Have you ever been daunted by someone until you have walked in their shoes? Perhaps that gym instructor you were in awe of became a little more human after you stepped in for him one session. Maybe you saw your boss in a whole new light when you temporarily assumed her duties last summer. For grant writers eagerly awaiting competition results, decision makers might ascend to mythical status, at least until the winners are announced. Why not experience an entirely different perspective on the process by becoming a peer reviewer yourself? While nothing can completely stop the post submission jitters, gaining an insider's view on how it really works may release a few of the butterflies trapped in your stomach.
Beverly Browning ("Dr. Bev") often makes a case for taking on this role in her seminars, and we are sharing her knowledge on the subject. The benefits of trying it for yourself are many. It affords you a competitive edge on what happens after your submit an application. You learn what grant reviewers are looking for, and gain new tips and insights for your own next endeavor. After seeing countless mistakes, it is also easier to internalize what NOT to do. It is a great networking opportunity. And did we mention that many of the agencies pay you for your time and effort?
Commitments for a Grant Peer Reviewer
- Orientation and training via a conference call (2-4 hours).
- The review process itself which consists of reading each application, entering assessments according to instructions, panel discussions and certifying final assessment forms (5-7 hours per application).
- Typical availability required ranges from a minimum 30 hours over a 5-day period to a maximum of 60 hours over a 15-day period.
Peer Reviewer Qualifications
The typical requirements usually include five years of experience, expertise or education in the subject area of the particular grant. Backgrounds of grant reviewers included practitioners, educators, administrators, analysts, researchers, funders, entrepreneurs, board members, grant writers and consultants. Peer Reviewers need to be objective and preserve the integrity and high standards of the review process and the agency who hires them.
Watch the Video
A clip of "Dr. Bev" talking about her experience as a peer reviewer:
Where to Find Opportunities
- Internet Searches – you can start with the terms “call for grant peer reviewers” or "grant peer reviewers needed."
- Check with the 26 Federal Grant Making Agencies.
- Check with state grant making agencies you want to review for.
- We made a list of links to application pages and contact information at 10 selected government agencies to get you started. You can click the button below: