FY 2023 Call for Peer Reviewers

CONTEXT:  The U.S. Department of Education (Department), Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Charter School Programs (CSP) Division seeks individuals with expertise in facilitating financing for charter schools and in charter school education to serve as peer reviewers to assess Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Credit Enhancement grant applications.     

Peer reviewers will receive an honorarium for their service.    

WHAT:  The Department’s discretionary grants peer review process utilizes non-federal, independent, qualified individuals to serve as peer reviewers. The peer review process is designed to identify and fund the highest quality applications and create opportunities for the general public to participate in government and gain insight into the federal funding process. The Department relies on its peer reviewers to use their professional experience, content knowledge, expertise, and judgment to evaluate and score submitted applications against the selection criteria published in the program’s Federal Register notice inviting applications. Scores from the peer reviewers are then rank ordered to inform the Department’s funding decisions. For increased transparency, the Department also shares the peer reviewer’s scores and comments with each applicant and the general public.     

WHO: The Department seeks peer reviewers from various educational backgrounds and professions with expertise in at least one of the following areas: 

  • Experience in a charter school setting; 
  • Knowledge of strategy & policy concerning charter schools; 
  • Experience with charter school accountability; 
  • Knowledge of charter school development & implementation; 
  • Experience with research & evaluation; 
  • Experience with facilitating financing by identifying potential lending sources, encouraging private lending, and other similar activities that directly promote lending to, or for the benefit of, charter schools; 
  • Experience with facilitating the issuance of bonds by charter schools, or by other public entities for the benefit of charter schools, by providing technical, administrative, and other appropriate assistance; 
  • Experience with guaranteeing and insuring leases of personal and real property; and 
  • Experience with guaranteeing, insuring, and reinsuring bonds, notes, evidences of debt, loans, and interests therein. 

Potential peer reviewers should also possess the following skills and attributes: high standards of analysis, strong evaluative writing, and the ability to assess grant applications with a high degree of objectivity.    

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

Availability: Peer reviewers for the competition will need to dedicate approximately 15-40 hours for the entire review process. The number of hours will vary depending on the number of applications received.   Peer reviewers will need to dedicate time to independently review applications, participate in panel discussions, and revise and finalize comments for each assigned application. Independent review includes reading, scoring, and writing evaluative comments. Peer reviewers will also participate in 90-minute training sessions before starting the independent review of applications.  Peer review for the CE grant will take place mid-July to early August 2023.     

Location: Virtual. All peer review activities will be conducted remotely.      

Tools: Each peer reviewer must have access to the Internet, a phone, a computer, and a printer. Peer reviewers must also have the ability to interact within the web environment, specifically Microsoft Word, G5 (www.G5.gov) (the Department’s enterprise grants management system), and Microsoft Teams.   

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: No individual with a conflict of interest will be permitted to serve as a peer reviewer for the CSP grant competitions. If you are affiliated with an organization that intends to apply for a grant, depending on the nature of your affiliation, you may not be eligible to serve as a peer reviewer.     

Prior to the start of all peer reviews in the Department, program staff are required to screen all potential peer reviewers for conflicts of interest. For example, as a reviewer you will have a conflict of interest if:  

  • You helped prepare an application, regardless of financial interest in the success or failure of that application;   
  • You have agreed to serve, or you have been offered a position, as an employee, advisor, or consultant on the project; and/or   
  • Your personal financial interest will be affected by the outcome of the competition, which would include any family members, employees, or associates of the project applying for funding.    

These and other potential conflicts of interest will be addressed on a case-by-case basis once identified/disclosed.     

INTERESTED?  If you would like to be considered for this role, please (1) register as a peer reviewer in the Department’s grants management system, G5, at www.g5.gov, and (2) submit an updated resume or curriculum vitae to charter.facilities@ed.gov by June 1, 2023. Peer reviewers will receive an honorarium for their service. The Department solicits reviewers without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.  

The Department will provide reasonable accommodations for a qualified individual with a disability so that individual might participate in the peer reviewer application process. If you require a reasonable accommodation to apply to participate in this review, please contact the CE program via email at charter.facilities@ed.gov no later than June 1, 2023 to ensure we can properly facilitate the application process.