Request For Trellis Fund Project Proposals (Horticulture Innovation Lab)
The Horticulture Innovation Lab is excited to announce another year of funding horticultural projects with development organizations through the Trellis Fund. The goal of the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s Trellis Fund is to link knowledgeable graduate students in the United States to small-scale organizations in eligible developing countries through a unique funding structure. The Trellis Fund will enable the host organizations to conduct adaptive research and extend horticultural information to local farmers, as well as build the capacity of graduate students in the United States and host countries. Proposals can address horticultural production (including seed systems, irrigation and plant nutrition), pest management, postharvest, nutrition or marketing problems that local farmers face. Proposals can also address related social and economic issues related to horticulture. The host organization will complete and submit a proposal that includes the type of expertise they seek in a U.S. graduate student, as well as project goals, activities and gender equity programs. Proposed projects may be stand-alone interventions or part of a broader project. Upon selection, the Horticulture Innovation Lab will match the proposal with a U.S. graduate student with the needed skillset, who will work with the organization as a consultant.
The Trellis Fund accepts proposals from small organizations in our eligible countries on topics related to fruit and vegetable marketing, production or consumption. Organizations with a staff of 50 or less are preferred.
DURATION AND TIMING
Trellis Fund recipients will be expected to conduct approximately 6-month long projects including planning with the student, a 1-2 week visit by the student, and post-travel communication and remote collaboration with the student. Projects can start any time after January 1, 2017 and must be completed by December 31, 2017.
Project proposals due: Jan. 18, 2016
Funding decisions by: April 29, 2016
Funding available: Jan. 1, 2017
Six-month projects must be completed by: Dec. 31, 2017
Host organizations can train local farmers in the manner that they believe will work best. We encourage organizations to use proven methods and to promote scientifically accurate agricultural solutions. Trellis Fund money can be used to travel to farmers, to bring farmers to the organization for farmer field days, or to develop educational materials. Farmers cannot be paid to attend meetings or be reimbursed for travel, but the organization can directly pay for their transportation (i.e. hiring a van or bus). Any travel completed in-country with the visiting U.S. student must be budgeted for by the organization as part of the project funding.
Granted organizations will be responsible for completing their issued contracts, a mid-term Skype or phone interview with Trellis Fund coordinators, and a final report. They will also be responsible for following through with the monitoring and evaluation plans that they create and revised with their U.S. graduate student.
Trellis Fund applications are to be submitted electronically in PDF format by email to email@example.com. Budgets must be provided as an Excel spreadsheet using the Horticulture Innovation Lab budget form.
All applications must be received by the close of business at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, USA on January 18, 2016. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered for funding.
EVALUATION PROCESS & CRITERIA
Impartial reviewers from UC Davis, the Horticulture Innovation Lab Management Entity, and the Trellis Fund coordinators will evaluate all applications. The primary criteria for evaluating proposals are: 50 Points – Project Impact: How well will the proposed project empower horticultural farmers with new information? How relevant is the adaptive research to local growers? Do the project activities have a viable plan to reach at least 180 farmers? Are at least half of the participants women? How well is the gender of stakeholders taken into account? How qualified is the host organization team to conduct the project? Does the host organization have sufficient experience working with local farmers or the relevant postharvest/marketing stakeholders? 50 Points – Graduate Student Engagement: How well would the proposed project engage the U.S. graduate student and a university student in the eligible country? Each proposal is reviewed by a minimum of 3 reviewers, who will score proposals out of 100, given the above criteria. Once the initial review of all submitted proposals is complete, the organizations with the top proposals will be contacted directly by the Trellis Fund coordinators to set up a Skype or phone interview. Final funding decisions will be made April 29, 2016 and all organizations will be notified of whether or not they will be receiving funding. Recruitment of U.S. graduate students is expected to begin in September 2016, and matches will be made by mid-December 2016. Projects may begin January 1, 2017 and must be completed by December 31, 2017.
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