This was written by an experienced reviewer, Lyn Whitehead. It has a lot of good information and links to reviews. Thanks Lyn for sharing!
I decided to put this together for my friends that are interested in applying to become grant/peer reviewers for the Federal government. Let me know if you have any questions but here are a few things to consider:
In order to expedite the process, make sure you send them ALL the info they request, such as resumes, writing samples, etc., in addition to the application. It often takes a while to get selected for a review, so you don’t want to further hinder the process.
Opportunities are available for those that both, like to travel and for those that prefer to do reviews at home.
If you want to do reviews onsite, they are usually held in Wash. DC, VA or MD. All flights are paid for in advance and you will be reimbursed for food. Most of the reviews I’ve been to provide a breakfast and lunch buffet and you pay for dinner on your own. The per diem reimbursement for dinner is about $36 if I remember correctly. For those that don’t provide any meals, reimbursement is about $73. You are also responsible for any parking, baggage and other fees, but they will be reimbursed.
If you want to do reviews at home, make sure you have a working computer, a landline phone, a printer, a fax machine or scanner, and a quiet place to have your phone conferences.
All of the agencies listed here provide stipends unless otherwise stated. They generally range from $150 to $300 per day. For onsite reviews, many agencies pay on the last day of the review. Some (such as OVW) send a check within 4-6 weeks. Homebased reviews generally send your check within 60 days.
I do have my personal preferences. 1) I prefer onsite because I love a free trip and it’s easier to get the work done without distractions. PLUS—you get your paycheck before you leave! 2) My favorite agencies to work for are OVW and DOL. I’ve enjoyed OVW because the logistics people are terrific; the reading and scoring is easy; and they pay the most! DOL has an easy review process as well and they pay a decent sum compared to others as well.
The review season for many agencies is Feb. through August. Some, such as HRSA, review throughout the year, but you should apply to all the agencies for the best chances of getting selected this year.
To learn more about general grant writing, volunteer to review proposals at your local United Way. They don’t pay anything but it’s great for networking.
Here are some links for more reading about the review process and more links to applications: