Two walnuts growing on a triee.

The Resnick Agricultural Innovation Research Fund is a current-use fund to advance research that identifies and develops value-added resources from pistachio, almond and pomegranate byproducts. The intent is to promote collaboration and strengthen the network among research faculty, agricultural producers, food companies, pharmaceutical/nutraceutical companies, commodity boards, and other stakeholders interested in pistachio, almond, and pomegranate byproducts through awarding competitive research grants as part of an annual Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Other agricultural byproduct research with transferrable information (e.g., grapes and citrus) will be considered. Priority details are subject to change with subsequent RFPs.

Research Priority for 2023 Call

Seed grants support proof-of-concept research aimed at identifying and separating components within byproduct materials or downstream use and innovation. Inaugural seed funding ranged from $100,00 to $250,000 per project. The first RFP yielded 26 submissions with 9 projects funded. Inaugural seed funding was provided for one year with opportunities for full grant submission in year two pending demonstration of satisfactory progress through submission of a progress report.

Eligibility for Submission

All principal investigators for the research projects shall be UC Davis faculty and/or Cooperative Extension specialists; research projects may include collaborations among UC Davis faculty and CE specialists and researchers at other universities and institutions in California and throughout the United States.

  • Restrictions on the Use of Research Funds
  • Funds cannot be used for indirect and overhead costs 
    Funds cannot be used to fud faculty salaries (i.e., IR, AES, or CE appointments)
    Only in-state fees for graduate students at UC Davis are allowedTravel is restricted to within the U.S. with a preferred focus on California
    Equipment purchases are not allowed unless critical to a research project and require justification and prior approval of the dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Proposal Submittal Requirements
  • The proposal must be submitted format. All items below (#1011) must be included in the single PDF submission.

    The proposal should be scientifically and technically sound and should be written in a manner such that a non-academic can evaluate. (Note: the review committee consists of both industry and research members) Do not exceed eight pages including tables and figures, one-inch margins, and not smaller than 11-point font for the main text. The references, budget, budget justification and biographical sketch are not included in the eight-page maximum length.

    The research proposal should include:

    1. Principal investigator name(s), department, mailing address, phone number and email address.
    2. Project title
    3. List of collaborators and their affiliations
    4. Project background, objectives/hypotheses, and scientific significance of the proposed work
    5. Approach and methods
    6. Project timeline, which is April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024
    7. Relevance to the mission of the Resnick Agricultural Innovation Research Fund (please see the about page for more information)
    8. Qualifications of the principal investigator(s)
    9. References
    10. Budget and budget justification
    11. Biographical sketch of the PI(s). Include brief vitae, professional and academic experience, and contact information (telephone and fax, email and mailing address). List up to five refereed publications most closely related to the proposed project and up to five other significant publications, including those in press. This document should not exceed two pages and is not counted in the eight-page limit for the proposal.
  • Important Budget Note
  • On UC Davis investigator should be designated as the primary investigator; all funds will be allocated to this individual’s department. The budget submitted should reflect this by indicating expenditure by category (i.e., supplies, travel, personnel), not by investigator. Any distribution of funds to other investigators will be the responsibility of the recipient department.
  • Review Process
  • The dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will convene an internal and external group of stakeholders (the External Advisory Board) to serve as the review committee to advise on what research questions are of strategic importance to the industry related to agricultural by-product research. The External Advisory Board will review requests and make a recommendation to the dean as to which proposals meet the purpose of the Research Fund. The following principal criteria of quality will be used in the review:

    • Competence—Technical soundness of the proposed research questions and approach; innovative of research; feasibility of successfully completing the research within the designated timeframe; capability and recent research performance of the principal investigator(s); and adequacy of the resources available.

    • Intrinsic Merit—Likelihood that the research will lead to new discoveries, or important advances; and will improve understanding of issues critical to agricultural sustainability.

    • Relevance—Likelihood that the research will contribute to the achievement of the priority issues of the Resnick Agricultural Innovation Research Fund and to the advancement of science contributing to the sustainability of the California almond, pistachio and pomegranate industries.
  • Reporting Requirements
  • Researchers that receive funding will submit a progress or final report at the conclusion of the grant period (March 31, 2024). The report will contain research results and a financial accounting of how the funds were expended. No-cost extensions will be considered. A final report will be due no later than three months following the end date of the research project. All reports are to be submitted to Daria Costello at

    All research reports will be compiled by the dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Grantees must participate in meetings of the Resnick Agricultural Innovation Research Fund if requested.