Panelist Information

NIFA convenes peer review panels comprised of research scientists and other subject matter experts to review competitive grant proposals.

Panels may be conducted via teleconference, at off-site hotels, or on-site at the NIFA building in Washington, DC. Peer review panels may take anywhere from a few hours to a week to complete. Panelists are asked to read proposals and prepare written reviews prior to the panel meeting.

Becoming a Panelist

Those interested in serving on a peer-review panel may contact the National Program Leader listed in the Request for Application (RFA).

Selected panelists are notified and provided with all relevant planning and travel information. Please do not make travel plans prior to speaking with a NIFA representative. 

Peer Review Panel Team

Panels generally consist of the following roles:

  • Panelist – Reviews proposals and enters scores and comments into NIFA’s online system prior to the meeting. Panelists participate in panel discussions to reach a group consensus on proposal rankings. Panelists also submit written summaries of the discussion. 
  • Panel Manager (PM) – Determines review assignments, oversees submission of reviews, and facilitates the panel meeting.
  • National Program Leader (NPL) – Exercises principal responsibility for panel proceedings and award administration. The NPL considers the panel’s consensus on rankings to make funding recommendations. 
  • Program Specialist (PS) – Coordinates NIFA team activity and assists with proposal review and summary logistics. 

Program Assistant (PA) and Support Supervisor – Responsible for meeting logistics. The PA will contact panelists and make travel arrangements.