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


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 and sustained relationships that will support publicly engaged research with non-university partners. 

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.

For examples of projects previously supported by this program, please see our 2021-2022 PIRI recipients.

Type of Grants

Publicly-engaged research can have an impact at varying scales and disciplines, with many different community partners. With the above program priorities in mind, the Public Impact Research Initiative will support research activities with non-university partners in one of the two following categories: 

1) Seed Grants to support the development of new research collaborations; and 

2) Bridge Grants to deepen, sustain, or evaluate existing collaborative research. 

Recipients of a Public Impact Research Program grant will receive up to $10,000 for proposed activities. Applications and supporting materials must be received by February 26, 2021. Given the purpose of the grant categories, it is expected that all funds will be distributed in May-June 2021. Grant recipients are expected to budget for funds that they can spend within one year.  


All current UC Davis Academic Senate and Academic Federation members from any UC Davis location are eligible to apply.

Find out how to apply for a PIRI grant