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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

The Horticulture Innovation Lab's Trellis Fund

Supporting local organizations with student agricultural expertise

Trellis blog posts


UC Davis student studying food science works on solar drying mangoes before going to Ghana for a Trellis Fund project.

Sharing postharvest knowledge, from classroom to mango farm

Q&A with a UC Davis graduate student about his experiences working on a Trellis Fund project in Ghana, with a focus on food processing for mango farmers. Read more...

Student helps with farmers' first soil tests in Nepal

A UH Mānoa student worked with the Center for Agricultural Research and Development (CARD-Nepal) to support a project focused on soil testing and nutrient management. Read and watch...

Students help students learn state-of-the-art science

A closer look at a project led by an organization in Ghana with a student from the University of Florida, expanding statistical analysis capacities of young scientists. Read...


The Trellis Fund connects organizations in developing countries with U.S. graduate students who have agricultural expertise, generating benefits for both the students and the in-country institutions. Together, they collaborate on short-term projects to address horticultural challenges faced by local farmers.

Right now, our fifth round of Trellis Fund projects are underway. We recently recruited graduate students to participate in a sixth round of Trellis Fund projects, and are currently reviewing student applications. Students who applied can expect to be notified in December, for project that will take place during 2018.

Ongoing Trellis Fund projects

In 2017, nine Trellis Fund projects are being led by organizations in developing countries, with consultation from graduate students at Horticulture Innovation Lab partner institutions. See basic details below.

This information is also available as a printable Trellis Fund fact sheet (PDF) or as announcements on our blog. This blog announcement focuses on the selection of organizations and projects: "Nine new Trellis Fund projects awarded." After the projects were selected, students were recruited and matched to the projects, announced here: "Students selected for projects in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Nepal, Cambodia."

Here are the current Trellis Fund projects, taking place during the 2017 calendar year:

Trellis accomplishments



Trellis projects (all)

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



The Horticulture Innovation Lab has completed four rounds of Trellis Fund projects so far. Accomplishments from the first 47 completed Trellis projects include:

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

Past Trellis Fund projects

Fourth round of projects: In 2015, the Horticulture Innovation Lab awarded its fourth round of Trellis Fund projects. A press release is available about the students selected to support these projects. A 2014-2015 Trellis fact sheet (PDF) also describes the Trellis Fund and lists current projects. The Davis Enterprise newspaper wrote an article about three UC Davis students' experiences with Trellis projects: "Global insights: Trellis students work abroad."

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.


Students: Apply for Trellis fellowship (deadline passed)

Please note: We are not currently seeking student applications for Trellis Fund fellowships. The information and documents below are for information only.

Graduate students are invited to participate in Trellis Fund projects for the 2018 calendar year. Selected students will work remotely with an organization as consultants on projects for a minimum of 100 hours and also travel for approximately 2 weeks of in-country work. Students will be provided air travel; reimbursement for lodging, meals, visas and vaccines; and a $300 fellowship upon completion.

Students from the Horticulture Innovation Lab's four partner institutions are eligible to apply:

To apply: Students upload a cover letter and resume for each Trellis Fund project they are interested in, to our online application portal. Students may apply to up to three projects, maximum, and rank their preferred projects. The original deadline for student applications was Oct. 27, 2017 (11:59 p.m. EDT), and the deadline was extended for student applications to five specific projects to Nov. 20, 2017 (11:59 p.m. EST).

Please see complete instructions and desired qualifications for each project:

Please share this opportunity with graduate students who might be interested. This information is also available in a student recruitment video and a student flyer, for easier sharing online and in person.

Questions? Please contact


Past call for proposals: Seeking Trellis Fund grant proposals (deadline passed)

Please note: We are not currently seeking project proposals for the Trellis Fund. The documents and other details below are for information only.

Organizations in Africa, Asia, and Central America are invited to compete for new Trellis Fund grants up to $4,000 each for 6-month projects, to extend horticultural information to local farmers and stakeholders along fruit or vegetable value chains.

April 3, 2017, was the deadline to submit project proposals, for projects that will take place in 2018.

Project proposals may address horticultural crop production, irrigation, plant nutrition, pest management, postharvest practices or marketing issues in relation to fruits and vegetables. Once projects are selected, the Trellis Fund will connect organizations with U.S. graduate students who have related agricultural expertise for project support, providing benefits to both the student and the in-country institution.

Both new organizations and previously awarded organizations are encouraged to apply. Organizations in these countries are eligible:

Directions and documents: Submit completed proposals as a PDF with budget spreadsheet into our online proposal system by 5 p.m. PDT April 3, 2017.

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.