Have an initiative in mind to promote peace in the world? Explore a Davis Projects for Peace fellowship.
Davis Projects for Peace offers a $10,000 fellowship for an MIT undergraduate student project that promotes peace. The aim is to “encourage and support today’s motivated youth to create and try out their own ideas for building peace.”
MIT will select several compelling proposals to submit to the Davis review board, and we typically receive funding for at least one $10,000 fellowship per year. Davis Projects for Peace take place during the summer.
Successful past projects have focused on:
- Fostering empathy
- Promoting cross-cultural understanding
- Revitalization of post-conflict and post-disaster communities
- Justice and fair processes
Looking for inspiration? You can view past funded projects from MIT and other colleges on the Davis Projects for Peace website.
Note: If you are not an undergraduate or planning a peace-building project, consider applying for a PKG Fellowship instead.
As possibilities for travel and in-person work during summer 2021 are unclear, please plan work that could be done remotely or in-person, depending on circumstances.
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 support other team members as appropriate.
Note: If you are planning an international project, please check the MIT Travel Policy and travel warnings, and please be aware that we may impose additional safety-based restrictions on travel.
How to Apply
The deadline for summer 2021 projects was Monday, February 1, at noon and has now closed.
We need a complete application in order to consider you for support:
- A two-page proposal (guidelines below)
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can include additional materials that you think will help, but please be selective.
1. The two-page proposal:
- The proposal heading must include: name of the participating institution, name of all student participants, title of project, country where the project will be performed, and project implementation dates.
- 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. Remember that the project must be implemented during the upcoming summer.
2. Proposals will be evaluated using these criteria:
- A strong and clearly articulated relevance to peace
- Creativity and innovation
- Potential for impact
- Feasibility (show that the individual or team can accomplish the work within the required timeframe using the available funding)
- Competitive proposals will also be visually appealing (nicely formatted) and clearly written, communicating well-planned, innovative projects.
Note: We may ask successful candidates to refine their proposals (with help from us) before submitting them to the Davis Projects for Peace national organization.
3. 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.
- 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?
- If you are planning a project in a relatively high-risk location, you will need a particularly strong safety plan and work plan.
- 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?
4. 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.
- The budget should be well-thought through, well-presented, detailed, realistic, and practical.
- You should aim to spend the full $10,000 you could be awarded.
- If your total budget is greater than $10,000, explain your other secured and potential funding sources.
5. 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 email@example.com.
Guidelines for Davis Projects for Peace community partners:
Thank you for writing a letter of commitment for a Davis Project for Peace proposal. Please discuss the project details with the student before committing to supporting the project, and, ideally, read a draft of the student’s proposal.
The next step is to provide the selection committee with a one-to-two page letter of commitment. Be sure to include the following basic information:
- Student’s name
- Name of the organization or community you represent
- Your position within the organization or community
- Your phone and email or contact information
- 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 Hynd.