- What are the responsibilities of peer reviewers?
- How are peer reviewers selected?
- What are the qualifications and our expectations of peer reviewers?
- What are the benefits of being a peer reviewer?
- What is the time commitment for participating in a review?
- How do I apply to be a peer reviewer?
- I currently work for the Federal Government. Can I serve as a peer reviewer for an OPE grant competition?
- Is there a deadline to register as a peer reviewer?
- Who do I contact if I have a question?
1. What are the responsibilities of peer reviewers?
The primary responsibilities of reviewers are to participate in mandatory program orientations and trainings, and to read and evaluate applications assigned to them. Selected reviewers score and evaluate applications using the U.S. Department of Education scoring rubric and selection criteria worksheets, technical review form, and training documents prepared for the panel discussion. Each reviewer must commit to the panel schedule and provide detailed, objective, constructive, and timely written reviews for each assigned application. It is important to note that these evaluative reviews are used to recommend applications for funding and are shared with applicants after final review. Reviewers remain anonymous and are not identified to applicants.
Most reviews are conducted electronically; therefore, travel may not be necessary. Selected peer reviewers will receive a copy of each assigned application electronically. On rare occasions, hard copies of applications may be mailed. Peer reviewers will assess applications at their home or office and enter comments and scores for each application electronically into the Department's online eReader system. Panel review discussions are conducted through pre-scheduled conference calls that require the participation of all panel members. All scores and comments must be entered into the online system by the date designated by the U.S. Department of Education program staff.
When travel is necessary, the Department provides peer reviewers with roundtrip travel, lodging, and meal allowances.TOP
2. How are peer reviewers selected?
Reviewer selection is determined for each grant competition through a needs analysis that assesses the overall pool of applications and one that ensures reviewers are broadly representative of the applicant pool. Reviewers must be actively registered in the G5 system. Reviewers are then selected for competitions based on education and experience specific to each grant competition. Once a new reviewer candidate has applied, and it is determined that the reviewer’s background is appropriate for a competition, an Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) representative will contact that person to confirm availability to participate in a particular review. Non-selected peer reviewer applications remain in the reviewer database for future consideration. Interested persons must be deemed qualified for a particular reading, indicate their availability for a reading, and be confirmed as selected before they actually are considered to be a reviewer for a program.
Reviewers may be selected to serve as alternates for a competition review. On occasion, an emergency may hinder a reviewer from completing the review process. Each competition selects a few alternate to ensure the review process can continue when that happens. Alternate reviewers are expected to participate in all scheduled orientation meetings, and to remain available throughout the review to step in if the need arises. Alternate reviewers are compensated for their time spent on the competition review.TOP
3. What are the qualifications and our expectations of peer reviewers?
We seek a diverse group of people with expertise in a variety of relevant areas and ability to objectively assess the quality of grant applications. Reviewers are held to high standards of writing and the paramount responsibility of preserving the integrity of the review (by omitting or reporting potential bias, or conflicts of interest). Reviewers should be comfortable reading a large volume of material in a defined period of time and be capable of providing in-depth individual analysis, and/or participating in small group discussions about the applications.
- A Bachelor’s degree is required. However, a Master’s or Doctorate degree is preferred for most programs.
- Minimal two years professional or managerial experience in education, or experience and training relevant to the selected program, such as a background in STEM, innovation, and emerging technology fields.
- Ability to efficiently organize and evaluate information and prepare reports
- Ability to work independently and as a member of a diverse team of professionals
- Ability to work on task and adhere to deadlines
- Ability to travel to Washington, DC, depending on the grant program
- Access to a phone, computer, printer and the Internet
[Note, this position is reimbursed as a non-benefit, part-time contract non-federal employee.]
Further, we are especially interested in individuals with the following knowledge, experience, and qualifications:
- Quantitative Evaluation Experience
- What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Certified Reviewers
- Knowledge of Quantitative Evaluation Experience of Single Case, Group, Quasi-Experimental or Experimental Designed Studies
- Familiarity with Higher Education Programs and Policies
- Familiarity with Barriers to Student Retention and Completion
- Awareness of the Need for and Importance of Closing Education Equity Gaps
- Understanding of How to Use Data and Drive Student Success
- Awareness of Education Improvement Science Strategies
- International Education
- Teaching, research, and practical experience in international education
- Recent experience in administering international education programs or programs of a similar nature
- Research, and/or practical experience overseas in international education
- Area studies and/or foreign language specialization
When accessing the “Reviewer Specialization Information” page in the G5 ( www.g5.gov) system, select the "Preferences" tab, and use the dropdown list to choose those areas that best fit your skill set. This step helps us to identify qualified reviewers for specific OPE programs.TOP
4. What are the benefits of being a peer reviewer?
Participating in a review is an excellent professional development opportunity, as well as a chance to serve the education community. OPE provides discretionary grant training and review preparation, as well as technical support for each review. You will be exposed to new and innovative ideas in your field and engaged in the grant-making process, while meeting and networking with other experts in your profession. The review experience also provides an in-depth look at the work and efforts of a grant evaluation process; this provides perspective and skills that are likely also applicable in your other professional endeavors.
Peer reviewers will receive a flat fee honorarium and, in some cases, a stipend for supplies (paper and ink) 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, reviewers will be informed of the amount of the honorarium at the time of selection.TOP
5. What is the time commitment for participating in a review?
OPE’s grant application review process is a time-intensive and time-sensitive activity. The components of a review and an estimate for the amount of time each item takes are as follows:
- two to four hours for orientation conference calls, and an overview of instructions
- three to seven hours per application reviewed (reading, evaluating, scoring applications to include, completing required documents, entering assessments into the electronic system, participating in panel discussions, reviewing and certifying final forms)
- An estimate of the total time commitment ranges from 30 to 60 hours.
6. How do I apply to be a peer reviewer?
All peer reviewer applicants will need to have a G5 account to apply. If you are a new applicant and do not have a G5 account, you can create one via the G5 Home page at www.g5.gov. Just click on the "Not Registered? Sign up." link and follow these next steps:
- Upon logging in, select "My Profile" under the “Main” tab in the top navigation bar;
- Scroll to the bottom of the page, select “Reviewer” in the Available Type list, and click "Continue";
- Complete your reviewer profile tabs to the left of the page;
- Submit your resume through this online process. Please ensure your resume (maximum of five pages) includes a brief list of career highlights and/or outlines your specific expertise;
- Make sure to “Submit” your inputs upon completion.
If a new user has created a Login.gov account but not a G5 account, after signing in using Login.gov, the system will take you directly to the User Registration page in G5. From there, you would need to follow the steps above.
If you already have an account in G5, please follow these steps:
Log into G5 at www.g5.gov. If you do not recall your password, clink on the "Forgot Password" link and follow the password reset steps;
- Upon logging in, select "My Profile" under the "Main" tab and follow steps 2-4 from above.
If you need to add a resume, follow these steps:
- Click "Upload" and then "Browse" to select your Resume from your computer (it must be PDF only, and NOT password protected)
- Click "Perform Upload"
- Once uploaded, type a title in box marked "Title" (such as "Smith Resume 2023")
Again, if your education and expertise align with a particular competition, and there is need, an OPE representative will contact you by e-mail to check your availability to participate in the panel review.TOP
7. I currently work for the Federal Government. Can I serve as a peer reviewer for an OPE grant competition?
In accordance with the authorizing legislation for many programs, along with OPE policy, applications submitted for grant competitions administered by OPE are reviewed by a panel of non-Federal reviewers.TOP
8. Is there a deadline to register as a peer reviewer?
There is no registration deadline; however, OPE program competition schedules vary and reviewer selection is based on expertise and experience related to the specific program.TOP
9. Who do I contact if I have a question?
For questions about a particular OPE program, including questions about the reviewer experience and needs, please use the program contact information provided here https://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/find/edlite-forecast.html#chart3.
Should you have a question or need assistance specifically when using the G6 system, please contact G6 Helpdesk at 888-336-8930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.TOP