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."

Summer 2022 Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a collection of questions and answers about Projects for Peace in totality, as well as specifics pertaining to Summer 2022.


1. What is “Projects for Peace”? 

  • Projects for Peace is a global program that encourages young adults to develop innovative, community-centered, and scalable responses to the world’s most pressing issues. Along the way, these student leaders increase their knowledge, improve skills, and establish identities as peacebuilders and changemakers. 
  • Every year 100 or more student leaders are awarded a grant in the amount of $10,000 each to implement a “Project for Peace,” anywhere in the world, typically over summer break. Projects for Peace are grassroots activities that address root causes of conflict and promote peace. 
  • A hallmark of the Projects for Peace program is its flexibility: proposals may be submitted by any U.S. or international student enrolled at a partner institution; students may be any age or any major; they may implement the project alone or with others; the project may take place anywhere in the world, including in the U.S. 

2. Who is eligible for a Projects for Peace grant? 

  • All undergraduate students at more than ninety Projects for Peace partner institutions are eligible. This includes seniors intending to complete their projects after graduation. 
  • Partner institutions are primarily, but not exclusively, universities and colleges in the U.S. that are hosting Davis United World College (UWC) Scholars. Note that all undergraduate students at these schools are eligible, not just Davis UWC Scholars. 
  • Some designated partner institutions are specialized graduate schools where all enrolled students are eligible. 
  • Partner institutions are invited to participate in the program on an annual basis; interested institutions must complete and file partnership agreements with the Projects for Peace headquarters office at Middlebury College, as requested. 

3. How is the Projects for Peace program administered? 

  • There is a Projects for Peace campus liaison at each partner institution. Campus liaisons develop and/or follow procedures according to their school’s policies and parameters. Responsibilities include announcing and promoting the opportunity to students; organizing the selection committee to evaluate the proposals submitted; communicating results on a timely basis to Projects for Peace headquarters; and, distributing the awarded grant funds for the winning proposal(s) on campus. Campus liaisons may also lead efforts to support the grantee through each stage of implementation, encourage other fundraising efforts, as needed, and ensure the grantee has opportunities to share their experience upon return to campus. 
  • As of 2021, the Projects for Peace headquarters is located at Middlebury College. Previously it was located at the Davis United World College Scholars Program office. The Projects for Peace office is responsible for coordinating with campus liaisons, reviewing proposals and selecting alternate projects as needed, disbursements of funds to partner institutions, and annual planning; in the future, Projects for Peace will increase networking opportunities among the Projects for Peace community as a whole. The community includes Middlebury’s extensive array of global education programs, partner institutions and campus liaisons, and Projects for Peace grantees and alumni. 

4. 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. Mrs. Davis’ 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. Read more about Mrs. Davis here

5. What can Projects for Peace accomplish? 
We hope Projects for Peace are building blocks for sustainable peace. There is the potential for impact in three ways: 

  • Student grantees. The activities of designing, implementing, and critiquing/reflecting on a Project for Peace encourages student initiative and innovation, knowledge development and skill-building, and self-awareness of their potential as peacebuilders and changemakers. 
  • The communities in which projects take place. Some of the most compelling projects to date have addressed one or more of the following: contributing to conflict prevention; ameliorating conditions leading to violence/conflict; looking for and building on shared attributes among differing groups; fostering diplomacy or otherwise contribute to advancing peace processes underway; promoting economic opportunity and entrepreneurship among those in areas affected by conflict; 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. 
  • The partner institutions which the grantees represent, which may choose to feature grantee’s work as a way amplify peacebuilding and changemaking aspirations and accomplishments on their campus. 

6. How is a proposal submitted? 

  • Interested students should contact their campus liaison for campus-specific requirements or procedures. The campus liaison and interested students should review this FAQ document in its entirety, and the formatting guidelines available here, in order to ensure all requirements are met. 
  • The student lead, along with any project team members, should prepare a written project statement and budget, both formatted according to the guidelines available on our website. The written statement should not exceed two pages. It should include a description of the project (who, what, where, how), expected outcomes, and the prospects for future impact. In addition, pre-approval of all parties and organizations involved in the project should be noted. The budget should be on a separate page. 
  • The two- page proposal and one-page budget is submitted electronically to the partner institution’s campus liaison. 
  • Important: All written project proposals require a heading that includes:
    • Title of Project (cannot be changed, once the proposal is submitted)
    • Country where project is to take place 
    • Sponsoring institutional partner 
    • Designated project leader name and remaining team member names and schools. 
    • Date range of project implementation. 

7. How are submitted proposals judged? 

  • 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 and management, reconciliation, building understanding and breaking down barriers which cause conflict, and finding solutions for resolving conflict and maintaining peace. 
  • Each Projects for Peace partner institution has designated a Projects for Peace campus liaison to coordinate the Projects for Peace proposal writing and selection process. Most liaisons work with a selection committee. 
  • The intention of this program is to fund 100 projects (or more, subject to additional funding), with at least one at each of the participating partner institutions. All partner institutions are invited to select and submit two recommended proposals: one prioritized proposal and one nominated alternate. 
  • Final review and approval of all recommended proposals from individual campuses rests solely with the Projects for Peace office, which awards grant funds to each of the participating schools with winning project(s). 

8. How will the grants be awarded? 

  • Grant funds are made to the participating partner institutions, not to students, upon assurance that the project proposed will, in fact, be implemented during the summer of 2022 and once all project and participant funding agreements are received. 
  • It is the partner schools’ responsibility to distribute the awarded grant funds for the winning proposal within their policies and guidelines as it applies to grant awards to students. 

9. What is the timetable for proposals and decisions? 

10. How does the funding for these projects work? 

  • While Projects for Peace funding is limited to $10,000 per project, projects with larger budgets may want to seek co-funding from other sources—such as other philanthropists, a college or university, foundation, a non-governmental organization, or the students’ own fundraising. 
  • Awarded Projects for Peace grant funds are expected to be fully expended toward project expenses. Final budget reports must show the awarded grant funds fully expended. Large donations to an existing organization or to a fund meant to sustain the project after the implementation period are strongly discouraged. Each Projects for Peace campus liaison is the final reviewer and approver of their institution’s awarded grant funds. 

11. Can students from different institutions collaborate on a project? 

  • Yes. The Projects for Peace student proposer must be an eligible student from a participating partner institution, but they are free to collaborate with other students of their choice. Project teams can be composed of students from the student proposer’s own school and/or students from other schools, even those that are not Projects for Peace partner institutions. 
  • Each team member and their school should be listed on the Projects for Peace proposal, but a partner institution student must be designated as the project lead and grant recipient. Each team member of a winning proposal must complete a participant agreement form. 

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

  • No, two proposals for the same project are prohibited.The proposal can only be submitted by one partner school, either as its prioritized winner or nominated alternate. When more than one partner school is involved, the respective campus liaisons may work together to determine best representation of the proposal to allow for determination of remaining proposals. 

13. What if I recruited additional team members for my Project for Peace? 

  • Any team members that were not listed on the proposal should complete and submit a participant agreement form through the project’s campus liaison. A signed participant agreement must be on file for each team member listed on the final report. If the agreement is not on file when the final report is received, that team member’s name will be removed from the final report prior to sharing the report online. 

14. Is it possible to win a grants award for a second year for the same project? 

  • No. Projects for Peace does not fund projects for a second year as the intention is to launch and incubate projects, not sustain them. 

15. What should we do if health and/or safety concerns emerge in the course of a project? 

  • In all cases, Projects for Peace supports partner institutions in prioritizing the health and safety of grantees. The health and safety context of the proposed project site should be kept in mind as students develop project ideas and as campus liaisons screen proposals. Expertise regarding health and safety issues should be sought from institutional colleagues, as needed. 
  • Should modifications to the proposed project design become necessary due to emergent health or safety issues, student leaders and their partner institutions are encouraged to think creatively about how the student(s) may best implement the project while protecting their own health and safety. All modifications to the original project design should be described in the final report. 
  • Should a project need to be deferred or canceled, campus liaisons must contact staff at Projects for Peace to discuss the timeline of a deferral or the possibility of funding the alternate proposal submitted by the institution. 
  • Projects for Peace staff will continue to track the global implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and we reserve the right to modify program plans or timing as appropriate. 

16. What is required for each project’s final report? 

  • One final report per funded project must be submitted electronically to the Projects for Peace office according to the timetable and guidelines available here. Reports not conforming to formatting guidelines will be returned for revision. 
  • The final report is made up of a written reflection, a final budget report, and selected exemplary photos. Additional details are provided on our website. 
  • All submitted and accepted final reports, with pictures, will be uploaded to our Projects for Peace website and will be considered for profiling in an annual report. Final reports with pictures, once uploaded, cannot be modified. 

17. How can we find out more about Projects for Peace? 

  • All student questions must be directed to their designated on-campus Projects for Peace liaison. Communication between student applicants and the Projects for Peace office is prohibited.
  • Campus liaisons at our partner institutions should feel free to contact the Projects for Peace staff.