Are you qualified to review CS grant proposals? Uncle Sam needs you (Again!)

The US Department of Education just invited applications for the Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program. As was recently shared with the community, this year’s application gives computer science an exclusive “competitive priority” within a major grant program, with a focus on increasing diversity and equity in access. The computer science education community is thrilled about the new priority and wildly optimistic about what it can do for expanding access to K-12 computer science education. But, we need help from computer science experts.

As Code.org and others analyzed the results of the FY 2018 grant process, consulted with folks at the Department of Education, and talked to those who applied for various federal grants last year, it became clear that the Department needs more peer reviewers who know what rigorous K-12 computer science education and professional development is and will recognize it in a grant application. The Department has — once again — asked the computer science community to help them grow their pool of grant proposal reviewers to include individuals with expertise in computer science education.

Who are they looking for?

The Education Innovation and Research program has summarized what they are looking for in peer reviewers:

  • Persons who are school principals or other school leaders (such as curriculum coordinators or coaching specialists), teachers, district leaders, foundation officers, university faculty (who work with schools), researchers, evaluators, professional development providers, or other individuals who have significant and current K-12 education experience.
  • Persons who have administrative, project management, or some other leadership experience which helps them to bridge their understanding of what happens in the classroom with what it takes to implement, sustain, and grow new educational programs.
  • Persons who have wide-ranging experience, and who can discriminate across a variety of K-12 areas to identify the ideas that are most promising vs. those which are commonplace or less likely to be effective.
  • Persons who have direct K-12 experience and expertise in at least two of the content areas listed here.
  • Persons who are excellent writers, good critical thinkers, and committed to completing assigned tasks in a professional and timely manner.

Interested? Good!

The EIR program has asked those interested in reviewing proposals to send a copy of their resume to EIRpeerreview@ed.gov. If selected, ED will compensate you for the time you spend reviewing applications. Remember, though, you won’t be able to be a reviewer if you will be applying to the competition, if you’ll be involved in the preparation of a grant application, or if you would benefit from an application that would receive funding. There’s more detail on the qualifications and the process in this doc.

We hope you’ll consider this opportunity

ED will be announcing new grant competitions in coming weeks and months, and we want them to have the computer science experts they need to fund the best applications they receive.