A group of students are inventing a "jalapeno popper" which is a cross between a bell pepper and a jalapeno pepper. The group has been cross breeding the plants for five seasons and are a few seasons away from a final product. The group was photographed at the student farm where they meet every Tuesday to tend to the plants and discuss their progress. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

2020-2021 Seed and Bridge Grantees

Learn About the 2020-2021 PIRI Grant Recipients

The Public Impact Research Initiative (PIRI) was established through Public Scholarship and Engagement (PSE) to recognize and support research that is cogenerated with community partners, is of mutual benefit, and has a positive public impact.

Seed Grants

Citizen Science in Prison Gardens: Building Capacity for Transformative Learning at the Intersections of Nature and Self

UC Davis leads: Ryan Meyer, Center for Community and Citizen Science; Laci Gerhart, Department of Evolution and Ecology; Heidi Ballard, School of Education; Chris Jalladah, Center for Community and Citizen Science
Non-university partner: Insight Garden Program

People who are incarcerated live in often dehumanizing conditions, lacking access to programs and opportunities for self-enrichment and mental health benefits, work and life skills, and connections to others.

Collaborative evaluation of the agronomic performance of Sheba farm’s Teff varieties at UC Davis

UC Davis lead: Edward Brummer, Department of Plant Sciences
Non-university partner: Sheba Farms LLC

Teff (Eragrostis Tef) is the world’s smallest grain crop, is gluten-free and nutrient-dense. The crop was domesticated in Ethiopia between 4000 BC and 1000 BC and is used to make the traditional Ethiopian flat bread, injera.

Community Data Mapping and Dissemination: A collaboration between Resilient Yolo and the Perinatal Origins of Disparities Center

UC Davis leads: Jennifer Phipps, Department of Human Ecology; Leigh Ann Simmons, Department of Human Ecology
Non-university partner: Resilient Yolo Partnership

We propose a collaboration between the Perinatal Origins of Disparities (POD) Center at UC Davis and Resilient Yolo (RY), a community organization working to build resiliency in Yolo County residents through raising awareness of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the important role that trauma-informed social services plays in promoting health equity.

Enhancing Research Capacity for Yurok Food Sovereignty

UC Davis lead: Katherine Kim, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing
Non-university partner: Nature Rights Council

Yurok country, the region of the Klamath Basin encompassing the Yurok Tribe reservation, has been defined in recent times as a food desert even though there are abundant natural resources that historically sustained the population.

Golden Journey Empowerment and UC Davis Collaborative

UC Davis leads: Laura Kair, School of Medicine and Director of Well Newborn Care; E. Bimla Schwarz, School of Medicine
Non-university partner: Jasmine Carranza, Golden Journey Empowerment

Breastfeeding is important for optimal infant and maternal health. Experts recommend infants exclusively breastfeed for their first 6 months of life and continue ongoing breastfeeding for at least 1 year.

How We Look: A Public Impact Research Initiative

UC Davis lead: Julie Wyman, Department of Cinema and Digital Media
Non-university partner: Little People of America

“How We Look” is a collaboration with Little People of America’s Dwarf Artist Coalition that will critically and creatively intervene in the media representation of Little People. Little People have a unique relationship to representation.

Partnership to support California Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations

UC Davis lead: Gail Feenstra, Acting Director Agricultural Sustainability Institute and UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
Non-university partners: COOK Alliance and Foodnome

UC SAREP proposes partnering with The COOK Alliance, a fiscally sponsored project of a non-profit organization, to organize research with and support for county-permitted Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs).

We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For

UC Davis lead: Claire Napawan, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design
Non-university partner: Sunrise Movement

The past three decades have yielded substantial efforts to inform American citizens about climate change. This field is known as climate change communication (CCC).

Bridge Grants

Collaborative Rural Community Development Impact Assessment for Global Learning Programs

UC Davis leads: Nancy Erbstein, School of Education; Jonathan London, Department of Human Ecology
Non-university partner: Hands On Institute

This project will design and pilot an instrument for assessing the community impact of community engaged global learning programs, in order to address the tendency of such programs to lack robust assessments of program benefits to host communities.

Humanizing Deportation Exhibit at Border Line Crisis Center, Tijuana: “Juntos Somos Más”

UC Davis leads: Robert Irwin, Department of Spanish and Portuguese; Leticia Saucedo, School of Law
Non-university partners: The Bridge El Puente and Borderline Crisis Center

We will stage a 2-week public exhibition of the Humanizing Deportation project in Tijuana at the Border Line Crisis Center. Modeled after an exhibition that we staged at the Enclave Caracol cultural center, it will feature screenings of digital stories, and also portraits of community storytellers previously taken in Tijuana by project photographer Leopoldo Peña.

INSTRUMENTAL: The Elayne Jones Story

UC Davis leads: Grace Wang, Department of American Studies; Julie Wyman, Department of Cinema and Digital Media
Non-university partners: Orchestrate Inclusion, Percussive Arts Society, and SF Symphony

INSTRUMENTAL: THE ELAYNE JONES STORY is a strategic impact media project and campaign aimed at fostering diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the field of classical music.

Investigating Financial Aid Application and Take-up Behavior of High School Seniors

UC Davis leads: Paco Martorell, School of Education; Scott Carrell, Department of Economics
Non-university partner: California Student Aid Commission

Policymakers and practitioners have a strong desire to reform California’s financial aid system, but lack basic information about financial aid application and take-up rates for students seeking postsecondary schooling.

Mapping the “Leftovers”: Participatory Q’eqchi’ Maya Cartography for the Cultural Reforestation of Northern Guatemala

UC Davis lead: Liza Grandia, Department of Native American Studies
Non-university partner: Indigenous Peasant Association for the Integrated Development of Peten (ACDIP)

Literature abounds on the depressing tropical “d”s—deforestation, degradation, and destruction—with less attention to resilient “r’s”—restoration, recovery, and regeneration (Chazdon 2014).

Sacramento County Food Distribution Agency Volunteer Recruitment, Management and Retention Study

UC Davis lead: Marcella Gonsalves, School of Medicine
Non-university partner: Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services

Every month, over 150,000 of the most vulnerable individuals in Sacramento County rely heavily on the free food they receive from hundreds of food-providing agencies including the largest food distributor in the county, Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services (SFBFS). Without these agencies, many families and seniors would go hungry and even further lack the resources they need to live productive and healthy lives.