Projects & People: NSF Seeking DR K-12 Review Panelists

On a regular basis, NSF seeks reviewers for DR K-12 proposal submissions. Review panels are typically held approximately 3-6 months after the proposal due date. If you are interested, please send your resume to Elizabeth VanderPutten with the subject line: DR K-12 Reviewers. You cannot review if you are listed as personnel on a DR K-12 proposal that has been submitted for review in response to a current solicitation. NSF chooses reviewers based on the content of the proposals they receive.

Why Serve on an NSF Panel?

  • Gain first-hand knowledge of merit review process.
  • Learn about common problems with proposals.
  • Discover strategies to write strong proposals.
  • Meet colleagues, and NSF Program Officers managing the programs related to your research.

Role of the Peer Review Panel

  • Discuss the merits of the proposal with other panelists who reviewed the proposal.
  • Make a panel recommendation to NSF on whether the proposal should be funded.
  • Write a summary proposal review that provides: 1) A review of the proposal and a recommendation on funding and 2) Feedback (strengths and weaknesses) to the proposers
  • Some panels may be supplemented with ad hoc reviewers if additional expertise is needed.

Role of the Peer Reviewer

  • Review and consider all proposal materials.
  • Make independent written comments on the quality of the proposal content.
  • Each proposal is reviewed by at least three individual peer reviewers.

How to Become a Reviewer

  • Contact the NSF Program Officer(s) of the program(s) that fit your expertise.
  • Introduce yourself and your research experience.
  • Tell them you want to become a reviewer for their program.
  • Ask them when the next panel will be held.
  • Send a 2-page CV with current contact information.
  • Stay in touch if you don’t hear back right away.
  • You may not become a reviewer if you are listed as personnel on a proposal currently submitted for review.

Reviewer Selection - Types of reviewers recruited:

  • Reviewers with specific content expertise
  • Reviewers with general STEM or education expertise

Reviewer Selection - Sources of reviewers:

  • Program Officer
  • Officer’s knowledge of the research area
  • References listed in proposal
  • Recent professional society programs
  • Computer searches of S&E journal articles related to the proposal
  • Reviewer recommendations included in proposal or sent by email, i.e., proposers are invited to either suggest persons they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal or identify persons they would prefer not review the proposal.
  • Self-nomination

Funding Decisions

  • NSF Program Officers make funding recommendations guided by the panel summary, program goals and portfolio considerations.
  • NSF Division Directors either concur or reject the program officer’s funding recommendations.
  • NSF’s Grants and Agreements Officers make the official award - as longs as:
    • The institution has an adequate grant management capacity.
    • The PI does not have overdue annual or final reports.
    • There are no other outstanding issues with the institution or the PI

DD = Division Director
DGA = Division of Grants and Agreements
GPG = Grant Proposal Guide

Here are a few descriptions of the panel review process. Please note that they are not specifically related to DR K-12, or limited to official NSF information.