Be a Reviewer for the National Science Foundation

On behalf of the National Science Foundation (NSF), we invite you to register as a potential reviewer for the 2020 Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and STEM Education at accredited, non-profit US institutions of higher education. See the Program Solicitation, NSF 19-590 for more details on GRFP. NSF seeks a diverse mix of researchers and educators from a wide range of institutions, geographic locations, and disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds to serve as reviewers.

Serving as a GRFP Reviewer is an excellent opportunity to apply your research and career expertise to help identify future science and engineering leaders. It is also a great opportunity to become familiar with the NSF Merit Review process.

Following are key details of the 2020 GRFP application review process:

  • The entire review process will be conducted online.
  • Review of applications will begin late November/early December.
  • Virtual review panels will be held January 13-31, 2020. (Exact panel date will be specified in the formal invitation to serve as a reviewer)
  • Virtual panels are one-day, five-hour sessions. Reviewers will receive a flat rate payment of $200 for participation in the virtual panel. Reviewers who are Federal employees, citizens of foreign countries who are not permanent residents, and special visa holders are not eligible for this payment.
  • Reviewers evaluate applications similar to graduate school admission packages, that include a personal statement, graduate research statement, educational background information, transcripts, and reference letters.
  • Each reviewer will initially be assigned 15-20 applications, with a maximum of 25 applications.
  • Reviewers must attend an orientation webinar and be familiar with all reviewer training materials and requirements. This is required for both new and returning reviewers. Multiple dates will be provided to choose from for orientation participation.
  • Reviewers agree to abide by the terms and conditions of review service, including maintaining confidentiality about the entire review process.

Please note the following:

  • Conflict of Interest Policy: You may serve on the same panel as an application with which you have a conflict of interest (e.g., you are the applicants advisor, wrote a letter of reference for the applicant, etc.). However, you cannot participate in the evaluation or discussion related to any applicant with whom you have a conflict of interest. Inquiring about, or advocating for, any current GRFP applicant regardless of review panel is considered a conflict of interest and will result in immediate removal as a reviewer.
  • Invitation Status: Registering in the reviewer system or creating a profile does not commit you to serve as a GRFP Reviewer or guarantee you will be invited to serve. Invitations to serve will commence in October 2019.

If you would like to be considered as a 2020 GRFP reviewer, please visit to register in the reviewer system.

Please share this opportunity to review GRFP applications with your colleagues.

We thank you in advance for your interest. If you have any questions, please contact the GRF Operations Center at [email protected] or (866) 673-4737.
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