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Peer Review

Do you have expertise in the areas of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking?  Do you care about the types of projects being supported by the Office of Violence Against Women?  If so, then consider becoming a peer reviewer.

What Is OVW Peer Review?

Every year, OVW receives thousands of applications requesting funding through our numerous discretionary grant programs.  To help us determine the best applications to support with our limited federal dollars, we turn to people with real on-the-ground experience working with survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  The peer review process provides an objective, independent review of applications. Peer reviewers identify areas of improvement including strengths and weaknesses for applications under review to assist OVW with its funding decisions. Peer review assessments are advisory in nature.

Who Are OVW Peer Reviewers?

OVW peer reviewers understand the importance of a survivor-centered approach and can make the necessary time commitment to objectively and fairly read and score applications. We prioritize recruitment of peer reviewers from diverse communities and geographical regions.

OVW peer reviewers may include victim advocates, judges, prosecutors, police officers, legal professionals, and others with expertise in areas such as tribal communities, colleges and universities, rural areas, urban areas, working with individuals with disabilities or older adults, and providing services to victims, including transitional housing services provided by culturally specific organizations and the faith community. While some peer reviewers are expert consultants on violence against women issues, the vast majority of peer reviewers are active practitioners or recent retirees from the professions mentioned above. To ensure that applications are reviewed by individuals with on-the-ground experience responding to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, OVW does not use professional peer reviewers.

OVW will provide reasonable accommodations for individuals seeking to take part in the peer review process.

What Are the Duties of a Peer Reviewer?

Selected peer reviewers will be assigned to a panel to review and evaluate up to 10 applications and participate in either a 3-day or 5-day in-person review conducted virtually or in Washington, DC.  Reviewers are required to independently review all assigned applications and then discuss them as a panel. Through the panel discussion, reviewers contribute to a detailed written consensus report for each application.

See our peer review guidelines (PDF)

Are Peer Reviewers Compensated?

OVW peer reviewers receive compensation in the amount of $200 per application read and scored. The experience of serving on a peer review panel provides reviewers with further non-monetary benefits in terms of professional experience and an opportunity to provide a valuable public service.

How Are Peer Reviewers Chosen?

There are several factors that determine the specific qualifications (i.e., area of expertise, profession, availability) and the number of peer reviewers needed to adequately conduct peer review. Prior experience as a peer reviewer is not required. If you are interested in becoming an OVW peer reviewer, please email a copy of your current resume or curriculum vitae and a completed Peer Reviewer Recruitment Form to

Whom Can I Contact If I Have Questions?

You can call us at 202-307-6026, or you can send us an email.

Updated January 5, 2023