FY 2022 Call for Peer Reviewers

CONTEXT: The U.S. Department of Education (the Department), Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Charter School Programs (CSP) Division provides funding to 1) create promising new public charter schools, 2) replicate high-quality public charter schools, and 3) disseminate information about effective practices within charter schools. The CSP Division seeks individuals from diverse backgrounds and regions to serve as peer reviewers to assess Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 grant applications. Specifically, we are seeking peer
reviewers for grants to:

  • State Entities [SE Grants] (Assistance Listing Number (ALN) 84.282A),
  • Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools [Developer Grants] (ALN 84.282B and 84.282E), and
  • National Dissemination [ND Grants] (ALN 84.282T)

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, including but not limited to:

  • Charter management organizations
  • Charter school administration and operation
  • Charter school assessment and evaluation
  • Charter school authorizing and accountability
  • Charter school development or leadership
  • Charter school professional development
  • Charter school planning, program design, and implementation
  • Charter school policy and research
  • Charter school research and evaluation
  • Charter school technical assistance and resources
  • High-quality charter school start-up and expansion
  • State Entity Charter Schools Program grant administration

In addition to the specialized backgrounds described above, 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 for each grant program.  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.

Grant reviews will be held  August 8 – September 2, 2022.

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

Tools: Each peer reviewer must have access to the Internet, a phone, and a computer.  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 CharterSchools@ed.gov by July 29, 2022.  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 CSP via email at CharterSchools@ed.gov no later than July 29, 2022, to ensure we can properly facilitate the application process.