Davis Projects for Peace

What is "Projects for Peace"?

Projects for Peace is an initiative for all undergraduate students currently enrolled at one of the participating Davis United World College Scholars Program partner schools (and a few other institutions) to design grassroots projects during the upcoming summer — anywhere in the world — that promote peace and address the root causes of conflict among parties. Applicants are encouraged to use their creativity to design projects and employ innovative techniques for engaging project participants in ways that focus on conflict resolution, reconciliation, building understanding and breaking down barriers which cause conflict, and finding solutions for resolving conflict and maintaining peace. Your project may be selected for funding at $10,000 each.

For more information, please review the Projects for Peace Annual Viewbook.

Who is funding this and why?

Projects for Peace was created in 2007 through the generosity of Kathryn W. Davis, a lifelong internationalist and philanthropist who died in 2013 at 106 years of age. She is the mother of Shelby M.C. Davis, whose family funds the Davis UWC Scholars Program, currently involving 99 U.S. colleges and universities. Mrs. Davis's legacy lives on through the continuation of Projects for Peace, sparking initiatives for building prospects for peace in the world. The Davis family and friends believe, like Mrs. Davis did, that today's youth — tomorrow's leaders — ought to be challenged to formulate and test their own ideas.

What do you mean by "Projects for Peace"?

We hope to encourage student initiative, innovation, and entrepreneurship, focusing on conflict prevention, resolution, or reconciliation. Some of the most compelling projects to date have reflected one or more of the following characteristics: contributing to conflict prevention; ameliorating conditions leading to violence/conflict; looking for and building on shared attributes among differing peoples, races, ethnicities, tribes, clans, etc.; fostering diplomacy or otherwise contribute to advancing peace processes underway; promoting economic opportunity and entrepreneurship among those in post-conflict areas; finding creative ways to bring people on opposite sides of issues together, such as through art, sports, music, or other techniques to promote a common humanity; developing leadership and mediation skills training for those in conflict or post-conflict societies; starting or leveraging initiatives, organizations (e.g. education, health) or infrastructure projects to build/rebuild community. In general, projects should be building blocks for a sustainable peace. The overall program is intended to be worldwide in scope and impact, but specific projects may be undertaken anywhere, including in the U.S.

Who is eligible to design a "Project for Peace"?

All undergraduate students, not just Davis UWC Scholars, at our participating partner schools (including seniors who would complete their projects after graduation) are eligible (as are students at a few additional institutions of special interest to the Davis family) - so long as the participation agreement from their institution has been fully executed. Davis UWC Scholars Program partner schools are U.S. campuses only (off-shore campuses and affiliates are ineligible).

Can students from different institutions collaborate on a project?

Yes. The Projects for Peace student proposer must be an undergraduate at a participating partner school but is free to collaborate with other students of her/his choice. Those teams can be comprised of other students within their own school and/or students from other schools, even non-participating schools. When submitting a Projects for Peace proposal, the full team and their schools are to be listed, but a partner school undergraduate must be designated as the project lead and grant recipient.

How does the funding for these projects work?

Davis philanthropy commits over $1 million each year to fund Projects for Peace. While Davis funding per project is limited to $10,000, projects with larger budgets are welcome with co-funding from other sources - such as other philanthropists, a college or university, foundation, NGO/PVO or students' own fundraising.

Can two teams collaborate on one project to combine grant funds awarded?

No, two proposals for the same project are prohibited.

Is it possible to win a grant award for a second year for the same project?

No, it is not our policy to fund any Projects for Peace for a second year as we look to incubate, not sustain, projects.

How is a proposal submitted?

Please refer to our Final Report Instructions and follow the Formatting Guidelines for submitting proposals. To be considered, a student (or group of students) must prepare a written statement that describes the project (who, what, where, how), including expected outcomes and prospects for future impact (not to exceed two pages), as well as a budget (one separate page). IMPORTANT: All written project proposals require a heading to include the following: Title of Project (not to change once submitted), country where project takes place, sponsoring college, designated project leader name, remaining team member names and schools, date range of project execution. Proposals should have pre-approval of all parties and organizations involved in the project. The two-page proposal and one-page budget should be submitted electronically to the designated official on each campus as outlined below. All student questions must be directed to their designated Projects for Peace campus contact. Communication between students writing proposals and the Davis UWC Scholars Program office is strictly prohibited.

How are submitted proposals judged?

Each participating partner school has designated a campus contact to coordinate the Projects for Peace process on its campus. This campus contact will guide the internal campus procedures within their school's policies and parameters: announcing and promoting the opportunity to students; organizing the selection committee to evaluate the proposals submitted; communicating results on a timely basis to the Davis UWC Scholars Program office; and distributing the awarded grant funds for the winning proposal(s) on campus. Final review and approval of all recommended proposals from individual campuses rests solely with the Davis UWC Scholars Program office that awards grant funds to each of the participating schools with winning project(s).

How will the grants be awarded?

The intention is to fund 100 projects (or more, subject to additional funding), with at least one at each of the participating partner schools. Therefore, all participating schools are invited to select and submit one proposal for funding and one alternate proposal that might be funded as well. Final decisions on winning proposals are made by the Davis UWC Scholars Program office. Grant funds are made to the participating partner schools, not to students, upon assurance that the project proposed will, in fact, be implemented during the summer and once all Project Funding Agreements are received.

What is the timetable for proposals?

All student proposals must be submitted via email to the Office of the Vice Provost for Enrollment at ovpe@cornell.edu, no later than Thursday, January 18, 2024.

Projects for Peace Frequently Asked Questions

Read the Projects for Peace 2024 guidance here