Interested in submitting a Strategic Research Project proposal?


Proposals must be led by a UC principal investigator (PI) and include collaborators from at least one other UC campus and at least one partner institution in Mexico. Alianza MX can assist with identifying collaborators across the UC system as well as at Mexican partner institutions.


Proposal submissions can request up to $200,000 USD in seed funding over a period of up to 24 months. Funds can support field research, conferences and workshops, and project staff salaries and benefits, but may not be used for student tuition and fees or to cover department overhead or indirect costs.

Alianza MX opens a call for proposals in the Fall and the application period remains open until mid-Winter. Proposals are evaluated by a diverse committee of experts from across the UC system.

Funding awards are announced in Summer and
research projects begin during the Fall.

Timeline of the Call
Submission deadline / Application period closes
March 1, 2024
Announcement of projects selected for funding
Summer 2024 (to be confirmed)
Start date for selected research projects
Fall 2024 (to be confirmed)

For questions on Strategic Research Project proposal submissions or for assistance identifying potential collaborators, please contact

2023-2025 Project Cycle

Perceptions of Mexican Democratic Institutions: A Survey of Experts and Citizens

This project expands on the Survey of the Quality of Mexican Democracy (ENCADE), which polled experts and a national representative sample in 2021 on the quality of democracy across nine dimensions. The first round of the survey studied the relationship between voter support for democracy and views of elites, while subsequent rounds will study differences among states and how the 2024 elections may affect perceptions of electoral institutions, political parties, and media.


Principal Investigator: Emilie Hafner-Burton, UC San Diego

UC Collaborators: UC Merced, UC Santa Barbara

MX Collaborators: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

2023-2025 Project Cycle

California-Mexico Border Infrastructure Analysis: Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles

This project analyzes scenarios for commercial medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle (MHD ZEV) deployment for cross-border freight operations between the U.S. state of California and the Mexican state of Baja California, including paths for developing ZEV infrastructure in key transport corridors and communities. UC researchers participate in the Heavy-Duty Vehicles Working Group of the US-Mexico Task Force on Zero-Emission Vehicles, established in 2022 to develop a managed industry transition that ensures prosperity, competitiveness, and inclusion for the binational auto industry.


Principal Investigator: Arun Raju, UC Riverside

UC Collaborators: UC Irvine

MX Collaborators: Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC)

2023-2025 Project Cycle

UC‐Mexico Farm Labor Research Cluster: Climate Change, Health, Productivity and Well Being

This project aims to improve understanding of how environmental drivers in both California and Mexico impact farm laborers and other participants in the food supply chain such as food distributors, ag-tech innovators, and others. It also studies policy approaches that could benefit food security and nutrition in both regions when applied at scale.


Principal Investigator: Susana Matias, UC Berkeley

UC Collaborators: UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco

MX Collaborators: Colegio de Michoacan (COLMICH), Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF), Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero (UAGRO), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

2023-2025 Project Cycle

Bio-Regional Planning: Climate Action Research, Planning and Design in Cali-Baja

This project reinforces efforts to complete a bio-regional action plan for the Cali-Baja Bioregion spanning the US-Mexico Border and Tribal lands (the Cali-Baja BioREGPlan 2030). The Plan’s ultimate purpose is to identify and document transformational change that can benefit people and communities vulnerable to the climate emergency.


Principal Investigator: Keith Pezzoli, UC San Diego

UC Collaborators: UC Davis, UC Los Angeles

MX Collaborators: Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF), Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC)

2022-2024 Project Cycle

Electrification of Transport: Challenges and Opportunities for the US-Mexico Transportation Industry

This project considers how policy shapes the needs and capabilities of zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) producers in the US and Mexico, as well as how an increase in demand for ZEV may accelerate the binational transition to new technologies. UC researchers participate in the Light-Duty Vehicles Working Group of the US-Mexico Task Force on Zero-Emission Vehicles, established in 2022 to develop a managed auto industry transition that ensures binational prosperity, competitiveness, and inclusion.


Principal Investigator: Gil Tal, UC Davis

UC Collaborators: To be confirmed

MX Collaborators: Colegio de Sonora (COLSON), Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE)


Research report & Policy brief: "Implications of Global EV Adoption Targets for Mexico Light Duty Auto Industry," April 2023

Gil Tal, UC Davis; Francisco Pares, UC Davis; Pablo Busch, UC Davis; Minal Chandra, UC Davis

Policy brief: "US-Mexico Second-hand Vehicle Trade: Implications for Responsible EV End-of-Life Management and Material Circularity in North America," April 2023

Francisco Pares, UC Davis; Galym Iskakov, UC Davis; Alissa Kendall, UC Davis

2022-2024 Project Cycle

Water Resources Management: Improving Climate-Extreme Resilience in Mexico and the United States

This project uses case studies from California and Mexico to explore promising water management alternatives for agriculture, ecosystems, and communities in response to climate extremes, with a strong emphasis on groundwater.


Principal Investigator: Josué Medellín, UC Merced

UC Collaborators: UC Davis, UC Los Angeles

MX Collaborators: Tecnológico de Monterrey, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC), Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Universidad de las Américas – Puebla (UDLAP), Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (UMSNH), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)


Climate Data Science: Understanding the role of extremes in variability in water resources

John Abatzoglou, UC Merced

Community Resilience: Evaluating socio-ecological resilience to variable severity wildfires in Jalisco

Yosune Miquelejauregui, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

John Williams, UC Davis

John Abatzoglou, UC Merced  

Sustainable Groundwater Management: Managed aquifer recharge site selection, characterization, and monitoring

Tom Harmon, UC Merced

Roxana Nicte-Há Hughes-Lomelín, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo

Mario Alberto Hernández, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

Graciela Herrera Zamarrón (UNAM)  

Sustainable Groundwater Management: Aguascalientes Valley Aquifer

Roxana Nicte-Há Hughes-Lomelín, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo

Tom Harmon, UC Merced

Mario Alberto Hernández, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

Marco Antonio Martínez Cinco, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo

Sonia Tatiana Sánchez Quispe, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo

Integrated Water Management: Economic valuation of irrigation water in chinampas of Xochimilco and its effect on CO₂ fixation

Everardo Trujillo Moreno, Chapingo Autonomous University 

Integrated Water Management: Agricultural policy analysis in Irrigation District 023, San Juan Del Río Querétaro

Karen Lucero Cruz, Chapingo Autonomous University

Miguel Angel Martinez, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) 

Integrated Water Management: Management, productivity, and evaluation of the San Juan del Río Querétaro Aquifer

Ángeles Suhgey Garay, Chapingo Autonomous University

Ramon Valdivia, Chapingo Autonomous University

Integrated Water Management: Enhancing water sustainability for winery irrigation with treated domestic and internal wastewater in Napa, California and Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California

Marc Beutel, UC Merced

Leopoldo Mendoza Espinosa, Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC)

Clara Medina, UC Merced

Thomas Harmon, UC Merced

Josue Medellín, UC Merced

J. Andres Morande, UC Merced


Integrated Water Management: Dynamic modeling of groundwater storage in an arid zone considering the effect of a climatic index

David-Eduardo Guevera-Polo, University of the Americas, Puebla (UDLAP)

Carlos Patino, University of the Americas, Puebla (UDLAP) 

2022-2024 Project Cycle

Economics of US-Mexico Migration: Policies, Opportunities for Employment, and Economic Growth

This project proposes policies and actions that will maximize the growth and employment potential of immigrant workers, students, and professionals, as well as to evaluate their impact on the communities where they live. UC researchers also organize lectures and mentor graduate students as part of a Summer School on the Economics of International Migration.


Principal Investigator: Giovanni Peri, UC Davis

UC Collaborators: UC Berkeley, UC Merced, UC San Diego

MX Collaborators: Colegio de México, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Banco de México


Working paper: "Changes in International Immigration and Internal Native Mobility after Covid-19 in the US," December 2022

    • Giovanni Peri, UC Davis
    • Reem Zaiour, UC Davis

Presentation: "International Migration and COVID-19," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Economic Research Conference on Labor Markets During and After the Pandemic, November 2022

    • Giovanni Peri, UC Davis

Working paper: "Declining Mobility among Mexican-Born Workers in the U.S. Labor Force," October 2022

  • Julian Arteaga, UC Davis
  • Ashish Shenoy, UC Davis

Working paper: "International College Students' Impact on the US Skilled Labor Supply," September 2022

      • Michael Beine, University of Luxembourg
      • Giovanni Peri, UC Davis
      • Morgan Raux, University of Luxembourg

Additional Information

For questions regarding new Strategic Research Project proposal applications in the 2024-2026 cycle, please contact

For questions on a Strategic Research Project from a previous cycle, please contact Aaron Melaas, Alianza MX Associate Director for Research & Innovation.