Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Questions & Answers

What do you mean by “Projects for Peace”?

Projects for Peace is an initiative for all students at the Davis United World College Scholars Program partner schools (and a few other institutions) to desilgn grassroots projects for the summer of 2018 - anywhere in the world - which promote peace and address the root causes of conflict among parties.  We encourage applicants 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.  Projects will be selected for funding at $10,000 each.

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 who funds the Davis United World College Scholars Program currently involving over 90 American colleges and universities.  Mrs. Davis’ legacy will live on through the continuation of Projects for Peace in order to spark 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 does “projects for peace” hope to accomplish?

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”?

Undergraduate students at any of the Davis United World College Scholars 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 president of their institution has signed and returned the grant participation agreement form. All undergraduates, not just Davis UWC Scholars at those schools, are eligible. Groups of students from the same campus, as well as individual students, may submit proposals.

How does the funding for these projects work?

Davis philanthropy has committed $1 million to fund Projects for Peace in 2018. While Davis funding per project is limited to $10,000, projects with larger budgets are welcome and co-funding from other sources - such as other philanthropists, a college or university, foundation, NGO/PVO or students’ own fundraising – is encouraged. 

How does a student (or group of students) make a proposal?

To be considered, a student (or group of students) must prepare a written statement which 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: name of the participating institution, name of all student participants, title of project, dates of the projects, country where the project will be performed. Proposals should include pre-approval of all involved parties and organizations involved in the project. The two-page proposal and one-page budget should be submitted electronically to the designated official at each campus as outlined below. Students with queries may direct them to their campus designated official as communication between students writing proposals and the Davis UWC Scholars office is prohibited. 

How are these proposals submitted and judged?

Each involved campus has a designated official to coordinate the process on its campus. This official, in ways s/he deems appropriate, will guide the internal campus procedures for: 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 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 office of the Davis UWC Scholars Program which will then award grant funds to each school with winning project(s). 

How will the grants be awarded?

The intention is to fund 100 projects (or more, subject to additional funding from other sources), with at least one at each of the Davis UWC Scholars Program partner schools. Therefore, all involved 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. Grants are made to Davis UWC Scholars Program partner schools upon assurance that the project proposed will, in fact, be undertaken during the summer of 2018. 

What is the timetable for proposals and decisions?

  • During the fall of 2017: details of schools’ participation are finalized; promotion on campus by school officials; creation of selection processes and appointment of evaluation committees on campuses; and further communication, if necessary, between the Davis UWC Scholars office and school officials. Communication between students writing proposals and the Davis UWC Scholars office is prohibited.
  • All student proposals must be submitted to campus officials by the date designated by the campus committee.
  • Recommended proposals must be determined and submitted (electronically as an attachment) by campus officials to the Davis UWC Scholars Program office ( no later than February 12, 2018.
  • Final decisions on all winning proposals rendered by Davis UWC Scholars Program office to campus officials by email by March 12, 2018.
  • All project funding agreements signed by recipient schools AND all student participants due by March 30, 2018.
  • Grant payments to the schools will be made shortly after all agreements have been received by the Davis UWC Scholars Program office.
  • Any additional alternates selected will be finally agreed to in April 2018.
  • Projects completed during summer of 2018
  • Final reports due to Davis UWC Scholars Program office by September 14, 2018

What is required for each project's final report?

Each funded project must submit a final report to the Davis UWC Scholars Program office by September 14, 2018. Full instructions are available on this website in the "Forms" tab. The final report is to be limited to two pages of narrative and a separate one-page accounting of the funds expended using the budget form provided on the website. Students have the option of including up to 3 digital photos, attaching them to the end of their two-page final report. Final reports are submitted electronically via Dropbox to the Davis UWC Scholars Program office.  Reports will be posted on the programs website for all to see and learn from.