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Peer Review Opportunities

Become a Peer Reviewer

What should I expect as a grant reviewer for a federal agency?

For a helpful overview of what to expect when you become a grant reviewer for almost any federal agency, check out How To Become a Grant Reviewer from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Why does ACL use peer review?

ACL uses a peer review process to evaluate grant proposals because it is required by federal regulation. The agency is constantly expanding and maintaining its pool of potential reviewers, so that all of our applicants continue to have their proposals reviewed by the best available experts in the field.

How is the peer review process conducted?

ACL peer review panels are conducted via teleconference. Panels are typically composed of five to seven individuals who have the required skills, training, and/or expertise to evaluate the content of applications submitted under specific priorities. Using competition-specific evaluation criteria provided by ACL, reviewers score and comment on applications through a web-based scoring system. Panels typically meet for three days to discuss submitted applications.

When does ACL conduct the peer review process?

ACL assembles peer review panels based on the expertise that it needs for specific competitions, which take place at different times throughout the fiscal year. If a peer reviewer's skills, training, or expertise corresponds to the topical area of a grant competition, ACL would contact the review about eight weeks before the panel is scheduled to meet. During this initial contact, ACL determines a reviewer's interest and availability to serve on the panel.

What happens if you are chosen to participate in the peer process?

If ACL chooses you to serve on a peer review panel, we strongly recommend you view NIDILRR's Online Peer Reviewer Orientation

Additional questions can be directed to

What do I need to do to become a peer reviewer for ACL?

To be considered for the ever-expanding pool of ACL's potential peer reviewers, please send your request and current resume to If you are interested in becoming a peer reviewer specifically for the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), please register and upload your CV into the Reviewer Recruitment Module (RRM) at

Last modified on 02/16/2022

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