38 completed Trellis projects include:

Photos collected from student trips for Trellis projects are available in our Trellis album on Flickr.

Current Trellis Fund projects

The Horticulture Innovation Lab awarded its fourth round of Trellis Fund projects in January 2015, to organizations in nine countries with grad students from three universities. Some projects have already been completed, while others will finish by the end of January 2016.

A press release is available about the students selected to support these new projects. An updated fact sheet (PDF) also describes the Trellis Fund and lists current projects.

Listed below are the current Trellis Fund projects, by country with the lead organization's name, student's information and a basic project description. A new process in this round of Trellis means that several projects were proposed as "concept notes" and will first go through a proposal development process with students, before potentially being funded as full "technical projects."

Western Africa:

Eastern Africa:


Central America:

Past Trellis Fund projects

Third round of projects: In the third round, 2013-2014 Trellis projects (PDF) included 14 projects in 9 countries. Initially, 13 new projects were announced and later an additional 14th project was awarded after USAID resumed its agricultural work in Mali. More details are available in a fact sheet (PDF) and press release. An article in CA&ES Outlook magazine also profiled a UC Davis student's experience in Bangladesh with a Trellis project.

Second round: See more details about the second round of projects on the 2012-2013 fact sheet (PDF), or read the press release announcing the awards. Student participants from this round also shared their experiences in a press release promoting the third call for applications and in a related newsletter article.

First round: Find out more about each of the 2011-2012 Trellis projects (PDF). Student participants from the first round of projects also shared their experiences in a promotional video.

Past application process: Students (deadline passed)

Please note: We are not currently seeking student applications to participate in Trellis Fund projects. The next student recruitment is expected to take place in Fall 2016, for projects funded from current proposals which will take place in 2017-2018. We will update this page when student recruitment begins, or you may want to sign up for our email list to make sure you receive a notification in your Inbox. Text and documents below are provided for information only, based on the most recent previous student recruitment.

Graduate students at the Horticulture Innovation Lab's partner institutions are invited to apply to participate in Trellis Fund projects: UC Davis, North Carolina State University, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and University of Florida. Foreign students enrolled at the participating universities may be eligible to participate in Trellis projects, depending on visa type. Please email with questions.

For additional details of this round's student application process, please see:

Questions about this process can be directed to

Past proposal process: Organizations (deadline passed)

Please note: We are not currently seeking project proposals from organizations for Trellis. The most recent deadline was Jan. 18, 2016. The documents and other details below are for information only. If you would like to make sure to hear of our next call for project proposals, you may want to consider signing up for our email list.

Organizations in developing countries are invited to submit a project proposal that addresses a horticultural problem facing local farmers, which would also include the involvement of a graduate student consultant. The maximum funding available for each project is $2,000, with funding available for 15 projects. The deadline to submit proposals is Jan. 18, 2016.

Proposals from organizations in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia will be considered. Organizations with 50 or fewer staff members will receive priority. Please note that proposals may be declined due to security concerns.

A complete project proposal will include intended objectives, activities, graduate student engagement, gender program, a plan for monitoring and evaluation, staff resumes, and a $2,000 budget for consideration. Successful applicants will be paired with a U.S. graduate student with relevant technical expertise.


Directions and documents:

Questions? Contact with questions about the proposal process.


Resources for current Trellis students

Looking for forms for travel or reimbursement? Here is our information for Trellis students who are currently participating in these projects.