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.

Learn About the 2023-2024 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.

Summer Health Institute for Nursing Exploration and Success (SHINES): A Longitudinal View

Piri Ackerman-Barger, Associate Dean for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Director of Faculty Development for Education and Teaching Professor and SHINES Program Director, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing
Patricia Fernandez, SHINES Assistant Program Director; Graduate Student Researcher, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing
Cecilia Sanchez Research Program Manager, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing
Community Partners: Capitol City Black Nurses Association, Sacramento Charter High School, Arthur A. Benjamin Health Professions High School, Improve Your Tomorrow, Cristo Rey High School

The SHINES program prepares underrepresented and underserved youth to become successful in their academic aspirations, specifically when pursuing a healthcare career.

Evaluating the Impact of the Increase in Cash Value Benefit for the Purchase of Fruits and Vegetables in Low-Income Diverse Children

Lauren Au, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Cassandra Nguyen, Cooperative Extension Assistant Specialist, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Lorrene Ritchie, Director, Nutrition Policy Institute, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Community Partner: Public Health Foundation Enterprises-WIC

The project team will analyze how an increase in the monthly cash value benefit for the purchase of fruit and vegetables in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food program is associated with the diversity of fruits and vegetables redeemed, and how this diversity affects the fruit and vegetable intake of children aged 1-5 years in families served by WIC.

Historicizing Municipal Reparations in Sacramento

Gregory Downs, Professor, Department of History, College of Letters and Science
Community Partner: City of Sacramento Mayor's Office

How did the City of Sacramento perpetuate and construct racial disparities in the city? That’s the question that Department of History faculty and graduate students will helping the Sacramento Mayor’s Office research this summer in providing support for the city’s municipal reparations effort.

Documenting the Mobile Farmers Market Impacts

Marcella Gonsalves, Lecturer, Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine
Community Partner: The Center for Land Based Learning

This project will document the impacts of the Center for Land-Based Learning's Mobile Farmers Market truck, which provides a reliable outlet for urban farmers to sell produce in low-income neighborhoods.

Restoring and Rewilding a Q'eqchi' Commons

Liza Grandia, Associate Professor, Department of Native American Studies, College of Letters and Science
Community Partner: ACDIP (Indigenous Peasant Association for the Integrated Development of Petén), a Q'eqchi' Maya grassroots farmers' movement

This partnership with Q’eqchi’ Maya in Guatemala and ACDIP, a Q’eqchi’ peasant federation, will help establish communal forests with culturally significant tree species and jumpstart reforestation in two villages.

Assessing Soil and Water Quality in Climate-Vulnerable Marin City

Alyssa Griffin, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, College of Letters and Science
Community Partner: Marin City Climate Resilience and Health Justice

Marin City faces issues of crumbling infrastructure, pollution and disinvestment, leading to high rates of chronic health issues and disabilities. This collaboration will address the community-defined need of testing soil and tap water quality.

Transgender and Gender-Nonbinary Health: Development of Community-Generated Research Priorities

Miles Harris, Assistant Clinical Professor, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing
Elizabeth Vasile, Director, Health Equity Resources & Outreach (HERO) Program, UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center
Stephen Falwell, Education, Training, and Outreach Lead, UC Davis IRB Administration
Community Partner: One Community Health

The project team will increase collaboration with community-based providers of transgender health services in Sacramento and involve TGNB community members in identifying research topics of significance and importance to TGNB health.

Yolo County Basic Income Pilot Program: Understanding the Impact of a Basic Income Program on Community Violence Exposure

Rose Kagawa, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine
Edith Blair, Graduate Student, Graduate Group in Epidemiology
Community Partner: Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency

This research will investigate how a guaranteed basic income program impacts exposure to community violence among recipients, using the Yolo County Basic Income pilot program as an example.

The Marchand History Lab: Broadening the California Narrative through K-16 Inquiry

Nancy McTygue, Executive Director of the California History-Social Science Project, Department of History, College of Letters and Science
Beth Slutsky, Academic Coordinator, Department of History
Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor, Professor and Associate Dean, Graduate Studies and Letters and Sciences
Community Partner: California Revealed, California State Library

The Marchand History Lab will bring together graduate and undergraduate students, TK-12 teachers and other scholars to learn about historical research using UC Davis' special collections, with an emphasis on Latinx and California history.

Collaborative Science in Prison Gardens to Transform our Relationship with Nature, Science, and Community

Ryan Meyer, Executive Director, Center for Community and Citizen Science, School of Education
Heidi Ballard, Professor, School of Education
Laci Gerhart. Assistant Professor of Teaching, College of Biological Sciences
Community Partner: Insight Garden Program

By implementing citizen science in a prison context, this partnership will provide people who are incarcerated with opportunities for hands-on science learning and environmental education, which can lead to personal growth, improved prison culture and the development of marketable skills for reentry and community engagement.

State Paralysis: The Impacts of Procurement Risk on Government Effectiveness

Diana Moreira, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, College of Letters and Science
Socorro Pardo Martinez, PhD Candidate, Department of Economics
Joana Naritomi, Associate Professor at the London School of Economics
Gustavo Fernandes, Assistant Professor at Fundação Getúlio Vargas
Community Partner: CONASEMS (Brazilian Council of Municipal Health Secretaries)

This project will investigate why developing countries like Brazil do not spend substantial portions of their budgets on public services — despite clear needs — by examining the role of procurement risk as a driver of unspent public funds.

Improving Telehealth Access for Populations with Limited English-Proficiency: A Collaboration with United Way California Capital Region

Jennifer Rosenthal, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine
Leah Meisel, Digital Health Equity Coordinator, UC Davis Health
Community Partner: United Way California Capital Region

This project will apply human-centered design principles to engage communities with limited English proficiency in developing strategies to improve telehealth equity and accessibility.

The Fires We Light: Chronicling Cooperative Burning Practices on the Yurok Reservation and Ancestral Lands

Emily Schlickman, Assistant Professor, Department of Human Ecology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Community Partner: Cultural Fire Management Council

A multimedia exhibition will explore the ecological and social benefits of cooperative burning practices in Humboldt County, California on the Yurok Reservation and ancestral lands, and engage diverse groups of fire practitioners through participatory narrative inquiry and active observation.