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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 Horticulture Innovation Lab Trellis projects by browsing below or by visiting our Trellis album on Flickr.



Browse photos from Horticulture Innovation Lab Trellis projects.



The Horticulture Innovation Lab 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 benefit 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.

Student applications: Now open

Graduate students at the Horticulture Innovation Lab's partner institutions are invited to apply to participate in Trellis Fund projects:

Selected students will be matched with an organization that will receive project funding through the Trellis Fund. Each selected student will be provided air travel, lodging reimbursement, and a $300 fellowship for providing support to their assigned Trellis project.

The deadline to apply is Dec. 3, 2014.

To apply, students must submit two documents: a curriculum vita and a statement of interest for each project they would like to be considered for. Students can select and prioritize up to three projects that they are most interested in, with a 300-word statement tailored to each project. Students will be selected based on how well their expertise reflects the needs of the approved projects. Selected students will be matched with organizations by Feb. 15, 2015, up to one project per student. Please see:

There are two types of Trellis projects this year, and students' experiences and time commitment will vary by the type of project. Students applying to Technical Proposals should be prepared to assist with technical work on the project topic with the host organization. These students will travel to the host country once. Students applying to Project Development Concept Notes should be prepared to assist with both proposal development and technical work on the project topic with the host organization. These students could travel to the host country twice, first to work on project development and second, pending the submission of a successful proposal, to provide technical assistance for the project.

Please note: Foreign students enrolled at the participating universities may be eligible to participate in Trellis projects, depending on visa type. Email us with questions.

Questions about this process can be directed to

Current Trellis projects

Right now, the Horticulture Innovation Lab team is in the process of funding new project proposals for the fourth round of Trellis projects. All organizations that applied for Trellis projects in September 2014 should have received letters by email notifying them whether their projects were selected or not.

A total of 12 projects have been selected for this fourth round of Trellis, with projects in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nepal and Zambia.

See details of the proposal process below, including important dates. Student applications are now open.

We will be updating the website with details of the new Trellis projects, once selections are finalized.

Trellis accomplishments

The Horticulture Innovation Lab has completed three rounds of Trellis Fund projects, for a total of 38 projects in 15 Feed the Future focus countries.

Accomplishments from the first 23 completed Trellis projects include:

Most recent projects: The 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 with a Trellis project in Bangladesh.

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: 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

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.