Student Seminar Competition

Annual Student Seminar Competition

The World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School invites proposals from students at the Fletcher School for a two-day seminar to be held on campus in February 2015. WPF seminars offer a rare opportunity for leading experts to engage in incisive, collegial and sustained dialogue on the pressing problems of our day. The student competition enables Fletcher School students to frame an issue and interact with leading global experts on the topic of their choosing.



The topic should be related to conflict, security, peace or human rights. The criteria for selecting the winning proposal will be that it is innovative, well-articulated, and relevant to the Foundation’s vision that intellectual leadership is important to promoting peace. Noting that the vision of these seminars is to explore issues that might otherwise not gain attention, the WPF does not make a requirement that the issue should be directly connected to policy outcomes.

All costs will be borne by the WPF, including travel and accommodation for invited participants, catering, costs for interns for organizing and taking notes, and other associated costs. The competition winners will work with the WPF to organize the seminar, and will be paid a standard hourly rate for their time.

SEMINAR FORMAT: Two days of ‘restricted’ sessions that allow for an intense exchange of views, following the ‘Chatham House Rule’ (remarks cannot be attributed). The seminar will consist of a welcome, five panels, and concluding session with 12-15 full participants around the table.

OPEN EVENT WITH SEMINAR: The open event may be in the format of a lecture and questions and answers, or a panel discussion open to the broader Fletcher community.

ELIGIBILITY: The competition is open to all current Fletcher School students. Proposals are invited from groups of students (between two and five, Masters and/or PhD).

PROPOSALS -- please include the following information as attachments sent to

  • List of all students involved in organizing the seminar.
  • Outline of the issue, including why it is an important issue for the WPF (one page).
  • List of potential invitees. 15 full participants should include: the organizers, members of Fletcher faculty, and outside experts. Observers and secondary participants from Fletcher need not be specified. Additional names may be included on the basis that not all invitees may be available. Do not extend invitations at this point.
  • Agenda for the seminar, including both the restricted and open sessions.

Proposals will be reviewed by Alex de Waal, Executive Director of the WPF and Ian Johnstone, Academic Dean of the Fletcher School. 


October 10, 2014: deadline for proposals to be submitted to

October 17, 2014: winners announced via email.

February 2015: Seminar held at The Fletcher School







The winners of the 2013-2014 Student Seminar Competition were, as pictured above with the WPF staff: Maria Rita Borba, Suh YoonKang, Jack Berger, Alex de Waal, Bridget Conley-Zilkic, Dan Orth, Taryn Campbell, Lisa Avery, Tina Robiolle-Moul, Roberta Sotomaior, and Madeeha Ansari. Their winning seminar was on Unlearning Violence: Evidence and Policies for Early Childhood Development and Peaceheld at The Fletcher School February 13-14, 2014.

Student winners 2013

The winners of the 2012-2013 Student Seminar Competition were, as pictured at left, Jennifer Ambrose, Casey Hogle, Trisha Taneja, Keren Yohannes, whose winning seminar was on "Western Advocacy in Conflict: Methods, Impacts and Ethics," held at The Fletcher School February 28 - March 1, 2013.

student seminar winners 2012

The winners of the 2011-2012 Student Seminar Competition were, as pictured at right, Jennifer Keene, Mario Patiño, Katharine Davis, Anne Wanlund, and Leah Greenberg (not pictured), who organized a fantastic seminar, "Drug Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime: Re-Framing the Debate," held at the Fletcher School on May 7 & 8, 2012.