Davis Projects for Peace

Every year, student leaders from around the world are awarded $10,000 grants to implement a “Project for Peace” over summer break. The program, which was established by international philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis in 2007, is designed to encourage young adults to develop innovative, community-centered, and scalable responses to the world’s most pressing issues. Along the way, these students increase their knowledge, improve skills, and begin to see themselves as agents of change.

Wesleyan students are eligible to apply for these grants, and we typically have one grantee per year. 

To apply, first read all the specs below, compile the necessary materials, then submit your application by January 25 using this form

  • Eligibility and Selection Criteria

    This grant funds student-designed, grassroots projects which promote peace or address the root causes of conflict among parties. It aims 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. Projects can operate independently or with/under a partner organization. Projects must take place during Summer 2024, and while they can continue thereafter, this $10,000 grant must be fully spent before September. 

    Teams may be made up of one or more members, and at least one member must be a current Wesleyan undergraduate.

    The selection committee looks at a variety of factors including viability of the project, leadership skills of the applicant(s), potential impact of the project, smart budgeting and use of resources, strength of community partners or host organizations, creativity, and potential for long-term sustainability.

    Read more on the Davis Projects for Peace website (note that students are asked not to contact the Davis Projects for Peace office directly; all questions should instead be directed to yfchen@wesleyan.edu)

    Read about past Wesleyan grantees: 200720082009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 201320142015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022| 2023

    Read the proposals and final reports from all past grantees: 2007-2022

  • Timeline (subject to change)

    By September 1

    Grant specs announced

    September 1-January 25

    Applications accepted

    To apply, first compile the necessary materials, then submit your application using this form

    January 25

    Applications due

    Applications submitted after 11:59 p.m. EST will not be considered

    January 29

    Finalists announced


    January 30-February 2nd

    Finalist interviews

    Selection of one winner and one alternate will be made by February 3, final paperwork is due to the Davis office on February 6, and awards will be confirmed by March 6


    Grant(s) confirmed by the Davis Projects for Peace office and 2023 grantee(s) announced


  • Application

    Applicants are required to submit:

    • A 2-page proposal with information about the applicant/team and any partners/mentors/advisors, the project and its connection to peace or conflict resolution, timeline (including groundwork that has already been done and future milestones), and expected outcomes and potential for future impact. Proposals must be formatted as follows:
      • Page Margins: Top 1” Right 1” Bottom 1” Left 1”
      • Font: Arial 10 pt.
      • Include a heading with: project title, country of project implementation, sponsoring college (Wesleyan University), name of project leader, names of team members (if any), project website (if any)
      • For each team member, include: home country and college/university or organizational affiliation 
    • A 1-page project budget, including anticipated expenses plus other revenue sources if expenses exceed $10,000
    • Letter(s) of support from host/partner organization(s), if applicable 

    To apply, first compile the necessary materials, then submit your application using this form.

  • Selection Committee

    2019-2023 Davis Projects for Peace Selection Committee members:

    • Makaela Kingsley '98, Director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship
    • Alice Hadler, Associate Director, Fries Center for Global Studies
    • Rabbi David Leipziger Teva, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life and University Jewish Chaplain
    • Paul H. Turenne, Systems Analyst, Information Technology Services
    • Elizabeth J. McCormick, Associate Director, Office of Corporate, Foundation and Government Grants
    • Alvin Chitena '19, founder of ZimCode and 2017 Davis Projects for Peace grantee
    • Anthony Price '20, founder of Be The Change Venture and 2020 Davis Projects for Peace grantee
    • Hannah Parten, Study Abroad Advisor, Fries Center for Global Studies 
    • Magdalena Zapedowska, former Assistant Director of Fellowships, Fries Center for Global Studies
    • Cecilia Pohorille McCall '91, Assistant Director, Alumni & Parent Relations, Wesleyan University 
    • Elizabeth J. McCormick, Associate Director, Office of Corporate, Foundation and Government Grants
    • Ferdinand Quayson '20, Founder, Young Achievers Foundation; 2019 Davis Projects for Peace grantee
    • Phil Resor, Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    • Hana ElSafoury '19 (ex officio)
Questions? Contact PCSE Director Ahmed Badr at abadr@wesleyan.edu.