Proposal Review

Be a Peer Reviewer

Help to ensure the validity and integrity of criminal justice research by becoming a peer reviewer for NIJ.

On this page learn about:

Grant Application Peer Review

Proposals received under a solicitation are reviewed by independent peer panels comprised of reviewers from academia, industry and government organizations, along with practitioners from federal, state and local agencies. Once reviewers have completed evaluations, NIJ Program Managers recommend individual proposals to the NIJ Director, who makes final award decisions.

Review panels. Since 2012, NIJ has used two kinds of peer review panels for grant applications. Most proposals are reviewed by ad hoc panels, but proposals submitted under some solicitations are reviewed by standing panels.

Learn more about the standing review panels.

Award notification. If you are a successful applicant and your project is selected for funding, NIJ will notify you of the award no later than September 30 of the calendar year via the Grants Management System (GMS), regardless of whether the application came through GMS or If you are unsuccessful, NIJ will issue you a rejection letter by December 30 of the calendar year.

Learn more about NIJ's current peer review process in sections "III. Conflict of Interest — Peer Review" and "IV. Peer Reviewers Final Scores and Consensus Review" of Guidelines on the Administration and Management of NIJ Grant Programs (pdf, 23 pages).

Unsolicited Proposals

Although you may submit unsolicited proposals, you are discouraged from doing so unless you have discussed the concept with NIJ staff and been asked to submit a proposal that does not fit into a specific solicitation. Unsolicited proposals may receive either an external peer review or an internal review. If the proposal fits into an already established solicitation category, it will be returned with a recommendation to resubmit it under that solicitation.

Date Modified: January 10, 2012