University of California, Riverside


UCR Healthy Campus Initiative Project Grants

Project Grants

UCR Healthy Campus (HC) is taking an integrated and comprehensive approach to elevate health and well-being at UCR. The initiative invests in improving the health and quality of life of our UCR campus community. Making the healthy choice the easy choice requires changing the surrounding environment and culture to support and sustain positive behavior change.

Vision: To be the model healthy campus, inspiring and infusing health and well-being into all of its facets.

Mission: To create a healthy campus culture and environment through collaboration with campus and community partners on policies, programs, services and initiatives that address all dimensions of wellness along with innovative engagement strategies, making UCR a university of choice.

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UCR HC is providing an opportunity for the UCR students, staff, and faculty to develop projects related to HC priority areas


  • All UCR faculty, staff and graduate/undergraduate students are eligible to submit a grant application.
  • Project grant teams must include at least 2 of the 3 UCR affiliations (i.e. staff/faculty collaboration, faculty/student collaboration, 2 staff and one student collaboration).
  • Applications deadline: Please check back for the next round of project grants.


To be considered for HC funding:

  • Projects must have clearly defined and realistic goals, methodology (who, what, how, when, why) and measurable outcomes.
  • Project must have potential to reach a large audience/wide impact.
  • Projects must demonstrate ability to drive and facilitate cultural, behavioral, environmental and/or structural change.

UCR HC is looking for applications that contribute to the development of the following specific projects:

Project 1: Healthy Campus Toolkit

Goal: Tools and resources to create a healthy work and learning environment.

  • Development of tool kit with instruction on how to integrate health and well-being into campus departments, colleges and student organizations.
Project 2: Happiness/Kindness Initiative

Goal: Improve mental health and well-being of the campus community.

  • Implement a campaign or program utilizing expert resources to promote social wellness, particularly happiness, kindness, social connectivity and community.
Project 3: R’Trail Advocacy and Development

Goal: Advocate for a marked trail on the UCR campus for faculty, staff, students and community members.

  • Organize advocacy campaigns, events, meetings with key stakeholders, etc. to generate interest and excitement for the marked trail.
Project 4: Healthy Eating “Choice Architect” Strategies

Goal: Increase the availability, accessibility and promotion of healthy foods and beverages on campus.

  • Work with key stakeholders to explore various choice architect concepts to increase healthy food and beverage choices using product placement, pricing and promotion strategies.
Project 5:  Culture Change Efforts

Goal: Transform the UCR campus into one that integrates and infuses health and well-being into existing policies, practices, systems and infrastructure.

  • Work with key stakeholders to identify and implement changes that lead to a culture shift towards a healthier campus environment.
Project 6: Healthy Campus Marketing/Communications/Social Medial Campaign

Goal: Increase awareness, recognition and engagement in UCR Healthy Campus.

  • Create marketing and communication strategies to support the work of the HC communications/marketing subcommittee.

Notification of Funded Projects

  • All applications will be reviewed by the Healthy Campus Project Grant Review Committee.
  • Notification of funding will be provided by email to the primary contact on the application approximately 2 weeks after submission of the application.
Funding Process for Accepted Applications
  • Applicants whose projects are approved for funding will receive the Healthy Campus commitment for funds and authorization to spend up to the amount specified.
  • Funds will be transferred to the department designated by the applicant to administer the project funding.
  • Funds for student projects will be sent to the designated faculty mentor or organization advisor. Funds for research projects will be dispersed after UCR IRB approval.
Conditions for Funding
  • The UCR HC logo must be included on all marketing and publicity materials (flyers, posters, etc.), communications, and UCR HC must be verbally acknowledged at any campus events.
  • A final report is required at the conclusion of the project or funding period. This report must include the project description, implementation, outcomes, participation, successes, budget expenditure report, and project sustainability plans.
  • Photos of the project in action or event(s), etc.
  • Complete a post project evaluation survey to provide feedback on the program.
Application Instructions

Grant Recipients

2019 Project Grant Recipients 

UCR Healthy Choice Architecture Competition Ye Li, Assistant Professor of Management in School of Business   This project is meant to reorient the Choice Architecture class project into a UCR Healthy Campus sponsored choice architecture competition for students enrolled in the Business 143 course. There will be an implementation of up to four different “nudges” designed to improve Healthy Campus objectives such as improving healthy eating on campus. By participating in the project, students will gain valuable experience in choice architecture, project management, marketing and data analysis.
We R’Well Steven Nguyen, Assistant Clinical Professor, Health Sciences in School of Medicine, Family Medicine Teresa Khoo, Assistant Clinical Professor, Health Sciences in School of Medicine, Family Medicine The goal of the project is to create a change in culture by redefining wellness with the development and implementation of a wellness toolkit in the UCR Palm Springs Family Medicine Residency Program. Some of the objectives will be to enhance existing policies and activities under the committee, implemented sponsored wellness events, and synthesize a collection of resources in efforts to further develop a stronger base of support between faculty members and residents and overall promote wellness in the community.
Mindfulness-Based Sustainability

Steven Quach, Undergraduate Student in Religious Studies-Transnational Buddhism, Designated Emphasis in Medical and Health Humanities

Matthew King, Assistant Professor in Religious Studies The project is a three-day workshop during the week of Earth Day. The workshop is intended to show that there are mindful ways of recycling, consuming and eating that directly and positively affect sustainability. It hopes to encourage undergraduate students to make positive decisions towards a more sustainable future.
Enhancing Nutritious Food Access and Healthy Choices at the UC Riverside R’Pantry

Larysha Green, Graduate Student at School of Public Policy

Maria Omary, Graduate Student at School of Public Policy
The project plans to address the issues of 62% of UCR students are experiencing food insecurity and how 40% of food is wasted worldwide. It hopes to bridge the gap between the R’Pantry’s access to fresh produce and grocery store donations in the city of Riverside in efforts to combat food insecurity and food waste issues.
Green Labs Education Project

Fortino Morales, Sustainability Officer, UCR Office of Sustainability

Elizabeth Deyett, Project Manager, UCR Office of Sustainability

The project has two main objectives: (i) to reduce the university’s water and energy waste by implementing new programs and installing energy efficient equipment across research buildings and (ii) educating lab personnel on sustainable culture and empowering students, faculty, and staff to reduce waste in their own laboratories. It will achieve large scale reduction in waste, energy, and water consumption in UCR labs. The Green Labs project will hope to educate and engage researchers on campus in creating a healthier and more sustainable lab environment.
Staff Wellness and Resiliency Workshop

Karla Aguilar
Director, CARE

Aurea Victoria Trauma-Informed Yoga Instructor & Resilience Educator

To educate and empower university staff with practical tools for self-care and a sustainable way of conducting their work. By educating staff about the realistic empathetic demands of their roles and the true weight of such emotional labor, they will be better equipped to notice the symptoms of burnout and empowered to implement personal practices and self-care tools that enable them to take charge of their own healing and resiliency.
College Men’s Conceptualization, Communication and Interpretation of Sexual Consent

Logan Z. Marg
PhD Candidate /Graduate Student Researcher

Dr. Tanya Nieri
Associate Professor, Sociology

This project is the second part of a two-part study. The first part of this study, which was funded by a Health Campus Initiative Grant last year, uses in-depth interviews to understand how a racially/ethnically diverse sample of heterosexual college men conceptualize, communicate and interpret sexual consent. The present project builds upon that work through sexual activity diaries and diary debriefing interviews with a subsample of participants.
Get Moving While Graduating: Promoting Opportunities to be Active Throughout the Day for Graduate Students

Maiko Le Lay
PhD Candidate, Critical Dance Studies

Hilary Jenks
Director, GradSuccess

Implement programming to improve graduate student movement and relaxation while they are working and increase their productivity through various programs organized by GradSuccess UCR. This would include programs such as weekly coffee socials and dissertation-writing sessions, quarterly Stress Relief Fair and Chill Out sessions, numerous workshops and individual consultations. Located in Grad Division, it is the primary resource for graduate students’ wellness, mentorship and professional development.
R’Garden Community Supported Agriculture

Alex Armendariz
Intern, R’Garden

Evelyn Hurtado
Co-Director, R’Garden

The goal of the proposed project is to increase access to Basic Needs on campus by launching a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in which students can become members. The project plans to implement the use of gable box packaging in order to create a CSA box of fresh produce. In cooperation with the R’Pantry, these gable boxes will be distributed to students in need of fresh produce. Along with fresh produce, the boxes will also include print materials of basic needs resources here on campus, recipes to accompany the produce they are receiving, and information on seasonal produce.
The Effects of Deportation-Related Stress on Academic Performance Among College Students in Trump’s America

Shirley Leanos
Graduate Student, Psychology

Annie Ditta
Postdoctoral Researcher

The overall goal of this project is to obtain more insight into the effects of deportation-related stress that may be experienced by a large portion of individuals on the UCR campus. We predict that this project will help attenuate such feelings by shedding light on the impact that deportation issues can have on students’ mental health, as well as other domains, such as academic performance.

Safe Sex Vending Machine

Elizabeth Kavianian
Co-president, PPGA

Stephanie Orozco
Women’s Sexual Health and Empowerment Programmer, UCR Women’s Resource Center

Julienne DeGeyter
Director, Student Health Services

Offer vending machines that contain items such as Plan B, condoms, pregnancy tests, lube, pads, tampons, UTI pain relief medication, yeast infection pain relief medication, and more. These items will be low-cost and accessible most of the day.
To print and post the list of the 2019 grant recipients, please click here.

2018 Project Grant Recipients

Project Grants recipients

Grant recipients joined by mentors and leadership at the February 5th orientation.

11 participants will conduct research, implement projects, and develop resources to promote health and well-being at UCR. For more information, read the article in Inside UCR.

Project Title
Grant Recipient
Secondary Contact
Project Description

Empowerment Coloring Books & Zine

Lisa Chu


This project will offer a modality of healing through coloring and art expression and allows CARE to provide a new Art as Healing component into our Empowerment & Healing Series.

The Healthy Brains Initiative

Asra Irfan

Dr. Paul Kaloostian

Our project proposes to make podcasts about various mental health topics such as stress, depression and common mental health issues on our campus to increase awareness about mental health related issues and reduce the stigma associated with mental health.

College Men’s Conceptualization, Communication, and Interpretation of Sexual Consent

Logan Marg Dr. Tanya Nieri

The goal of this project is to examine how a racially/ethnically diverse sample of heterosexual college men conceptualize, communicate, and interpret sexual consent.

Standing by: Faculty as potential agents of health promotion

Dr. Tanya Nieri  

This study aims to assess whether faculty stand by, doing nothing or whether they are standing by, ready to help. It will gather information on the state of faculty in terms of their position, readiness, and willingness to participate in health promotion to foster a healthy campus climate and community.

Bridging the gap between food, health and science

Deborah Pagliaccia


Main goals of the project are to gather comprehensive information on: 1) The signature crops and research groups present at UCR working on the development of SUSTAINABLE agricultural science and associated technologies; 2) What fresh produce is available to be harvested from our experimental plots that can be donated to the R’Pantry initiative at UCR or used for educational purposes to teach faculty, staff and students about UCR’s food-related research, healthy eating and sustainability. 

Kindness Online and In-Person: More Than Skin Deep 

 Julia Revord

 Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky

The overall purpose of this research is to conduct an experimental prosocial (“acts of kindness”) intervention with first-year students at UCR, which is specifically designed to increase well-being, especially focusing on emotional outcomes such as feelings of belongingness, competence, and autonomy, overall positive emotions, and decreased negative emotions.

#puppylove: A feasibility study for an on-site, year-round animal therapy program for the UCR campus community 

 Patricia Smith-Hunt


This project proposes to examine the feasibility of implementing an on-site, year-round therapy dog service for the broader UCR campus community as another means of expanding the healthy campus initiative to include faculty, staff and students. 

Positive Activities and Health

Robert Wright 

Dr. Megan Robbins

The overall goal of this project is to improve the quality of life for those who are suffering from pain. 

Scotty’s C-Store Healthy Choice Promotion

 Kishore Athreya


In order to make the healthy choice the easy choice this project will highlight those options in the C-Stores that meet the Seeds of Change criteria. This project will enhance this campaign by focusing on the food in the C-Store and highlighting different options each week that meet the Seeds of Change criteria.   

Identifying Accommodation and Support Services Gaps for Students with Invisible Disabilities at UCR 

Michaela Kathleen Curran 

Dr. Tanya Nieri 

This project aims to identify gaps in institutional accommodations and social support services for students with invisible (i.e., learning, attention, psychiatric or chronic health conditions) disabilities. 

An App-Based Mindfulness Intervention to Reduce Stress in UC Staff 

Kate Sweeny



The goal of the proposed study is to test the effectiveness of brief, daily mindfulness meditation for reducing stress and improving markers of mental and physical health. 

To print and post the list of the 2018 grant recipients, please click here.
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Steven Nguyen, Assistant Clinical Professor, Health Sciences in School of Medicine, Family Medicine

The overall goal of this project is to obtain more insight into the effects of deportation-related stress that may be experienced by a large portion of individuals on the UCR campus. We predict that this project will help attenuate such feelings by shedding light on the impact that deportation issues can have on students’ mental health, as well as other domains, such as academic performance.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Program Information

Julie Chobdee, MPH
Wellness Program Coordinator
Human Resources

1201 University Ave., Suite 208
Riverside, CA 92507

Tel: (951) 827-1488
Fax: (951) 827-2672

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