How to Become an FLSP Application Reviewer

Apply to be an FLSP grant reviewer | Apply by December 4, 2023 

The USDA seeks a diverse pool of subject matter experts to serve as peer reviewers who will objectively evaluate grant applications using the criteria in Notice of Funding Opportunity (pdf) for the Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program (FLSP). FLSP will award up to $65 million to support agricultural employers in implementing robust labor protections and benefits that promote safe, healthy work environments for both U.S. workers and workers hired under the seasonal H-2A visa program. 

USDA is specifically seeking reviewers with knowledge and expertise in: 

  • On-farm operations and familiarity with agricultural business 
  • Agricultural employment practices 
  • Knowledge or direct experience of the H-2A program 
  • Small/mid-size business development 
  • Farmworker-led or worker-driven organizations 
  • Retaliation protections for vulnerable populations 
  • Experience using USDA programs; understanding of the systems and capacity necessary to manage a federal grant, including financial controls and data management practices. 
  • Economic development in rural, hard-to-reach, or underserved populations or geographies 
  • Employment and labor law 
  • Immigration and experience working with migrant workers 
  • Workplace issues facing farmworkers, such as health and safety protections, heat stress, pesticide safety, gender violence, migration patterns and challenges, discrimination, access to medical care, education, and housing, etc. 
  • Cultural- and language-appropriate communication
  • Farmworker-led or worker-driven organizations 
  • Retaliation protections for vulnerable populations 
  • Experience using USDA programs; understanding of the systems and capacity necessary to manage a federal grant, including financial controls and data management practices. 

What is the Time Commitment? 

Reviewers should expect to commit approximately two to three weeks (January 23, 2024, through February 14, 2024) to complete the review process including the consensus team review. The peer review process will consist of four components:  

  • Review Panel Training (Tuesday, January 23 – one 2-hour session, time yet to be determined 
  • Individual Review Period (reviewers will have access to their assigned applications after training completion) 
  • Panel Review Meetings (in two sessions, approximately Jan 23-31 and Feb 1-7 
  • Panel Summary Report (completed only by Panel Chairs) 

Prospective reviewers must make a commitment to be available for the entire review period; however, the workload will not require a full-time commitment. Each small panel will work to schedule mutually agreeable times to hold review meeting discussions. Panelists should be prepared to commit between 30-60 hours to this grant review process.   


Upon successful completion of the reviews and USDA acceptance of all panel reports, non-federal reviewers will receive a reasonable honorarium based on time required to review applications and panel participation time. Reviewer honorarium may be prorated if panelists do not complete review of their assigned applications and review panel sessions. Panel Chairs will receive an additional bonus for their role.  

How Do I Apply to be a Reviewer? 

If you are interested in serving as an FLSP reviewer: 

  1. Complete the FLSP Recruitment Questionnaire by December 4, 2023; 
  2. Create (or update) your Reviewer Recruitment Module (RRM) profile (if you do not already have an existing profile); and 
  3. Submit a copy of your resume and abbreviated bio into the Reviewer Review Module (RRM) 

How are Reviewers Selected? 

Applying to be a reviewer does not guarantee your selection. Reviewers are selected based on their qualifications, experience, and corresponding fit with the applications. Reviewers may include employees from public and private sector, state universities and colleges, including the land grant institutions, state departments of agriculture, federal government, retirees, and other appropriate backgrounds as determined by USDA.  

Any prospective reviewers with a conflict of interest will be ineligible to serve as a reviewer for this grant. For example: if you have assisted in the preparation of an FLSP application, regardless of financial interest in the success or failure of that application; if you have agreed to serve, or you have been offered a position as an employee, advisor, or consultant for the FLSP program; or if 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. 

What is the Review Process? 

A series of peer review panels, of at least three individuals, including the Panel Chair, will evaluate the applications assigned to them using instructions prepared by USDA officials. Reviewers evaluate their assigned applications individually and then confer with other panel members for team discussions that will derive a consensus review. The consensus review serves as the basis for awarding and allocating grant funds and focuses on strengths and weaknesses of each proposal. 

What Will Be My Role as a Reviewer? 

If you are selected as an individual reviewer, you are responsible to provide constructive and helpful comments, actively participate during consensus discussions, and meet deadlines established by USDA and panel chair.  If you are selected as a panel chair you are responsible to serve as an individual reviewer and coordinate and lead the consensus review of applications and compile the consensus results through the peer review system. 

Is Training Required? 

Reviewers will be required to participate in a two-hour training session, via web/conference call, prior to reviewing the applications. Panel Chair leaders will receive additional training. 

Is There Anything Else I Need to Know? 

All aspects of the review are managed in the Application Review Module (ARM) System. Panel discussions are led by the Panel Chair and conducted through a combination of teleconferences and email correspondence. No travel is required. Non-federal reviewers will receive a stipend.