Davis Projects for Peace

Objective   |   Description   |    Eligibility   |    How to   |   Application   |    Checklist


The Davis Projects for Peace award encourages students to design summer grassroots projects – anywhere in the world, including the U.S. – that promote peace and address the root causes of conflict among communities. Applicants use their creativity and employ innovative techniques for engaging audiences in ways that focus on conflict resolution, reconciliation, building mutual understanding, and breaking down barriers which cause conflict, thereby finding pathways for maintaining peace. 


The organization hopes to encourage student initiative, innovation, and entrepreneurship focused on building sustainable peace around the globe. 

Some of the most compelling projects to date contain one or more of the following characteristics:

  • contributing to conflict prevention;
  • ameliorating the conditions leading to violence/conflict;
  • finding and building upon shared attributes among different peoples, races, ethnicities, etc.;
  • fostering diplomacy or otherwise contributing 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 & 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. 

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


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

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.

How to Apply

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.

To be considered, an MHC student (or group of students) must submit a written Letter of Inquiry (LOI) which briefly introduces the project (who, what, where, how), including anticipated outcomes and prospects for future impact, as well as a sample budget (one separate page) to the National Fellowships Advisor (NFA).

The LOI will be reviewed by the Davis Projects Committee (DPC). If you are encouraged to apply by the DPC, you must then develop a more involved two-page proposal and one-page budget with help from the NFA and mentoring staff or faculty. 

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

  • Upon a successful LOI, applicants will be invited to submit a two-page, single spaced Proposal further detailing the project (who, what, where, and how) including expected outcomes and prospects for future impact. 
  • A one page Budget outlining the projected costs of the budget including travel to and from the destination project site. 

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.

Checklist and Campus Process 

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 Letter of Inquiry (LOI); seek feedback on feasibility from faculty, staff, potential community partners who are familiar with the issues or region
  • send LOI via email attachment to National Fellowships Advisor for feedback on written presentation of ideas/plan
By Jan 16th
Send LOI, budget, and resume to National Fellowships Advisor via email attachment
by Jan 27
  • Davis Campus Committee decides on finalists -- one nominee and one alternate
  • National Fellowships Advisor notifies all candidates of status
Jan 30-Feb 3
  • National Fellowships Advisor and mentoring faculty/staff will work with nominee and alternate to strengthen and 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; NFA sends to Davis by February 13th
By Mar 13 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 15 Final reports due to Davis UWC Scholars Program