Projects for Peace

About this grant

The Projects for Peace program enables undergraduates around the country to design grassroots "projects for peace" that use a summer to address global social issues. 

Middlebury College runs this program, which is supported by the late internationalist and philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis. At Northwestern, the Buffett Institute and the Office of Fellowships work together to facilitate the grant progress.

Summer camp in JordanIn 2016, Lena Elmeligy created a summer program for girls in Amman, Jordan, focused on utilizing creative media to inspire leadership, creative and critical thinking, and personal empowerment.

Read her reflections on the summer.

Award details

The $10,000 grant funds a summer project with a nonprofit focused on some dimension of enabling peace in a global world. 


  • Projects can be driven by research or a more applied experience, as long as it connects the participant with an established organization. Many student projects revolve around direct volunteerism, philanthropy, or development work.
  • Individual work or teams of 2-4 people is acceptable.
  • Seniors are not eligible for this award.

Application details 

Application Deadline: January 14, 2019

Application procedure: Northwestern will nominate two projects to be reviewed by the Projects for Peace staff at Middlebury College. Submit your application proposal and budget to Jason Roberts. Questions? Contact Jason Roberts.

Proposal guidelines and tips

The proposal essay can be two single-spaced pages and should include an additional one-page budget. 

  • The strength of your community partnership plays a significant role in determining the winner. A letter of affiliation from a partner organization is required. The letter needs to be in English.
  • Preference will be given to applicants with strong host-country language skills, with demonstrated interest or knowledge of the country and/or region. This may be expressed through language study, area studies coursework, time abroad, etc. Time in the country of application is not required.
  • You may seek or raise additional/supplemental funds, however, combining PFP with a URG is not permitted.

Useful links:

Past winners and projects

2016: Lena Elmeligy created a media arts summer program in Amman, Jordan, for high school girls in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) camp for Palestinian refugees. 

2015: Maria Massucco created a summer music day camp, free of cost, for middle school students deemed by the local school system in Wilkes County, North Carolina, to be the most at-risk for future academic failure and personal hardship.

2014: Neha Reddy and Matthew Zhou traveled to Ethiopia to educate rural women on reproductive health and create a more open dialogue for gender-based issues in addition to launching an income-generating project for participants in their workshops.

2013: Leslie Clark and Ayanna Legros used interactive education to create a camp for young girls of Haitian descent living in the Dominican Republic, which focused on public speaking, critical thinking, and self-empowerment.

2012: Krishni Metivier and Isabel Rodriguez-Vega worked with community members to create an educational space built from repurposed trash in their project, "Bottle-Bricks for Peace." More details can be found here.

2011: Lydia Hsu developed "Vocation for Education," an internship program in Kigali, Rwanda, supporting hands-on business experience through English language training.

2010: Daniel Perlman and Lalith Polepeddi used their Davis Projects for Peace award to implement a "Preventative Health and Food Security" program in Ho, Ghana.

2009: Cristina Thomas and Gokila Pillai traveled to India to implement "Project Female" to decrease anemia in India through educational workshops and by providing access to iron supplements through doctors.

2008: Sean Campbell-Massa and Katherine Wofsey traveled to Uganda to implement "Teaching Science and Health in the Kabwoya Village" to improve secondary science and math education for rural students while preparing them for the Ugandan National Exam. It also focused on encouraging proactive community involvement in healthcare with emphasis on HIV/AIDS prevention.

2008: Emily Eisenhart traveled to Egypt to implement "Building Peace through Arts Collaboration" to initiate a child-focused, arts-based program to promote mutual tolerance and understanding between young refugees from diverse cultural backgrounds living in strongly marginalized border communities.

2007: Jama Joy Bernard and Maggie Schmitt traveled to South Africa for their project: "Sports for Development and Social Change." They produced a film investigating how soccer was being used as a tool by innovative grassroots organizations to spread awareness about HIV. The film seeks to inspire young global health students and professionals to consider alternative and creative approaches to development work. The film has been promoted by several health organizations.

2007: Manjari Ranganathan traveled to India to implement "Shantipatha: An Initiative for Social Empowerment in Rural Karnataka, India". Her project worked to increase social and economic empowerment in the rural villages of Karnataka, India through seed funds for education and entrepreneurship.