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)

Public Impact Research Initiative

About Public Impact Research Initiative Grants

The Public Scholarship for the Public Good: An Implementation Framework for UC Davis provides a blueprint to realize goals and objectives to support and deepen publicly-engaged scholarship at UC Davis. Via this framework, we heard from campus members that they draw satisfaction from their public scholarship experiences based on building relationships and making a difference in the world, and see the transformative effect of public collaborations on their research. 

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. Through this program we provide financial support for new collaborations or sustaining relationships that will support publicly engaged research with non-university partners. These awards are intended to position researchers for future funding, capacity building, and growth in research areas that include mutually beneficial partnerships.

The PIRI program prioritizes research that is centered around cogenerated ideas of mutual benefit to the researcher(s) and partner(s), and endeavors to combine academic knowledge with community based knowledge in a multidirectional and reciprocal way. We are interested in supporting research that expands who is included in the generation of knowledge and recognizes the assets that community members bring to those of university members. We value the inclusion of partners and public impacts that have been historically excluded in academic practices. 

Publicly-engaged research can have an impact at varying scales and disciplines, with many different community partners. For examples of projects previously supported by this program, please see our 2022-2023 PIRI recipients. Also see examples of published work by PIRI recipients on our eScholarship site

Recipients of a Public Impact Research Program grant will receive $5,000-$10,000 for their proposed activities, depending upon budget request and program review.

PIRI Grant Timeline:
  • Applications and supporting materials due: January
  • Funds distributed: March-April
  • Deadline for all grant funds to be spent: one year (upon receipt)

Eligibility and Award Criteria

All current UC Davis Academic Senate and Academic Federation members from any UC Davis location are eligible to apply. The Public Impact Research Initiative will support the development of new research collaborations, and/or projects that will deepen, sustain, or evaluate existing collaborative research. Previous recipients of PIRI funds will be considered lower priority for funding, but are still encouraged to submit proposals as long as their prior requirements (blog post, final report) are complete for previous project(s).  

Applications will be evaluated on the quality of the proposal, anticipated impact and potential for mutually beneficial and reciprocal relationships with one or more non-university groups. This can include, but is not limited to, direct engagement with non-university group(s) in the development of collaborative agreements, research goals, questions, and/or methods, as well as incorporating community knowledge, voices and histories to research and creative practice. For proposed work that reflects an extension of existing research collaborations, proposals should indicate the demonstrated prior accomplishments and desire to deepen, sustain, or evaluate ongoing research. Proposals should address a clear plan for one of the following outcomes of the award: a subsequent (non-planning) grant submission within a year after a PIRI grant is complete, a presentation at a national or international conference, or publishing research findings in peer reviewed literature. Each application should also describe a timeline with expected milestones leading to the completion of proposed tasks. 

How to apply for a PIRI grant