Davis Projects for Peace

History   |   Description   |    Eligibility   |    How to   |   Application   |    Checklist

History and Purpose

The Davis Projects for Peace were imagined and made possible by philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis, a lifelong internationalist. Upon the occasion of her 100th birthday, Mrs. Davis chose to celebrate by committing $1 million for one hundred Projects for Peace.

"I want to use my 100th birthday to help young people launch some immediate initiatives—things that they can do during the summer—that will bring new thinking to the prospects of peace in the world," says Mrs. Davis. In celebration of her extraordinary legacy, the Davis family continues to support these projects.

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mindset of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."                           -- Kathryn Wasserman Davis

Description of Davis Projects

The Davis Projects for Peace program invites undergraduates of all citizenships to design grassroots projects which promote peace and address the root causes of conflict. The projects judged to be the most promising and feasible will be funded at $10,000 each.

The objective of the program is to encourage and support today's motivated youth to create and try out their own ideas for peace-building. Applicants are encouraged to use their creativity to design projects and employ innovative techniques for engaging participants in ways that focus on conflict resolution, reconciliation, building understanding and breaking down barriers with cause conflict, and finding solutions for resolving conflict and maintaining peace.

The projects are to be implemented during the summer following the application year anywhere around the world. Over 90 campuses participate in the competition, and roughly 100 projects are funded.

While the Davis funding is limited to $10,000 per project, proposals with larger budgets are welcome as is co-funding from other sources.   

Eligibility requirements and Rules for Nomination                                          

Applicants must have/be:

Applicants must have/be:

  • All class years; no age limit; all citizenships
  • No GPA minimum, but MHC candidates must be in good academic standing
  • Mount Holyoke College may nominate one candidate, or one group of candidates who are working on the same project, and 1 alternate whose proposal will be considered by Davis in a second pool

How to apply

Students should consult the Davis website to read about funded projects, but should direct all inquiries to MHC’s National Fellowships Advisor. (The Davis Office does not accept direct inquiries from applicants.) Interested students should avail themselves of any opportunities on or off campus to learn about and develop skills in community service, social entrepreneurship, and project development.

Applicants are invited to meet with the National Fellowships Advisor or Kirk Lange (McCulloch Center) to discuss project ideas. Proposals, budgets, and additional materials should be sent to the National Fellowships Advisor via email by the initial submission deadline below.

A committee of staff and faculty reviews proposals and chooses finalists, who are then interviewed. Decisions about which candidates will be endorsed are made immediately after the interviews.

The primary and alternate candidates then revise their proposals according to the committee’s recommendations. The National Fellowships Advisor  submits the nominations electronically to Davis by the deadline.

Senior Administrative Assistant Marianne Taylor maintains application materials, schedules interviews, and co-facilitates the application process. Students interested in the Davis Projects should also consider proposing a project for the Clinton Global Initiatives University Network, facilitated by Kirk Lange, Director of International Experiential Learning in the McCulloch Center.

Application components

  • A two-page, single spaced Proposal describing the project (who, what, where, and how) including expected outcomes and prospects for future impact. The proposal heading must include: the name of the participating institution, names of all student participants, title of project, dates of the project, country where the project will be performed. Proposals exceeding the two page limit will not be considered.
  • A one page Budget outlining the projected costs of the budget including travel to and from the destination project site. Budgets exceeding the one page limit will not be considered.

The Proposal and Budget are the only parts of the application that are submitted to Davis. For the campus Committee’s review, however, applicants must also submit the following:

  • Letters or email exchanges showing pre-approval of all parties and organizations that will be involved in the project, and describing the kind of partnering or support they will provide
  • Resume (one page only) that includes activities showing candidate’s preparedness for project

All documents are considered by the Committee when deciding on finalists, but only the Proposal and the Budget are sent to the Davis foundation.

Campus Process and Checklist

Please note that for all deadlines, submission time is 12:00 noon

Timeframe Task(s) to Complete
  • Attend Davis Projects for Peace Information Session
  • read about former winners from MHC and other colleges on the Davis website
  • meet with National Fellowships Advisor or Kirk Lange to discuss project idea
  • Draft project proposal; seek feedback on feasibility from faculty, staff, potential community partners who are familiar with the issues or region
  • send proposal via email attachment to National Fellowships Advisor for feedback on written presentation of ideas/plan
By Jan 16th
Send Proposal, Budget, Resume, and support letters to National Fellowships Advisor via email attachment (as Word docs)
by Jan 27
  • Davis Campus Committee decides on finalists
  • National Fellowships Advisor notifies all candidates of status
Jan 30-Feb 3
  • Davis Campus Committee interviews finalists, decides on nominees and alternate
  • nominees revise proposals according to Committee recommendations
By Feb 8 Final Davis Proposals and Budgets due to National Fellowships Advisor - may be sent as email attachments (Word docs); NFA sends to Davis by February 13th
By Mar 14 Final decisions on primary candidates made by Davis; they notify National Fellowships Advisor who notifies candidates
By Mar 31 Project funding agreements signed; grant payments made
April Alternates selected as needed
Summer Projects completed
By Sept 16 Final report disks due to Davis Foundation