UC Davis Blum Center for Developing Economies Poverty Alleviation through Sustainable Solutions Small Grants Program 2017, USA

Publish Date: Mar 25, 2017

Deadline: Mar 31, 2017

Poverty Alleviation through Sustainable Solutions (PASS)

A program to fund graduate student initiatives


The Blum Center for Developing Economies was established in 2011 and seeks to engage the UC Davis campus in finding creative and sustainable solutions for alleviating global poverty. Our work is in four strategic areas: Education, Engagement, Sustainability, and Research. Current activities include support for a faculty research grants program, three graduate-level courses through the UC Davis D-Lab/Program for International Energy Technologies, undergraduate initiatives including three classes and a field-based project grants program, student-initiated projects, events and this grants program. 


The UC Davis Blum Center for Developing Economies announces the Poverty Alleviation through Sustainable Solutions (PASS) small grants program which provides seed funding to graduate students for innovative, practical and tangible solutions for reducing poverty around the globe. The PASS grants program is intended to provide supplemental funding that can help move solid concepts into pilot projects. We anticipate successful recipients of a PASS grant will pursue additional resources from other funding sources to support and continue their efforts. 


PASS grants are offered campus wide, and require a faculty member serving as a mentor/advisor.


PASS projects may be geared towards one of the following categories:

  • On-site research
  • Practical, “hands on” application

Funds Available

Applicants can apply for funds from $1,000 to $4,000 to cover travel-related and relevant project costs. Neither in-kind or match are required. Institutional in-direct will not be taken from the total grant amount.

Priority Topics

With this Call For Proposals, we are soliciting proposals for pilot projects that address poverty alleviation. Some topics of interest include food security, water, climate, waste, sustainable agriculture, public health, renewable energy, environmental stewardship, innovative business, animal health, marketing, education, and development applications (not limited to these topics).

Proposals may focus on one of the following areas: field testing; market research and impact or life cycle cost/benefit analysis; assessment of financial viability; and/or development for innovative technological solutions, product or system designs that demonstrate effectiveness in alleviating poverty and have the potential for scale‐up.

Projects need not encompass all of these components, and projects devoted to developing new solutions, technologies and/or advancing fundamental knowledge essential to sustainable practices are encouraged.

Some possible examples of proposal projects types include:

  • Implementing novel solutions to increase agricultural productivity in developing economies.
  • Producing bio‐based materials and feedstocks.
  • Providing safe drinking water and/or sanitation.
  • Mitigating and/or supporting improvements in public health.
  • Creating novel applications of wireless solutions for human benefit that reduce poverty.
  • Utilizing innovative information technology solutions for improving livelihoods, learning, intelligent farming, etc.
  • Implementing renewable energy based micro-power and/or off-grid systems for the poor.
  • Developing post harvest technologies that reduce loss.
  • Mitigating lifecycle environmental costs/footprints across a supply chain.
  • Reducing exposure to chemicals throughout the life of a product.
  • Decreasing emissions (air, water & land) and non‐useful by-products.

Additional topics are welcomed and will be considered. We will consider solid proposals those that clearly demonstrate the feasibility and sustainability of the project, with a good budget/budget justification, and that succeeds in demonstrating how the expected outcome will improve the livelihood of the benefitted poor community.

Award Requirements

Acceptance of a Blum Center PASS grant is agreement to complete and meet the following commitments:

  • Required: Award recipients will be required to submit an abstract (200-300 word summary) once project work is completed. Note, this will be posted to the UC Davis Blum Center website and should be written for a general audience .
  • Required: Award recipients will be required to submit a final project report. This report should contain information including, but not limited to, changes made to the original proposal, analysis, outcomes, lessons learned, and future implications and objectives. The report deadline is upon completion of the grant project and no later than one year from acceptance of the grant.
  • Required: At least three blog posts written either while preparing to work abroad, while in the field, or upon return. 
  • Required: At least 10 photographs from the field (blog post and final report photos count towards this requirement).

Application deadline: 5:00pm (PST), March 31, 2017

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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Host Countries

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