Seed Grant Program

The Berkeley Food Institute’s small grant program supports innovative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary research projects that are aligned with the mission of the Institute: to empower new food and agriculture leaders with capacities to cultivate diverse, just, resilient, and healthy food systems.

To further our mission of transforming food systems, BFI’s research program funds critical, cross-functional research projects at UC Berkeley. In 2013–2016, BFI provided more than $336,000 in funding through 13 faculty research seed grants comprised of 57 principal investigators and 49 collaborators. Read a summary of our research projects here.

During the first three years, BFI focused funding on smaller seed grants to support innovative ideas across a range of issues. As we evolve as an organization, we are reducing the number of projects we fund so that we can increase our focus and impact on our core themes.

We have funded research on a wide range of topics, including:

  • Soil health
  • School lunch
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Food security
  • Farmworker safety
  • Millet production
  • Diversified farming systems
  • Sugar-sweetened beverage tax
  • Urban foraging
  • Farmland ownership