April 9, 2014

HRSA and SAMHSA are Seeking Qualified Objective Reviewers for Funding Opportunity Announcements HRSA-14-077 and HRSA-14-126

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) are seeking qualified OBJECTIVE REVIEWERS to read and evaluate grant proposals for the following FY 2014 grant competitions:

§  HRSA-14-077 Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Professionals
§  HRSA-14-126  Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Paraprofessionals

For the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) for Professionals/Paraprofessionals grant competitions, a background in one or more of the following disciplines/professions/content area is particularly helpful: behavioral health; mental health; violence prevention; children’s mental health; at-risk transitional-age youth; paraprofessional certificate programs; community health worker; outreach worker; social services aide; mental health worker; substance abuse/addictions worker; youth worker; promotora; peer paraprofessional; behavioral health workforce; substance abuse; addiction; doctoral-level clinical, counseling and school psychology schools and programs; experiential training; technical college, community college, graduate level social work, psychology, marriage and family therapy, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner and professional counseling; and doctoral-level clinical, counseling and school psychology internship programs.

The Division of Independent Review is responsible for managing objective reviews within HRSA. The BHWET Grant Application Objective Review Process is designed to ensure that each grant is awarded on the basis of how well the evaluation selection criteria are responded to.  Therefore, we rely on qualified, external peer reviewers to critically evaluate all submitted grant applications to ensure we receive objective and independent ratings. 

The objective review process consists of an orientation, evaluation and scoring of applications consistent with established selection criteria, written reviews of each application to support the scores, and discussions with other panelists.  The review process for each program is conducted electronically via the Internet, eliminating the need for any travel to Rockville, MD.  The following are essential in what we seek in objective reviewers and should be noted when applying as a reviewer:
  • proficient writing, listening, and speaking ability;
  • access to the internet, a phone, and a printer, and the ability to interact in a web-based environment;
  • superior analytical skills, including the ability to provide thoughtful, objective evaluations of proposals using the designated selection criteria;
  • relevant education, training, and/or experience in the subject area of the grant program, and knowledge of related evidenced-based programs and practices;
  • knowledge of and/or experience with program planning, implementation, and/or research and evaluation processes; and
  • ability to work collegially with others in a team environment, and meeting established deadlines.
Also, please note that participation in the peer review process will require reviewers to determine if they have a conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict, in reviewing assigned grant applications.  A peer reviewer is considered to have a conflict of interest when the reviewer, or certain individuals and entities with which the reviewer has a relationship, has a financial interest in the outcome of the competition for which he/she is serving as a reviewer.
If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, please register at https://rrm.grantsolutions.gov/AgencyPortal/hrsa.aspx . Need help with registration? You may contact RRMTechAssistance@hrsa.gov . You will receive a response within 24 hours (or Monday morning if you send your message on a weekend). Be sure to include a phone number where you can usually be reached during normal business hours.

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