Investing in Innovation (i3) Call for Peer Reviewers

CONTEXT: In the FY 2016 Development grant competition, the Investing in Innovation (i3) Program seeks to support innovative K-12 education projects that have the potential to serve as models of best practice for increasing student achievement among high needs students.

WHO: i3 now seeks principals and other school leaders, teachers, foundation officers, university faculty, researchers, professional development providers, and other individuals who have significant K-12 education experience to serve as reviewers in the following priority areas:

Promoting Diversity Improving School Climate Improving Students’ Non-Cognitive Skills and Behaviors
  • Familiarity with socioeconomic integration strategies within and across districts
  • Expertise in racial, cultural, and socioeconomic issues that affect student achievement
  • Expertise in district recruitment, enrollment, and application policies and practices
  • Familiarity with issues such as school attendance boundaries, district choice policies, magnet school or charter school admissions, and transfer policies
  • Expertise in programs to improve school climate and culture as a means of improving student outcomes
  • Familiarity with school discipline policies and practices and how they affect disparities in student achievement
  • Understanding of the root causes of disciplinary problems
  • Familiarity with alternative discipline practices and behavioral supports
  • Familiarity with strategies to improve students’ development of skills and behaviors such as academic mindset, perseverance, self-regulation, social and emotional skills, and approaches to learning
  • Familiarity with school policies and practices to promote such skills and behaviors
  • Familiarity with research on the relationship between non-cognitive skills and learning.


Implementing College and Career Ready Standards and Assessments Improving Rural Education Evaluation Design/Research
  • Familiarity with school practices to implement college and career-ready standards and associated assessments.
  • Experience implementing rigorous standards in instruction
  • Experience in using assessment data to improve instruction and student learning
  • Expertise in Implementing Programs in Rural Schools/Districts
  • Expertise in at least one of the four priority areas listed above (diversity, school climate, non-cognitive skills, or standards and assessments)
  • Expertise in research design and evaluation
  • Experience conducting RCTs, QED’s and other rigorous studies
  • Familiarity with What Works Clearinghouse standards


Low Performing Schools STEM
  • Familiarity with whole school reform models to improve overall school performance
  • Experience improving school leadership
  • Experience using professional development to improve the effectiveness of instructional practices
  • Experience creating a culture of high expectations; using data to improve instruction; addressing non-academic factors that affect student achievement, and/or improving parent/family engagement
  • Experience with efforts to Increase access to rigorous and engaging STEM coursework
  • Expertise in integrating authentic STEM experiences across a variety of settings
  • Familiarity with identifying those things that are pressing needs for STEM education

The Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for each i3 competition includes a complete description of each priority and explains in more detail what i3 is looking to fund. You can access these respective documents below:

  • Development:   NIA
  • Validation:   NIA
  • Scale-up:   NIA

Instructions to Apply to Become a Reviewer

  • To serve as a reviewer, you must register as a reviewer and submit your resume in G5 ( For support with this process, it is recommended that you consult the PowerPoint instructions (PPT) . If you need additional help, you may contact the G5 helpdesk at or call 1-888-336-8930. When the system prompts you for your areas of specialization, select all that are applicable to you, but please ensure you select at least one of the aforementioned i3 priority areas such as: “School Climate,” “Rural Education,” etc. Please note that registering in G5 does not guarantee that you will be selected as a reviewer.
  • To expedite consideration of your resume, you may also send a copy (maximum of 5 pages) to However, you cannot be selected unless you register in G5.
  • On your resume, include bullet points highlighting your expertise in each priority area in which you wish to be considered.
  • Please also indicate on your resume whether you have previously been an i3 reviewer, whether you have worked on a funded i3 grant project, or whether you have served as a project director or staff person on another recent Department of Education grant.
  • Please note: you are not eligible to be a reviewer if you will be applying to the competition, if you will be involved in the preparation of a grant application, or if you would stand to benefit from an application that were to receive funding in this new competition. You are eligible, however, if you are a current or past i3 grantee and are not submitting a new application.


  • Dates of the Development pre-application review are approximately June 2 to June 28, 2016. Development full application review will take place approximately August 29-September 23, 2016. Validation/Scale-up review will occur approximately July 25-August 18, 2016.
  • You will be expected: a) to participate in a one-hour orientation webinar; b) to read and review all assigned applications; to participate in approximately three (3) panel discussion conference calls (each several hours in length); and to complete revisions of your reviews based on the panel discussion. All reviews will be submitted in the Department’s online G5 system.
  • For the Development i3 pre-application review, reviewers will receive approximately 15-20 applications (7-page narratives), and payment will be $75 per application after successful completion of all required tasks.
  • For the Development full application, Validation, or Scale-up competitions, reviewers will receive approximately 8-12 applications (25-50 page narratives), and payment will be $200 per application after successful completion of all required tasks.

Reviewer Selection

Reviewers who are selected to participate will be contacted by i3’s contractor, Longevity, and asked for additional information about contact information, availability, and potential conflicts of interest. Those not selected will remain in the i3 reviewer pool for future competitions.

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: