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Fractured Prism

Welcome to the Fractured Prism. This is my domain (I love the sound of that, kind of like my kingdom), where I will share reflections of the many facets of my life. At the very least, I am a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, homemaker, teacher, counselor, and grant writer. Through the years, I have been professionally cut and polished or just accidental fractured into thousands of pieces and have thoughts about them all. I have found that I am writing for many reasons but mostly to share my small bits of wisdom. Come back often because each reflection will be different. My ultimate goal is to have a place where grant writers, grant reviewers and funders can network. So if you are into grant writing or grant reviewing please leave your name and email. Linda Beason

Peer Reviews

The peer review section is provided for those who are interested in being peer reviewers. I am not sure that all the contact information is current but you can always call the office and get current information.

Other Sources for Fractured Prism Articles:

As Featured in eZineArticles.com

Be a 2011 Peer Reviewer for the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

OVC is seeking reviewers from diverse backgrounds and regions to assess grant applications. Reviewers should have relevant crime victimization experience and expertise at the local, state, Federal or Tribal levels in areas such as but not limited to:

  • Domestic violence and sexual assault
  • Child and elder abuse
  • Fraud & identity theft
  • Human trafficking
  • Ethics in victim services
  • Victims’ rights
  • Compassion fatigue/vicarious trauma
  • Mass violence & crisis response
  • Restitution
  • Victim impact
  • Victim compensation
  • Underserved victim populations

All reviews are conducted remotely and, typically, reviewers score 5-10 applications within a two week period. Before beginning their work, reviewers must participate in an orientation telephone call, which covers the role and responsibilities of the reviewers and the background and purpose of the grant program under review. Reviewers must also enter their scores and comments to an automated data system, and usually will participate in a consensus call with all other reviewers.

Participants receive $125 for each application reviewed.  If you are interested in becoming a peer reviewer, please send an up-to-date resume or curriculum vitae, including a valid e-mail address, to OJP Peer Review. Include “For OVC” in the subject line.

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Peer Review for U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS)

 If you are interested in reviewing for the U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, go to the site below and complete the peer reviewer checklist (PDF) document and submit online or email it along with a current resume, to osdfs@fbs-dc.com 

 PEER REVIEW CHECKLIST
 
 

 

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Peer Reviewers Needed for U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

Every year DOJ gives out millions of dollars in grants/contracts to state and local governments, Indian tribes, profit and non-profit organizations, including faith-based and other community organizations, and other groups.  The overwhelming majority of applications for this grant/contract money must be reviewed by peer reviewers. Who are peer reviewers? Just regular citizens like you with an interest/expertise in the area a particular grant pertains to.

Grant/contract-making agencies at DOJ include the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Community Capacity Development Office, the Office on Violence Against Women, the Bureau of Prisons, and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Among the grants/contracts that must be reviewed every year include those for residential reentry services for ex-offenders, stopping/assisting with the effects of domestic violence and child abuse, helping victims of crime and their families, preventing gang-related violence, and giving our youth positive life choices.

If you are chosen as a grant/contract reviewer for a program at DOJ, the government will pay for your travel, lodging, and meal expenses and provide you with a stipend for your help. (Note: Most reviews are held in Washington, DC.)

So, if you have an interest in becoming a grant/contract reviewer, please send a copy of your resume and your areas of experience (i.e., working with youth, ex-offenders, victims of domestic violence, victims of crime, etc.) to Amy Callaghan and Kirstin Phillips.

Go here for more information:

http://www.justice.gov/archive/fbci/index.html

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2011 Peer Reviewer Needed for AmeriCorps

Go to the website below to apply to be a peer reviewer for  AmeriCorps.  The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that encourages Americans of all ages and backgrounds to engage in community-based service. Through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, the Corporation has engaged citizens of all ages and backgrounds in helping to meet pressing local needs for more than a decade. The Corporation’s programs provide human and other resources to community- and faith-based groups to empower them to meet local needs in education, the environment, public safety, disaster preparedness and homeland security, and other critical areas.

The Corporation makes grants to organizations that use citizen service as a strategy to meet critical national and community needs, foster an ethic of civic responsibility, and strengthen the ties that bind us together as a nation. Each year the Corporation seeks qualified individuals to serve as peer reviewers and facilitators for its grant competition process.

If you would like to serve as a peer reviewer or a facilitator for a grant review and have not already completed an application in eGrants, please read further and complete the required Peer Reviewer application at https://egrants.cns.gov/espan/main/newaccount.jsp

http://www.americorps.gov/egrants/peer_review.asp

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Be a 2011 Peer Reviewer for Administration of Children & Families (Health Department)

Apply at the website below to review for the Administration of Children & Families (US Department of Health and Human Services). Departments include Child Care Bureau, Children’s Bureau, Family and Youth Services Bureau, & Head Start Bureau). Grant reviewing is an important step in the funding process. Grant reviews are designed to choose the best programs for funding out of a competitive group. Grant application reviewers are selected for their expertise and their ability to objectively evaluate the quality of an application. They are expected to use their expertise to assess the applications according to the evaluation criteria published. Grant application reviewers accept the responsibilities of thoroughly reading all applications, fully contributing to panel discussions, and producing accurate evaluations.

Interested individuals from any organization, university, program center, or occupation dealing with children and/or family services are encouraged to submit their resume and writing sample.

Training will be available on-site for first time ACYF/OHS grant application reviewers as well as more experienced reviewers.  Many grant reviews take place May through September in Washington D.C.; travel will be arranged. Grant reviews may also take place electronically via a secure website.  All grant reviewers (local or out-of-town) for on-site reviews receive $150 per day of review participation. Panel chairpersons (local or out-of-town) receive $200 per day. Field review compensation varies. Generally, payment is made on the last day of the review. This payment is subject to Federal income tax.

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/grantreview/

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The Old Cowboy

This is a true story I have heard many times from my good friend and grant writing business partner, Diane Morton.  She has a unique way of writing and always makes me laugh.  I asked her to share this story because I can’t convince her to start her own blog.  I hope you enjoy the story as it tells a lot about Western Oklahoma and a long tradition of honoring the dead…whoever they are.

Now, just do not go saying, “who cares about an ‘old cowboy’?”  When it comes to the “old cowboy,” the Moad family has a heap of love.  When I was a young girl about 7 or 8 years old, my Grandma (Moad) Hibler, and her daughters would gather me, my sisters and cousins all up and state, “It is time to decorate the family graves”.  (I have come to believe that only females have the honor of decorating as none of the men or boys ever participated.)  Being so young, we thought of it as an adventure and fun day. From the moment of arrival for performing the yearly ritual, the adults carefully prepared snacks, water, and last but not least, the wreaths.  Grandma always stated that she did not want to leave out the “old cowboy”!

The first stop was Red Hill Cemetery where our first mistake was stepping on a grave.  If I remember right, we jumped from the car and all the “hollering commenced”.  We had all committed the unpardonable sin.  “You stepped on a grave!!”   Right then, Grandma started teaching us little heathens the first law concerning cemeteries.  She told us that now that poor person was wondering who had stepped on their grave and become restless.  Needless to say, this is when the nightmares started.   

Before a wreath or flowers could be put on the grave, we were told the reason of their demise: Poor Lora Moad died in childbirth; Marquis Moad died in a horrible car accident in Arkansas; and little Karren Sue died of leukemia. 

We little girls were standing around all sad and anxiously awaiting the decorating time to be over, when out of my own mother’s mouth came, “Diane, Karren Sue would be your age and she was only about a year old when she died”.  I thought to myself, this is really sad.  Then, the words of horror happened, “I used to take you by her mom’s and let you nurse her until she dried up.” 

“My gosh, YOU did WHAT???   Dried up from what???  Childhood!!!”

After we decorated all the relatives and friends in Red Hill, it was off to Kiowa Cemetery and the “old cowboy”.  The granddaughters were all curious but none of us had the courage to ask.  Grandma was already in her sentimental/cemetery mood and tears were falling.  This is where her parents were buried. When Grandma’s parents married, they had to take on three of her mother’s children because she was dying of cancer.    Her mama had come from Pennsylvania and her dad was a U.S. Marshall.  She talked about the “night riders” coming in the night to try and lynch a prisoner.  She told how Aunt Addie (her sister) had been murdered by her husband and how the family members chased him in an old coupe.  When they found the coward, he had killed himself.  “Good enough for him,” she would say.  Next, was Uncle Willie who had lost his arm in a cotton ginning machine.  Uncle Tommy had the flu and died. Her dad had gone out to the barn and built his little coffin.    These stories have left their impressions to this day. 

Curiosity became too much and we all wanted the story about the “old cowboy”!  Grandma said first things first.  Decorating the grave was the first and most important thing.  I have seen that woman pluck a flower from a wreath of the family in order that the “old cowboy” had a flower for his grave.  We girls were thinking this has to be our own family’s version of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, John Wayne, etc.  “Well, girls this is the old cowboy” and we answered, “Yes, we know.”  “He rode into Kiowa (a small rural community), fell over and died.” 

“WHAT???” 

“No one ever knew his name.  The sheriff sold his horse and saddle and gave it to the undertaker to bury him.  He needed a place for his final rest and the Moad family donated this grave site right in the middle of all the family.  We should never forget to decorate his grave as he has become a part of our family.” 

Guess what—the “girls”…Kaye, Sherry, Donna, and I still go to the cemeteries (we have added several more) around Memorial Day and go through the yearly ritual recalling how Grandma taught us at an early age to honor and remember our deceased relatives.  Grandma would be proud, never once have we forgotten the “old cowboy”.   

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Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Reviewers

SAMHSA reviewers must have related program experience and education, be able to analyze grant applications effectively against specific criteria, be able to express their evaluation clearly in writing, and be interested in contributing to the advancement of knowledge. Specifically, the agency is interested in reviewers with the following specific program experience and knowledge:

  • Individuals with background in mental health services and knowledge of community-based systems of care and services for adults with serious mental illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbances.
  • Individuals with background and knowledge of substance abuse prevention, who have expertise or experience in working with activities that discourage substance abuse and behaviors increasing the risk of substance abuse.
  • Individuals with expertise in evidence-based effective substance abuse treatment services, programs and activities.

Grant reviewers gain many skills out of their experience such as:

  • Understanding of the grant-making process
  • Opportunity to network with colleagues
  • Chance to exercise professional judgment and expertise
  • Intellectual challenge

Reviewers are chosen for particular grant programs, based on their knowledge, education and experience.

http://www.samhsa.gov/Grants/emailform/index.aspx

e mail:   reviewer@samhsa.hhs.gov

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Office of Justice Programs (OJP) 2011 Peer Reviewers Needed

Peer Reviewers Needed

OJP is interested in expanding their 2011 pool of expert peer reviewers. Help improve public safety by working with OJP to advance innovative and successful criminal and juvenile justice programs and services.

Each year, thousands of grant applications are submitted to OJP for criminal and juvenile justice funding opportunities. Peer reviewers provide subject matter expertise that informs the grant selection process. They read and evaluate applications in their field, giving scores and summarizing strengths and weaknesses. This information is used by OJP as part of a larger decision-making process.

Reviewers are given 2 weeks to read and evaluate 10–20 applications and participate in a consensus review. The estimated time commitment ranges from 25–30 hours per assignment and compensation is provided.

Opportunities for peer reviewers are available now. Start the enrollment process by sending an e-mail to ojppeerreview@lmbps.com

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New Notice Soliciting Peer Reviewers (OELA & NAM Field Readers)

Found this notice this week and thought I would share.  Peer Reviews are the best way to improve your grant writing.  Will post others as I find them.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), Native American and Alaska Native Children in School Program (NAM) is seeking peer reviewers (field readers) with experience in ESL and American Indian/ Alaska Native Education programs  to read and evaluate discretionary grant applications for FY 2011.
If you are available to commit  from February 4th to February 15th, 2011, read 2 applications (maximum 35 pages each) per day, and available to panel every day, please email your resume providing information about your educational background and expertise, technology skills, grant reading history, and program experience history to
Itzetht.testa-sanchez@ed.gov.
Vendors and individuals who do business with the Department must also register in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) System and acquire a DUNS number. The CCR is maintained by the Department of Defense. It is a Web-based database of business information on more than 290,000 registered vendors. It is well established, well known, widely used, and provides for fast, free and easy registration. Please read the information regarding vendor registration in the CCR.
The NAM program will be using the G5 e-Reader System
www.g5.gov the Department’s electronic field reading system to review grant applications.
Field readers must have the following in order to use G5 e-Reader:
1.    Access to the Internet from home;
2.    Microsoft Word; and
3.    Cookies and JavaScript enabled in the browser.
The application review process involves orientation, reading and evaluating applications, and discussions with other panelists. Panelists will evaluate and score applications using the U.S. Department of Education’s published selection criteria. Selected field readers will receive a copy of each assigned application electronically. Some applications will be mailed to readers, if the applicant had an approved waiver. They will review applications at their home and enter comments and scores on each application electronically into the Department’s G5 e-Reader database. Paneling of applications will be conducted through pre-scheduled telephone conference calls that require the participation of all panel members. All scores and comments must be entered into G5 e-Reader by the designated date. No travel to Washington, D.C. will be necessary.
Field readers will receive a flat fee honorarium for the entire review period based on the established number of reading days and applications. Since the number of reading days and applications to be reviewed may vary, you will be informed of the amount of the honorarium at the time of your selection as a field reader.
We will accept Resumes until November 1st, 2010.  Potential selected reviewers will be notified by email to schedule a telephone interview.

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The ABC’s of Grant Applications

(This post is from a friend I met while reviewing grants.  He is an excellent  grant reviewer and offers some great advice.  He is currently the Director of an Adult Outreach Program and has classes for displaced workers, elderly community, mandate divorce classes and re-entry of newly released incarcerated individuals in a number of disciplines.  If you would like to get in touch with him, leave a comment and I will send him your information.  Thanks to Dr. Nelson Alba!)

The words “Grant Application” give shivers to many people and visions of complex formulas. There are a few steps you can take to make your application more appealing to the persons reading the material you will submit.

A. Keep It Short And Simple. Do not over state your case. Make sure all you write is related to the application. Do not get too wordy. If the reader has to guess what you are saying, is going to cost you.

 B. Order, Order. If at all possible address the grant application in the order it was presented to you. The reader will follow a form in the exact order it was given to you. Readers love orderly applications. If you can, provide a bold title to each section for faster identification.

C. Time is of the essence. If you plan to apply for a grant, the sooner you start writing the better. Stress can make you make mistakes otherwise avoidable. Plan ahead your work.

D. Spell check. It cannot be stressed enough the importance of avoiding simple spelling errors. It is very distracting to the reader to see grammar and spelling errors. So, spell check and then spell check again.

E. No Generalizations. Avoid generalizations that might get you in trouble. Make sure you can provide facts, examples or both on the argument you are trying to make.

F. No Tears, Please. Do not attempt to appeal to the emotions of the readers. You do not get extra points for it and takes up space for more cogent information.

G. Finally. Place yourself in the position of the reader who does not know you or your ambiance. Read your final application and see if any section is not clear or misleading.  Is your application complete?

H. Only the Facts.  Do not try to pull the wool over the eyes of the reader. These folks are professionals and have ample experience in identifying boloney.

Remember, if you start to work early and you have a solid need and a potential solution, writing the grant is not all the difficult. Good hunting!

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