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Undergraduate Student Life

Davis Projects for Peace

The Davis Projects for Peace is an initiative funded by Kathryn W. Davis for undergraduate students to design and implement their own grassroots project to take place during the summer months. Individual students or groups of students are invited to submit innovative and engaging proposals for projects that improve communities. 

  • While the overall program is worldwide in scope, individual projects may be carried out in any location, including the United States.
  • It is intentional that no clear definition is given for "projects for peace." Applicants are encouraged to use their creativity to design projects and employ innovative techniques for engaging participants in ways that focus on conflict resolution, reconciliation, building understanding, breaking down barriers which cause conflict, and finding solutions for resolving conflict and maintaining peace.
  • The selected project receives $10,000 in funding.

For full program information and to read about past projects, visit the Davis Projects for Peace website. Students should read through the site and become familiar with the program and application guidelines in advance of submitting an proposal.

Proposal and project process

Use this online form to submit proposal. 

Students submit a proposal to Student Engagement early second semester. A committee of Undergraduate Student Life administrators reviews the proposals and interviews the finalists. Using the work and recommendation of the committee, Student Engagement selects a winner and alternate from submissions. The winning proposal is then sent to Davis to be reviewed. Davis makes a determination as to whether it can support Columbia's submission, announcing its winner in mid-March.  

In the event that a selected proposal cannot follow through on its project, Student Engagement can decide to submit an alternate proposal to Davis for review. Davis then makes a determination as to whether it can support the alternate proposal. 

The project is run in consultation with Student Engagement throughout the summer. The student leader meets with a Student Engagement administrator in early September to debrief the project. The student leader concludes his/her work by submitting a final report to Student Engagement, who then submits it to Davis.  

2017 Davis Timeline

  • Davis proposals due: Friday, February 3, 5pm
  • Proposal review: Monday, Feb 6 - Friday, Feb 10
  • Interview of proposal finalists: Monday, Feb 13 and Tuesday, Feb 14
  • Columbia proposal winner announced: Wednesday, Feb 15
  • Davis proposal winner announced: March 14
  • Project debrief meeting with Student Engagement: early Sept (exact date and time TBD)
  • Final report on completed project due: Friday, Sept 15

Advice for how to put together a proposal

Proposals will be evaluated based in the Alternative Break Program criteria for proposals.

In general, your project idea should be "solution-based," demonstrate that you are applying the tenants of a "Practice of Civic Engagement," and can clearly articulate a mission, set of goals, and outcomes for your project. 

It is recommended that those seeking to submit a proposal meet with the student Engagement administrator overseeing Davis (see below) to discuss your idea and proposal plan. 

Note that student contact with the Davis UWC Scholars office is PROHIBITED. Alternatively, please email Peter Cerneka in Student Engagement.

Student Engagement

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515 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-3611

Fax: 212-854-6972

Office Hours
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