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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:

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How to be a Good Peer Reviewer

First of all you need to keep in mind that funded grant writers do not care what you say in your review.  While it is important to carefully justify your score for all applications, the ones that are funded have their money.  They are not likely to complain. It is only the grant writers who were not funded that will ask for your comments…and  they can and will do just that.  They will carefully analyze what each reviewer has written and sometimes they call their lawyer or congressman to complain.  That is why it is extremely important that you follow a few simple guidelines. 

First of all, it is imperative that you demonstrate that you are competent to review and score grants that might be awarding millions of dollars. 

Use complete sentences with proper grammar and spelling. 

Address each selection criteria and justify your score.  Scores and comments must be consistent.  Each point deduction must be clearly justified. 

Be tactful and do not write personal comments.  Make sure your comments are free of personal biases. 

As a grant writer, I have fumed for days after reading reviewer’s comments that were poorly written, made no sense or demonstrated sheer laziness.  Grants are not easy to write.  They take hours of dedication and each one is extremely important to the applicant.  Your score can literally mean life or death for each carefully planned project.  While it is important to find the best programs to fund, it is also important to help applicants understand how to strengthen their proposal when they reapply.

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How a Peer Reviewer is Selected

Typically this is how government agencies select a peer review panel:

A minimum of three peer reviewers, which comprise a panel, are assigned to review each application. Each panel will usually review between ten and fifteen applications, depending on the allowed length of the application. Peer reviewers are selected from a department database (you need to go to each department’s webpage and find how to apply…many of these are listed in my other blogs).  Reviewers will be chosen from the database of highly qualified professionals with expertise related to the topic.  You need to update your application at least once a year.  Also it might be helpful to call the department after applying and ask if you are in their database.

To help achieve a reasonable balance on a panel, the following factors may be considered:

  • Each member of the panel will have expertise in the subject area under review or expertise in a related field.
  • When possible and appropriated, the panel will comprise researchers, practitioners, and academicians
  • When appropriate, panel members will be drawn from as wide a geographic area as is practical and will represent both urban and rural perspectives.
  • Special attention will be paid to ensuring various backgrounds and experience with regard to race, ethnicity, and gender.
  • When appropriate, the panel will be composed of a diverse group of experts from the public and private sectors.

Each peer reviewer scores each application and the three scores are averaged to produce the applicant’s final score.

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CALL FOR 2011 PEER REVIEWERS – Improving Literacy through School Libraries

I found this online today.

CALL FOR PEER REVIEWERS – Improving Literacy through School Libraries

ANTICIPATED 2011 U.S. Department of Education Competition ///Deadline: February 4, 2011

CONTEXT: Improving Literacy through School Libraries is a competitive grant program of the U.S. Department of Education (Department) that promotes comprehensive local strategies to improve student reading achievement by enhancing school library services and resources. Focusing on communities with twenty percent family poverty rates, the LSL program targets school districts with the greatest need for assistance. To receive a grant, applicants must sufficiently demonstrate both their eligibility and their commitment to fulfilling one or more of the activities of the program.

WHO: We are seeking peer reviewers with demonstrated experience in the following professions: school and public library media specialists, PK-12 teachers and administrators, digital media education specialists, college or university educators and researchers, and PK-12 education consultants. The Department seeks reviewers with experience implementing school library media programs in the digital age, including collaboration with educators for the integration of web-based learning tools into traditional learning environments.

WHAT: Peer reviewers will independently read, score, and provide written comments for grant applications submitted to the Department under the Improving Literacy through School Libraries program. Program funds are used to increase up-to-date school library holdings; acquire advanced technology to develop and enhance students’ information literacy, information retrieval, and critical thinking skills; facilitate Internet links and other resource-sharing networks among schools and school library media centers, and public and academic libraries; provide PK-3 professional development and K-12 collaboration opportunities; and expand hours of access to school library services. Reviewers will conduct review activities primarily from their locations electronically. The Department will offer reviewers an honorarium.


  • Availability: Reviewers will need to dedicate approximately 50 hours of time for reading, scoring, developing comments, and discussing assigned applications over a three-week period, during the April 2011 timeframe. Reviewers will also need to participate in web-based technical assistance conferences to prepare for the review.
  • Tools: Each reviewer must have access to the Internet, a phone, a printer and have the ability to interact within the web environment.
  • Quality of review: Each reviewer must provide detailed, objective, constructive, and timely written reviews for each assigned application. These reviews will be used to recommend applications for funding. They will also be shared with each applicant following the review.


You have a conflict of interest and may not serve as a reviewer if:

  • An application will be submitted for this competition in which you will benefit financially from grant funds (if awarded).
  • An application will be submitted for this competition in which your spouse will benefit financially from grant funds (if awarded).
  • You will be participating in the development of an application.

You have a conflict of interest, but one that does not necessarily disqualify you from reviewing, if:

  • You are affiliated with an organization plans to submit an application, but you will not benefit financially from that application.
  • Your spouse is affiliated with an organization that plans to submit an application, but he or she will not benefit financially from that application.
  • An applicant names you as a consultant in an application without your prior knowledge.
  • A situation exists that may be perceived as a conflict, such as reviewing proposals from your region of the country, reviewing proposals in which a family member (other than your spouse) stands to benefit financially, reviewing proposals from an organization or individual with whom you are negotiating employment, etc.

 TO APPLY: Send an updated resume, in DOC or PDF format, to Please include the following in the subject line of your e-mail: “2011 LSL Reviewer”. Your resume should include:

  • Full Name
  • Education (list all college degrees, with dates of degrees, institutions, and majors must be listed)
  • All professional position titles, descriptions, and dates in chronological order beginning with, or going back to, your first position after receiving your B.A. or B.S.
  • A detailed description of your current organizational affiliation, and position title.
  • Telephone numbers (work, home, and fax [if applicable])
  • Home and work mailing addresses
  • Preferred E-mail address

 Please note: If you are retired, please make it clear when you retired, and that you are retired at present, and list all consulting positions or other relevant positions you have taken since retirement. There is no need to emphasize grant writing or grant reviewing experience. Please provide a full description of your professional work experience and substantive professional experience that are relevant to this type of work. We are interested in all work you have accomplished involving elementary and secondary education, literacy, library science/library-related, technology, and performance-based measurements and outcomes.

 If you have any questions about resume requirements or conflict of interest issues, please contact Peter Eldridge at (202) 260-2514,; David Miller at (202) 453-5621,; or Almita Reed at (202) 260-1979, Please do not send resumes to these individuals; send resumes/cover letters to by February 4, 2011.

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(Thanks to Dr. Nelson Alba)

Contact:         Brian J. Pritchard, Grants Liaison
US Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)
For LEAs with Military Dependent Student Populations of Five Percent or More
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) will soon announce its FY 2011 grant program.  Approximately $30 million is expected to be awarded, depending on the availability of funding.  Projected period of performance is 01 Jun 11 to 31 Aug 14.  Awards will be based on military dependent student enrollment and will range in size from $100,000 to $2,500,000. 
The Department’s aim is to improve student achievement, increase educational opportunities, ensure student preparation for success in college and careers, and ease the challenges that transitions and deployments have on military dependent students. 
To be eligible to apply an LEA must have a military dependent student population of at least five percent AND have one or more schools that have a military dependent student population of at least 15 percent.  LEAs will certify the numbers and percentages of students, using their Federal Impact Aid data. 
The Federal Register announcement is expected to be published on or about January 7, 2011.  The Request for Consideration (RFC) will be posted at that time on DoDEA’s web site:   
If you have any questions, please contact: 
        Brian J. Pritchard, Grants Liaison

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Old Friends

Met an old friend at the new Walmart yesterday and barely recognized her.  Then she smiled and I recognized the smile immediately.  She said, “This Walmart is like the sea… you can’t see the end of it.” And I laughed.  I love her quirky sense of humor, why did I lose track of her?  Caught up in the push and shove of life, we lose people who are just an arm’s reach away and forget how unique they are.   Think I will give myself a Christmas gift and get in touch with her.

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Good Links for Grant Writers Part 3

More links for grant writers: 

National Telecommunications and Information Administration
This site provides information about the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which funds planning and construction grants.

Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators – Grant Sources for Educators
This site supplies federal, state, and private funding opportunities and provides links to individual states’ Web sites.

National Reading Panel
This site will provide you with the complete text of the National Reading Panel’s report about what works and what doesn’t in reading. It provides the recipe for “scientific-based reading research and efficacy” which is expected in all reading programs.

U.S. Department of Education
This site provides information and links for all federal grants and initiatives issued under the direction of the DOE.

Teacher Tap  —  This site has grant writing tips and links to other resources and grants.

Top Teaching Resources   —  Links to grants for educators.

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Good Links for Grant Writers Part 2

Here are some more good links for grant writers. 

Publications and Products
This U.S. Department of Education Web site provides a wealth of information for teachers, administrators, policymakers, researchers, parents, and students.

Federal Register Documents Announcements Application Notices Requests for Comment etc.

This site offers up-to-the-minute information on grants provided by federal government agencies, including the Department of Education.

US Dept. of Education Grants Forecast FY 2010
This site forecasts prospective funds allocated by the federal government.

National Science Foundation (NSF) 
Opportunities for mathematics and science grants may be found on this site.

Welcome to Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)
Library systems, school districts and non-public schools can apply for discounts on telecommunications at this site.

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Peer Reviewers Needed to Evaluate FY 2011 Talent Search

This information came today.

The Department of Education (Department) is seeking reviewers to evaluate discretionary grant
applications for the FY 2011 Talent Search (TS) Program competition.  See details at: 


Because of the large numbers of applications anticipated, the technical review of eligible applications received under the TS Program competition will be conducted using three review sessions and each session will consist of two phases.  Phase one of each review session will consist of the on-line review of applications and will utilize the Department’s G-5 e-Reader electronic field reading system.  Phase two of the review will consist of Federally-subsidized travel to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for the paneling and finalization of the technical review forms for each of the assigned applications. Orientation webinars for the three FY 2011 Talent Search sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 10:00a.m–12:00p.m. and 2:00- 4:00p.m. and Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at  2:00- 4:00p.m. You are only required to attend one of the webinar to be eligible for consideration as a reviewer. Webinar links will be contained in a letter upon selection for this competition. The schedule of activities for each of the three sessions planned is as follows:

Session            Reviewers Notified     G-5 Reader Begins        On-site Panels
  1                      Dec, 27, 2010            Jan. 7, 2011            Jan. 31 – Feb.4, 2011
  2                      Jan. 24, 2011            Feb. 4, 2011            Feb.  28 – Mar 4, 2011
  3                      Feb. 18, 2011            Mar. 4, 2011            Mar. 28 – Apr 1, 2011

(Every reviewer must participate in a peer reviewer orientation session prior to starting the G-5-reading process.)PLEASE NOTE:  The success of this unique reading activity is dependent upon the commitment of the selected peer reviewers to fully participate in each of the time-sensitive scheduled activities.  Also, it is important to note that within three (3) days from the time your assigned applications appear on-line in the Department’s G-5 system, you are required to have three technical review forms completed, uploaded into the G-5 system, and ready for review by your assigned panel monitor.  The completed technical review forms must contain comments reflective of a thorough assessment of the applicants’ responses to each of the selection criteria as contained in the Project Narrative section of each application.  Only after your assigned panel monitor has determined that your work, thus far, is of an acceptable quality will you be allowed to continue with the G-5 system process and receive an invitation to come to the Washington, DC metropolitan area site for the completion of the session’s activities.  If your work is determined not to be of an acceptable level, you will be dismissed and a replacement reader will be added to your panel to complete the process. 

As noted above, the Department will use its electronic field reading system (G-5 System) for phase one of each of the sessions. The G-5 system electronic system is accessed through the Department’s Grants portal site.  Reviewers will access the assigned applications electronically. Three-member review panels will evaluate each application.  Reviewers will electronically enter comments and scores on each application via the G-5 system.  To ensure optimum participation, reviewers must have the following: (1) access to the Internet from their local review site via broadband or DSL (not a dial-up connection) to be able to talk on the telephone (not a cell phone) and access the Internet concurrently; (2) Internet Browser IE 5.5+, Netscape 6+ or FireFox 1+ (note: e-Reader is best viewed using Internet Explorer 5+); (3) Acrobat Reader for opening PDF documents; (4) Microsoft Word (if PDF package is not available); (5) cookies and JavaScript enabled in their browser; and (6) a Laser Printer is recommended.
Phase two of the peer review process will allow face-to-face on site panel discussions of each of the assigned applications.  All reviewers must participate in the on-site paneling sessions. During these sessions, reviewers will discuss each application, revise or modify comments, if necessary, and arbitrate any excessive score variances. Reviewers will use the on-site computer equipment to complete or make changes to the technical review forms as necessary.  Readers are allowed and encouraged to bring personal laptops, however, this is not required.  The Department will provide a bank of computers in a secured area at the review site where reviewers may complete their e-Reading tasks.

We are mindful of your busy schedule and encourage you to think carefully about your availability for this time-sensitive review process, which is described herein.  Reviewers must be available to devote a significant amount of time to this process and must complete all phase one and phase two activities by the target dates.
As a peer reviewer, you will be compensated for your services and therefore you are considered as a “temporary” contractor. You will be expected to comply with all of the requirements and expectations addressed in this document.

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer:
1.    Update your personal information and indicate your availability status for each session or any combinations of sessions for this competition in OPE’s Field Reader System (FRS) no later than December 17, 2010.  You must also certify that you do not have a potential conflict of interest.  Carefully read the “Conflict of Interest Form” on our Field Reader site. If you have any conflict, as described on the conflict of interest form, please select the “Unavailable” option when updating your personal information, as you will not be selected to serve as a reviewer for this competition.
We will notify you via e-mail (according to the schedule outlined above) if we select you as a peer reviewer for one or more of the review sessions.  We will send additional information about our e-Reader process, including information on how to participate in the appropriate peer reviewer webinar, to persons selected to serve as reviewers and alternates.  Information about the Department’s G-5 system is available at:  The G-5 system includes a User Guide and a demonstration program available to assist reviewers in operating the software.
Each reviewer may be required to evaluate up to 10 applications that are up to 65 double-spaced pages each. Reviewers will receive an honorarium of $100.00 per completed application, plus $10.00 for supplies (paper/ink), per application reviewed.  [NOTE:  A completed application is one that has been independently reviewed and paneled, with requested changes made and accepted allowing for final clearance by Department staff.  The completion process also includes full participation in phase two of the on-site paneling process to be held in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.   Reviewers will not receive full compensation if this process is not fully completed and all conditions adhered to as outlined in this letter.] 

Peer reviewers will not receive any additional compensation for the five-day on site review conducted in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  Potential reviewers who participate in the orientation session and are selected as alternates but are not called upon to read will receive an honorarium of $100.

If you need assistance with the Field Reader process, please contact Joyce Thomas at 202-502-7662 or via email at We look forward to your prompt response as we prepare for this important review process.
Please indicate your availability status for this competition and update your personal information using OPE’s Field Reader System (FRS):

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Good Links for Grant Writers Part 1

These links provide good resources for grant writers.  I will be posting more as I check them out to see if they are all still in place.

Guide for Writing a Funding Proposal
At this site, Dr. S. Joseph Levine of Michigan State University gives advice on how to write successful proposals.

Here you can learn how to write winning proposals. This site is sponsored by the Human Frontier Science Program.

SchoolGrants – Your One-Stop Site for K-12 School Grant Opportunities
Here you will find grant–writing tips, sample proposals (including my PEP grant), and grant writing CDs, as well as funding sources.

Fundraising and Grantwriting Resources
This site provides a collection of links to funding applications; grant writing consultants and services; grant writing tutorials and help; funding sources; and more.

Database of U.S. Department of Education Publications in ERIC
Here you will find a searchable database of government research documents that can support your winning proposals.

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The grand old lady loses the leaves that she put on as Dad died.  The seasons change.

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