How to Become an Application Reviewer

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) seeks subject matter experts as peer reviewers to objectively evaluate grant applications against the published criteria in its competitive grant programs’ Requests for Applications (RFA’s). Apply to be an AMS grant reviewer.

What is the Review Process?

A series of peer review panels that consist of three reviewers in which one reviewer serves as Panel Chair. Peer review panels evaluate each application assigned to them using instructions prepared by AMS 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 AMS 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.

What is the Time Commitment?

Reviewers should expect to commit approximately six weeks to complete the reviews, including the consensus team review. The work load will not require a full-time commitment. Upon successful completion of the reviews and AMS acceptance of all panel reports, non-federal reviewers will receive an honorarium of $200 per application reviewed, and panel chairs will receive an additional bonus for their role.

How are Reviewers Selected?

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

Is Training Required?

Reviewers will be required to participate on a 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?

No travel is required. All review communications will be done by via phone and email. Non-federal reviewers will receive a stipend.