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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

Photo: Student with farmers in Uganda

Graduate student Carrie Teiken examines a citrus tree with volunteers and farmers while working with an organization in Uganda on a Trellis project. See more photos from Horticulture Innovation Lab Trellis projects by browsing below or by visiting our Trellis album on Flickr.



Browse photos from Horticulture Innovation Lab Trellis projects.



The Horticulture Innovation Lab Trellis Fund

Engaging U.S. graduate students in international development

The Horticulture Innovation Lab's Trellis Fund provides small-scale, in-country development organizations access to U.S. graduate student expertise, providing benefit to both the student and the in-country institutions. Trellis Fund projects may address irrigation, fertilization, other aspects of production, pest management, postharvest practices, nutrition, or marketing issues in relation to fruits, vegetables and high-value horticultural crops.

Trellis accomplishments

The Horticulture Innovation Lab has funded three rounds of Trellis Fund projects, for a total of 38 projects in 15 Feed the Future focus countries.

Accomplishments from the first 23 completed Trellis projects include:

Current Trellis projects

Currently, the Horticulture Innovation Lab team is evaluating project proposals for the fourth round of Trellis projects. See details of the proposal process below, including important dates. Student applications will open on Nov. 1.

Below are the third round of Trellis projects, awarded for the 2013-2014 school year in July 2013. Initially, 13 new projects were announced and later an additional 14th project was awarded after USAID resumed its agricultural work in Mali. A press release summarizes the awards.

For more information about these projects, print and share the current Trellis fact sheet (PDF). Here are brief descriptions of the projects:

Previous Trellis projects

First round: Find out more about each of the 2011-2012 Trellis projects (PDF). Student participants from the first round of projects also shared their experiences in a promotional video.

Second round: See more details about the second round of projects on the 2012-2013 fact sheet (PDF), or read the press release announcing the awards. Student participants from this round also shared their experiences in a press release promoting the third call for applications and in a related newsletter article.

Third round: See list above. Also available in a fact sheet (PDF) and press release.

Photos collected from student trips for Trellis projects are available on Flickr.

Student applications: coming soon

The call for student applications will be publicized after projects have been selected for funding, beginning Nov. 1, 2014 and ending Dec. 1, 2014. U.S. graduate students will be selected based on how well their expertise reflects the needs of the approved projects, and matched with organization by Feb. 15, 2015. Selected Technical Track students will travel to meet their partner organization and clientele farmers, and upon return will support their organization’s outreach program via email. Project Development Track students will visit their organizations to help with proposal development in March or April 2015.  If the proposal application is successful, the student will return over the summer to help his/her organization implement the project. They will also support their organization’s work via email. 

All students will be provided air travel, reimbursed for lodging, and provided a $300 fellowship for additional project support.

Graduate students at UC Davis, North Carolina State University, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and University of Florida will be eligible to apply during this round. Interested students can email Kelsey Barale to make sure they are notified of the call for applications when it becomes available, or check back on this website.

Proposal process

Please note: Deadline to submit projects for this round has passed. Text and documents below are provided for information only.

Important Dates:

Organizations in Feed the Future countries are invited to identify a horticultural problem facing local farmers and the type of expertise they seek in a U.S. graduate student. Organizations that have not already been funded by Trellis will receive priority. Organizations with a staff of 50 or fewer will also receive priority.

New in 2014: Two types of Trellis funding are available for organizations to consider. Please read carefully to determine which type of Trellis funding your organization should apply for. This flowchart (.pdf) also provides a basic overview of how the two application and selection processes will work.

For Technical Trellis Proposals, the organization will submit a full project proposal, including intended objectives, activities, gender program and a $2,000 budget for consideration. Successful applicants will be paired with a U.S. graduate student with relevant technical expertise. Directions for Technical Trellis Proposals:

For Project Development Concept Notes, the organization will submit a much briefer concept note detailing the horticultural problem for which they would like U.S. graduate student assistance in developing a full proposal. These full proposals will then be evaluated, and successful proposals will be funded. Project development concept notes are aimed at organizations that want to build their capacity in grant writing and project development. Directions and application materials for Project Development Concept Notes:

Questions about the proposal and application process should be directed to

Resources for current Trellis students

Looking for forms for travel or reimbursement? Here is our information for Trellis students who are currently participating in these projects.