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How to become a SAMHSA Grant Reviewer

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

Peer Reviewer Experience and Background

SAMHSA chooses peer reviewers based on their knowledge, skills, and expertise.

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 in the field of Behavioral Health

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 use disorder as well as behaviors that increase the risk of substance use disorder
  • Substance abuse treatment, with expertise in evidence-based, effective substance use disorder treatment services, programs, and activities

Time Commitment and Compensation

  • Reviewers will be needed annually during the peak review season from January – July.
  • Time commitments vary depending on the grants under review and the number of assigned applications. The peer review process will allow about two weeks for review of assigned applications.
  • All reviews will be coordinated via email, phone, and the online review system.
  • All new reviewers will be required to take an online reviewer training prior to participating in the review process.
  • Reviewers will receive $140 per application reviewed and returned to SAMHSA in the timeline specified for each program.

Peer Reviewer Requirements

Prospective peer reviewers must be:

  • Willing and able to provide written and oral comments based on their professional knowledge
  • Experts in the subject area to be reviewed

They must also:

  • Be able to listen attentively to the input of other reviewers
  • Engage in discussion
  • Be willing to 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 Notice of Funding Opportunity Announcements (NOFOs) and find out more about the topic areas. If you have specific, documented experience in these areas, it may greatly increase the likelihood that SAMHSA will select you as a peer reviewer.

Application Form

For SAMHSA to consider you as a peer grant reviewer, you can submit the following documents to Reviewer@samhsa.hhs.gov:

Last Updated

Last Updated: 10/27/2021