Education Department Seeks Reviewers for 2014 Grant Competitions

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS) is seeking qualified peer reviewers to read and evaluate discretionary grant proposals for the following FY 2014 grant competitions:

  • Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program
  • Project Prevent Grant Program
  • Grants to SEAs for Emergency Management
  • School Climate Transformation Grant Program
  • For OSHS discretionary grant competitions, a background in one or more of the following content areas is particularly helpful: alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention; character education and civic education; state education and/or local education agency-level school emergency management and disaster response and/or school safety and security; physical education and school nutrition, school counseling and mental health; violence prevention, and school climate improvement; multi-tiered behavioral frameworks such as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and/or significant experience working at the elementary and secondary educational levels. Peer reviewers may be required to review and evaluate the evidenced-based practice and programs grant applicants proposed to implement school-based programs in the above mentioned content areas.The OSHS Grant Application Peer Review Process is designed to ensure that each discretionary grant is awarded on the basis of how well the evaluation selection criteria are responded to. Therefore, we rely on qualified, external peer reviewers to critically evaluate all submitted grant applications to ensure we receive objective and independent ratings. Each year we assemble panels of educators, policymakers, and experts to participate in our peer review process. We would like your assistance in identifying possible candidates for consideration, or for registering to be considered.The peer review process consists of an orientation, evaluation and scoring of applications consistent with established selection criteria, written reviews of each application to support the scores, and discussions with other panelists. The review process for each program is conducted electronically via the Internet, eliminating the need for any travel to Washington, D.C. Each peer reviewer is expected to commit approximately 35-40 hours to complete a review of applications on schedule. They are expected to review 10-12 applications assigned to their panel and participate in three conference calls. The time for each review is generally compressed, reviewers can have as little as two weeks, meaning that the commitment can be very intense.Reviewers will receive an honorarium after completion of required work assigned to them and submission of mandatory forms. Persons interested in serving as peer reviewers may apply at any time.The following are essential in what we seek in peer reviewers and should be noted when applying:

    • proficient writing, listening, and speaking ability
    • access to the Internet, a phone, and a printer, and the ability to interact in a Web-based environment
    • superior analytical skills, including the ability to provide thoughtful, objective evaluations of proposals using the designated selection criteria
    • relevant education, training, and/or experience in the subject area of the grant program, and knowledge of related evidenced-based programs and practices
    • knowledge of and/or experience with program planning, implementation, and/or research and evaluation processes
    • ability to work collegially with others in a team environment, and meeting established deadlines
    • experience working with diverse communities

    Also, please be aware that participation in the peer review process will require reviewers to determine if they have a conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict, in reviewing assigned grant applications. A peer reviewer is considered to have a conflict of interest when the reviewer, or certain individuals and entities with which the reviewer has a relationship, has a financial interest in the outcome of the competition for which he/she is serving as a reviewer.

    If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, please register, provide your background information, and upload your most recent resume at This will allow your information to be available to other offices in the Department that are searching for reviewers. If you have trouble registering, you may contact the G5 Help Desk for assistance. Their contact information is located on the G5 login screen.


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