Davis Projects for Peace


Davis Projects for Peace

Applications must be emailed to davis-peace@mit.edu

Develop a proposal for a Davis Projects for Peace $10,000 fellowship!

Davis Projects for Peace typically offers a $10,000 fellowship for an MIT undergraduate student project that promotes peace, to be implemented in the summer. The aim is to "help young people launch some immediate initiatives that could bring new thinking to the prospects for peace in the world." MIT will select one or two compelling proposals to send forward, and typically receive funding for at least one project. Think creatively, innovatively, and entrepreneurially — this is a chance to formulate and test ideas for peace.

Deadline: Monday, February 1, 2016 at noon

Eligibility: MIT undergraduate individuals and undergraduate-led teams are eligible. Teams may include graduate students and people who are not MIT students, but the MIT undergraduate member(s) must have significant leadership roles and must be the one(s) to write and submit the application. If a team is funded, the award will be made to one of the MIT undergraduate member(s), who may use the funds to also support other team members as appropriate.

If you are planning an international project, check the MIT Travel Policy and travel warnings and please be aware that we may impose additional safety-based restrictions on travel as the program managers deem appropriate.

How to Apply: Submit your application by email to the MIT selection committee at davis-peace@mit.edu. Attachments must be saved as Word documents (not PDFs). Please put Davis Peace Project and your name in the subject line of your email.

Application Checklist: We need a complete application in order to consider you for support, so please ensure we receive all of the following materials (see guidelines below):

  • A two-page proposal
  • A one-page safety and cultural impact statement
  • A one-page budget
  • A letter of commitment from your community partner. Your community partner should submit this directly to Alison Hynd at davis-peace@mit.edu

You can include additional materials that you think will help, but please be selective.

Application Guidelines:
The two-page proposal

  1. The proposal heading must include the following: name of the participating institution, name of all student participants, title of project, country where the project will be performed, and project implementation dates.
  2. Outline the project in a detailed, two-page, single-spaced proposal. Think in terms of: who, what, when, where, how, anticipated outcomes, and prospects for future impact. The proposal must confirm the participation of any partner organizations or people. The plan must be to implement the project during the summer of 2016.

Proposals will be evaluated using these criteria:

  1. A strong and clearly articulated relevance to peace
  2. Creativity and innovation
  3. Potential for impact
  4. Feasibility (showing that the individual or team can accomplish the work within the required time frame, using the available funding)

Competitive proposals will be visually appealing (nicely formatted) and clearly written, communicating well-planned, innovative projects.

See http://www.davisprojectsforpeace.org/ for more details of the program, examples of past winners, and FAQs.

We may ask successful candidates to refine their proposals (with help from us) before submitting them to Davis Projects for Peace national organization.

The one-page safety and cultural impact statement

In a separate Word document, address safety and cultural impact considerations for your project. This statement will be used by the MIT selection committee but will not be forwarded to the national organization sponsoring the Davis Projects for Peace.

  1. Outline your safety considerations for the project. What are the main safety issues in the location you will be working in? What steps will you take to prioritize your safety and what resources have you identified to help you stay safe? Does your project have any safety implications for the community you are serving and how will you address these?
  2. If you are planning a project in a relatively high-risk location, you will need a particularly strong safety plan and work plan.
  3. Help us to understand how the cultural context will affect your project. Tell us about any experience you have living and/or working with other cultures. How might you prepare yourself for living in the cultural context relevant to the project you are applying for?

The one-page budget

In a separate Word Document or single-page Excel chart, lay out a detailed budget for carrying-out the project during the summer of 2016.

  1. The budget should be well thought-through, well presented, detailed, realistic, and practical.
  2. You should aim to spend the full $10,000 you could be awarded.
  3. If your total budget is greater than $10,000, explain your other secured and potential funding sources.

The letter of commitment from your key community partner

The letter of commitment from your key community partner must confirm that the person or organization is willing and able to support your work this summer and believes that the work will contribute to peace-building in the target community.

Please send your community partner the guidelines below and ask them to submit their letter by email directly to Alison Hynd at davis-peace@mit.edu.

Guidelines for Davis Projects for Peace community partners:

Davis Projects for Peace Fellows work on projects that promote peace and address the root causes of conflict. Thank you for writing a letter of commitment for a Davis Project for Peace proposal.

Discuss the project details with the student before committing to supporting the project and, ideally, read a draft of the student's proposal.

Please provide the selection committee with a 1-2 page letter of commitment. Be sure to include the following basic information:

  • Student's name
  • The name of the organization or community you represent
  • Your position in the organization or community
  • Your phone and or email contact information

Please describe:

  • The proposed Davis Project for Peace and its usefulness to your organization or community.
  • How you plan to support the student’s work on this project.
  • Ways that you can help the student(s) learn about your organization or community and the peace-related issues they are hoping to address this summer.


Have questions? Want feedback on your ideas? Need help planning or writing? Contact Alison at hynd@mit.edu.