Grant Review Opportunities

SAMHSA's three Centers are always looking for grant peer review professionals who can evaluate applications for discretionary grants.

Peer Reviewer Experience and Background

SAMHSA chooses peer reviewers based on their knowledge, education, and experience.

Preferred Skills and Experience

SAMHSA peer reviewers must:

  • Have related program experience and education
  • Be able to analyze grant applications effectively against specific criteria
  • Be able to clearly express their evaluations in writing
  • Be interested in contributing to the advancement of knowledge

Preferred Backgrounds

SAMHSA is interested in potential peer reviewers with knowledge and backgrounds in:

  • Mental health services, with a knowledge of community-based systems of care and services for adults with serious mental illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbances
  • Substance abuse prevention, with expertise or experience working with activities that discourage substance abuse as well as behaviors that increase the risk of substance abuse
  • Substance abuse treatment, with expertise in evidence-based, effective substance abuse treatment services, programs, and activities

Time Commitment and Compensation

Time commitments vary, depending on the grants under review and the number assigned. Note that any time commitment will require a concentrated focus over a short period of time, usually about two weeks.

Reviewers will receive taxable compensation for their services.

Peer Reviewer Requirements

Prospective peer reviewers must be:

  • Willing and able to provide written and oral comments based on their professional knowledge, not their personal opinion
  • Expert in the subject area to be reviewed

They must also:

  • Be able to listen attentively to the input of other reviewers
  • Engage in discussion
  • Bridge differences
  • Work with other reviewers to synthesize comments, especially when resolving discrepancies in scoring

In addition, potential peer reviewers must have the highest level of personal standards to:

  • Ethically review proprietary information
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Avoid any conflict of interest

How to Apply

Prospective peer reviewers should visit the main grants page to learn about current Requests for Applications (RFAs) and find out more about the topic areas. If you have specific, documented experience in these areas, it will greatly increase the likelihood that SAMHSA may select you as a peer reviewer. 

Online Application Form

For SAMHSA to consider you as a peer grant reviewer, complete the peer reviewer online application form.

You may support your application by including one additional document. This optional document should list and describe your specific experiences and area(s) of expertise from the past 5-10 years that relate to current RFAs.

What Happens After Submission

Applications and materials are reviewed. Applicants may be vetted via conference call to further determine qualifications and suitability as a peer reviewer. Once approved, new peer reviewers are entered into the SAMHSA reviewer database.

Last Updated: 02/04/2014