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Grants 101

Application Review Process

After you successfully submit your application, it goes through the grant application review process, which generally consists of the following steps: application review, programmatic review (including peer review, if applicable), and financial review.

Applications are initially reviewed for registration information and completeness, ensuring that basic requirements, as described in the solicitation, are met.

If all basic requirements are met, the grant manager will then review the application to make sure the information presented is reasonable and understandable and that the activities proposed in the application are measurable, achievable, and consistent with program or legislative requirements as stated in the solicitation. The grant manager will also review the application to determine if it is responsive or non-responsive to the solicitation purpose areas.  For competitive discretionary solicitations, this next step may also include a peer review of the application. The results of this programmatic review are used in conjunction with other relevant factors to assess applications and make ultimate funding decisions.

Finally, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) conducts a financial review of all applications for discretionary awards. During this process, the fiscal integrity and financial capability of applicants is evaluated, proposed costs are examined, and a determination is made as to whether the budget and budget narrative accurately explain the project’s costs. The OCFO also determines whether these costs are reasonable, necessary, and allowable under applicable federal cost principles and agency regulations.

Get Involved

OJP actively seeks qualified individuals to join the pool of subject matter experts it calls upon to review the strengths and weaknesses of applications for grant funding. Whether you are selected to review applications for a particular solicitation is based on factors such as subject matter expertise, demographics (such as your position title and geographic location), and prior experience as a reviewer.

Consider the following—

  • The process is time sensitive and deadline driven. Generally, reviewers have 2-4 weeks to review and evaluate 10–30 applications and participate in a consensus call, webinar, or in-person peer review that lasts from 1-2 days.
  • The process involves significant, critical documentation to ensure that you are suitable for assignments and to avoid any conflicts of interest.
  • Reviews are conducted primarily in late winter and spring.
  • Compensation for non-federal reviewers is nominal, $125 per application.
  • The peer review panel’s input is valuable in assisting OJP with award decisions.

If you are interested, start the enrollment process by e-mailing OJP Peer Review.

Date Created: January 21, 2020