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Nine collaborative projects funded through Public Impact Research Initiative

Faculty grants awarded to spur and deepen campus-community partnerships   

The Public Impact Research Initiative (PIRI) was established through Public Scholarship and Engagement to recognize and support research that is cogenerated with community partners, is of mutual benefit, and has a positive public impact. Through this initiative, we provide financial support for new collaborations and sustained relationships that will support publicly engaged research with non-university partners. 

This year, the PIRI program received 30 funding requests from faculty and researchers from many of the UC Davis colleges and schools. Projects range from post-wildfire recovery of ecosystems to understanding knowledge, attitudes and beliefs around COVID-19 vaccines, to addressing land and food sovereignty. 

“We are so excited to be able to support these important research projects that reflect exemplary UC Davis scholars, their partners, and their work that is of high public impact. These partnerships set the bar very high for engaged scholarship at our university” said Tessa Hill, associate vice provost for Public Scholarship and Engagement.

These collaborative relationships not only improve research questions and methods, they often extend a project's longevity. The research that Associate Professor Katherine Kim from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and School of Medicine is conducting with the Nature Rights Council, a local non-profit organization in the Klamath Basin, is one such example. In 2020, Professor Kim and her collaborators received a seed grant to support evaluation of the Yurok Food Sovereignty Project, which applies modern harvest and food processing practices through a home gardening assistance service and subscription-based food delivery. This year, they were awarded funding to continue their research.  

“With this bridge grant, we will deepen this collaboration through a combination of stakeholder engagement, training, and application of research skills in the evaluation of the Yurok Food Sovereignty Project,” Kim said.

All PIRI grants incorporate collaboration with non-university partners who have regional, national and global reach from state governmental entities like the California Department of Public Health to nonprofits like Wellspring Women’s Center and non-governmental organizations in Argentina. 

“The Initiative is an expression of an important value – that personal relationships matter, and it is these types of relationships that ground the work of many public scholars,” noted Vice Provost Michael Rios. “PIRI seed and bridge grants also express a commitment to building a solid foundation for research collaborations to pursue additional resources as these partnerships grow and blossom.”

2021-22 Public Impact Research Initiative Seed Grants

2021-22 Public Impact Research Initiative 2021 Bridge Grants

About UC Davis Public Scholarship and Engagement

Public Scholarship and Engagement (PSE) is building and supporting meaningful relationships between communities and UC Davis scholars that work together to solve today’s problems and tomorrow’s challenges.

We envision a university unbound that seeks to serve the public, equitably and inclusively, resulting in reciprocal and mutual benefit to California’s communities and beyond.

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