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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

Photo: Student with farmers in Uganda

Graduate student Carrie Teiken examines a citrus tree with volunteers and farmers while working with an organization in Uganda on a Trellis project. See more photos from the Horticulture Innovation Lab's Trellis projects by browsing below or by visiting our Trellis Fund album on Flickr.



Browse photos from Horticulture Innovation Lab Trellis projects.



The Horticulture Innovation Lab's Trellis Fund

Engaging U.S. graduate students in international development

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. Trellis Fund projects may address irrigation, fertilization, other aspects of production, pest management, postharvest practices, nutrition, or marketing issues in relation to fruits, vegetables and high-value horticultural crops.

Trellis Fund projects, ongoing

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.

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:

Trellis accomplishments

The Horticulture Innovation Lab has completed three rounds of Trellis Fund projects so far. Accomplishments from the first 23 completed Trellis projects include:

This information will be updated, once results from the most recent projects has been analyzed.

Most recent 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.

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

Proposal process

Please note: The deadline to submit projects for this round has passed. We will update this page when future rounds of Trellis funding become available, 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.

Important Dates:

Organizations in Feed the Future countries are invited to identify a horticultural problem facing local farmers and the type of expertise they seek in a U.S. graduate student. Organizations that have not already been funded by Trellis will receive priority. Organizations with a staff of 50 or fewer will also receive priority.

New in 2014: Two types of Trellis funding are available for organizations to consider. Please read carefully to determine which type of Trellis funding your organization should apply for. This flowchart (.pdf) also provides a basic overview of how the two application and selection processes will work.

For Technical Trellis Proposals, the organization will submit a full project proposal, including intended objectives, activities, gender program and a $2,000 budget for consideration. Successful applicants will be paired with a U.S. graduate student with relevant technical expertise. Directions for Technical Trellis Proposals:

For Project Development Concept Notes, the organization will submit a much briefer concept note detailing the horticultural problem for which they would like U.S. graduate student assistance in developing a full proposal. These full proposals will then be evaluated, and successful proposals will be funded. Project development concept notes are aimed at organizations that want to build their capacity in grant writing and project development. Directions and application materials for Project Development Concept Notes:

Questions about the proposal and application process should be directed to

Student application process

Please note: The deadline to submit student applications to participate in Trellis Fund projects this round has passed. We will update this page when future rounds of Trellis funding become available, 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.

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.

Important dates:

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

Questions about this process can be directed to


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.