Investing in Innovation Fund (i3)

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Investing in Innovation (i3) Call for Peer Reviewers

CONTEXT: The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII), is seeking individuals to serve as peer reviewers for the FY 2014 Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition. Qualified peer reviewers must meet the criteria listed below. NOTE: Even if you applied to be a peer reviewer last year, we ask that you reapply this year (as outlined below). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. We are currently accepting applications for the i3 Development grant competition. We will post a call for peer reviewers for the Validation and Scale-up competitions at a later date on the i3 Web site.

WHO: The Department is interested in peer reviewers from various backgrounds and professions including: PK-12 teachers and principals, college and university educators, educational evaluators, social entrepreneurs, strategy consultants, grant makers, and others with education expertise. Reviewers must have expertise in at least one of the program's priority areas or in educational evaluation. Additionally, the most qualified candidates will have expertise in: program or organizational innovation, strategic planning, scaling successful programs, and/or prior experience reviewing or approving grant applications (further discussion below).

REQUIRED AREAS OF EXPERTISE: Reviewers will be selected to serve in one of the two following categories (you may be considered for either or both).

i3 Priorities

You must have specific expertise in at least one of the six i3 “Absolute Priorities” (for a detailed explanation of each priority, see the descriptions included in the i3 Notice Inviting Applications (NIAs) for the i3 Development grant competition at

  • Improving the Effectiveness of Teachers or Principals
  • Improving Low-Performing Schools
  • Improving Academic Outcomes for Students with Disabilities
  • Improving Academic Outcomes for English Learners (ELs)
  • Effective Use of Technology
  • Serving Rural Communities

Absolute priorities will be established for each i3 competition and this page will be updated at that time.


Educational Evaluation

The Department is also seeking peer reviewers with experience in designing, conducting, and reviewing rigorous educational evaluations, including:

  • Understanding of education research and recent findings in the relevant literature
  • Knowledge of education data sources and measures of program implementation and outcomes
  • Expertise with experimental and quasi-experimental research designs
  • Fluency in reviewing organizational and project evaluation plans and evaluation results


Innovation, such as:

  • Experience designing, developing and implementing education or related programs that demonstrated successful outcomes/attempted new approaches
  • Experience founding an organization/company or school

Strategic Planning, such as:

  • Experience in education policy making
  • Experience as a strategy consultant
  • Experience as a senior-level administrator, particularly in school districts, charter management organizations, state education agencies, and/or education-related non-profits

Growth and Scaling Programs/Organizations, such as:

  • Experience building, managing and/or overseeing relationships across multiple organizations to deliver a service/product
  • Experience initiating and/or implementing large-scale projects
  • Experience transferring or adapting projects/organizations to new settings

Grant Making and/or Oversight

  • Experience as a grant application reviewer in private/philanthropic sector or federal programs
  • Experience managing a portfolio of grant projects

OTHER REQUIREMENTS: In addition to the skills, attributes and expertise highlighted above, peer reviewers must also meet the following requirements:


Peer reviewers must generally be available for a 4 week time period and will work remotely and via teleconference. This page will be updated with more detailed information when the i3 program conducts its next competition.

Tools: Each reviewer must have access to the Internet, a phone, a printer and have the ability to interact within a web-based environment.

Quality of Review: Each reviewer must commit to providing 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 reviews.

Reviewers will receive an honorarium for their time and effort, contingent upon satisfactory completion of the above requirements and consistent with the required schedule.

IF INTERESTED: If you would like to be considered as a peer reviewer, please follow these directions download files PDF (799 KB) to register yourself in our online peer reviewer database.

The online registration requires you to submit your resume; please ensure your resume (maximum of 5 pages) includes a brief list of career highlights and/or outlines your specific expertise either in evaluation or in the i3 Absolute Priority areas for which you would like to be considered as a reviewer. Please do not exceed the five-page limit for resumes.

When the system prompts you for your areas of specialization, please ensure you select at least one of the i3 Absolute Priority areas:

  • Teacher/principal effectiveness (“teacher preparation” and/or “school leadership”);
  • Low-performing schools (“school turnaround models”);
  • Students with disabilities (“disabilities and rehabilitation services” and/or “school-based mental health services”);
  • English learners (“English language learners”);
  • Technology (“education technology”); and
  • Rural achievement (“rural education”).

If you desire, you may indicate additional areas of expertise outside of the i3 Absolute Priorities (e.g., “charter schools” or “evidence standards”) to indicate complementary areas of expertise, but you are not required to do so.

PROGRAM INFORMATION: For more information about the i3 Program, go to Please direct all questions, to the i3 Peer Review inbox at

To become a member of the i3 distribution list and receive i3 updates, please go to the following link:

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Last Modified: 04/08/2014