FAQs | Peer Review

  1. Am I eligible to be a reviewer? 
  2. What’s the difference between Discipline and Regional Peer Review?
  3. How do I become a Fulbright Peer Reviewer?
  4. How many applications will I review?
  5. How much time should I spend on each application?
  6. When does my term begin and end?
  7. When does each review cycle begin?
  8. Can I still apply for a Fulbright Grant?
  9. How do I submit my comments? 
  10. How am I acknowledged for my service?
  11. Can I serve on a Discipline Committee and a Regional Committee in the same review year?

1. Am I eligible to be a reviewer? 

Anyone with an academic or professional background that corresponds with one of the numerous discipline committees or a specific world region and who is not currently applying for a Fulbright Scholar grant is eligible to apply.  Reviewer CVs are vetted by CIES staff before they are sent to the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), or the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for approval.  Academic discipline, demographics, age and gender balance are taken into consideration in determining the final composition of the review committees.

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2. What’s the difference between Discipline and Regional Peer Review?
Discipline committee members review applications online for a specific academic discipline across all world regions, and the committees do not meet in person.  Discipline reviewers base their comments and ratings upon the feasibility of an individual’s proposed project within the specified academic or professional discipline. 
Regional reviewers have had professional or academic experience in the specific world region of their assigned group of applications.  They review applications online and then meet once each year to discuss the proposed projects and how the projects fit the academic cultures of a specified world region.  Regional reviewers make recommendations based on their individual reviews and the comments of the Discipline committees. 

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3. How do I become a Fulbright Peer Reviewer?
If you are interested in becoming a Fulbright Scholar Peer Review committee member, please complete the following survey and submit an updated CV to PeerReview@iie.org.  A CIES staff member will follow up regarding the status of your appointment. 

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4. How many applications will I review as a Peer Review committee member?
Discipline:  The number of applications varies between each discipline and cannot be determined until the application deadline has passed.  Every effort is made to keep the application number at no more than 30 for Discipline Review Committees. 
Regional:  Application numbers vary depending on the region and year.  Generally Regional Reviewers can expect to review between 50 and 80 applications.

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5. How much time should I spend on each application?
Reviewers typically spend 30-45 minutes per application. 

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6. When does my term begin and end?
Committee members are asked to serve a term of three years but this may be subject to change depending on the number of applications in any given year. This is determined by a needs analysis conducted each year during which the overall pool of applications is compared to the awards available and committees are formed to ensure board representation of the applicant pool.  If there are no applications and a reviewer is not needed in a given field for a particular year, a member’s term may be extended for an additional year.

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7. When does each review cycle begin? 
The deadline for submission of applications for the Core Fulbright Scholar Program awards falls in the first week of August each year.*  Immediately following the application deadline, CIES staff members begin reviewing and processing each application for eligibility and completeness.  Once all eligible applications are deemed complete and assigned to the appropriate review committees, Discipline Peer Review Committee members are notified and the Discipline Peer Review cycle begins.  Regional Review Committees meet after the Discipline Peer Review cycle, starting in October and ending in December.
Discipline:  The Discipline Peer Review cycle begins mid-August of each year.  Reviewers are given two weeks to review the initial set of applications; they may also be asked to further comment on an application if consensus has not been reached, or to review additional applications submitted for later deadlines. 

Regional:  Regional Review Committee members are given access to the assigned applications roughly one month before the in-person committee meeting date.  Committee meetings begin in October each year and continue to meet through December. 

*Non-Core Program Awards: Some special awards such as International Education Administrator awards and Seminar awards have later deadlines, and special committees are convened to review those applications.  Please contact PeerReview@iie.org if you are interested in reviewing for one of these awards.

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8. Can I still apply for a Fulbright Grant as a reviewer?
Reviewers for the Fulbright Scholar Program may not submit an application for a Fulbright Scholar award until the next academic competition following completion of their service. Members may resign from service at any time in order to prepare a Fulbright application but are expected to wait until the following competition year to submit their application.

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9. How do I submit my comments? 
Fulbright Scholar Peer Review is conducted on a web-based program.  Reviewers have access to each application assigned to the committee, and are asked to read each application and provide comments based on provided criteria.  They are also asked to give a rating to each application.  Discipline Committee comments and ratings are released to Regional Committee members once the Discipline review is complete.  The comments and ratings may only be submitted online, so each reviewer must have access to the internet during the entire review cycle.

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10. How am I acknowledged for my service as a committee member? 
To recognize the time and commitment from each reviewer, CIES will submit a letter of acknowledgement to the reviewer’s administrators following each review cycle.  Each reviewer will also receive a certificate of participation. 

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11. Can I serve on a Discipline Committee and a Regional Committee in the same review year?
No, reviewers may only serve on one committee per cycle.  If you are asked to serve on a second committee, you may choose which commitment to defer until the end of the other committee’s term.

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