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 to design grassroots projects for the summer of 2015 - 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.  Through a competition on over 90 campuses, 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 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”?

Undergraduate students at any of the Davis UWC Scholar schools (including seniors who would complete their projects after graduation) are eligible – so long as the president of their institution has signed and returned the grant agreement form.  While the schools included are restricted to those in the Davis UWC Scholars Program, 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.  Note:  Because of ongoing special relationships, the Davis family is accepting proposals from International House, Future Generations, Graduate Institute Geneva, Monterey Institute of International Studies, and the University of Maine.

How does the funding for these projects work?

The Davis family has committed $1 million to fund Davis Projects for Peace in 2015.  While Davis funding per project is limited to $10,000, projects with larger budgets are welcome as is co-funding from other sources (such as other philanthropists, a college or university, foundation, NGO/PVO or students’ own fundraising).  Note: Additional funding has been committed for projects submitted by International Houses worldwide.

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 project, country where the project will be performed.  Proposals should include pre-approval of all involved parties and organizations involved in the project.  Supporting documents should kept on file with the selection committee.  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 each 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 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 2015.

What is the timetable for proposals and decisions?

  • During the fall of 2014: 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 office at  no later than February 13, 2015. 
  • Final decisions on all winning proposals rendered by the Davis UWC Scholars office to campus officials by March 16, 2015. 
  • All project funding agreements signed by recipient schools AND all student participants due March 31, 2015
  • Grant payments to the schools will be made shortly after all agreements have been received by the Davis UWC Scholars office.
  • Any alternates selected will be finally agreed to in April 2015. 
  • Projects completed during summer of 2015.
  • Final reports due to Davis UWC Scholars office no later than September 14, 2015.

What is required for each project's final report?

Each funded project must submit a final report to the Davis UWC Scholars office by September 14, 2015.  The final report is to be limited to two pages of narrative using the final report form for 2015 posted on the website.  A separate one-page accounting of the funds expended is to be submitted using the established budget template.  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 on disk to the Davis UWC Scholars Program office by the authorized campus contact.  Reports will be posted on the program’s website for all to see and learn from.