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Student Grant Reviewer Pilot Program

Welcome to the ACF Student Grant Reviewer Pilot Program. This pilot program is designed to give college undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to review and make recommendations on the award of grant applications for federal funding. Students will serve as a member of a grant review panel of subject matter experts who read the grant applications and prepare formal award recommendation reports. The students will be paid the same compensation received by the subject matter experts.

The success of this pilot program will serve a twofold purpose. First, ACF will hopefully gain access to a rich pool of creative talent that will add a fresh prospective to our grant review process. And second, students will have a rare opportunity to participate in a decision making process that will affect the lives of millions of Americans. Additionally, those students who are considering a career in public service or the non-profit community will gain valuable insight into the grant application and review process. This is truly a “Win-Win” situation for all.

The following six pilot schools are participating in the program:

American University
Point of Contact: Lara Ferraiolo
Assistant Director, Career Center
America University Career Center
Phone: 202-885-1798

Catholic University of America
Point of Contact: Bernita B. Smith
Director, Office of Admissions & Financial Aid
National Catholic School of Social Service
Phone: 202-319-5093

George Washington University
Point of Contact: Philip Flaherty
Employer Relations Coordinator
Phone: 202-994-8633

Georgetown University
Point of Contact: Maria Snyder
Grants Administrator
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 202-687-5578

Howard University
Point of Contact: Katie McGraw
Grants Administrator
Phone: 202-806-6205

University of Maryland
Point of Contact: Johnetta Davis
Associate Dean
Graduate Recruitment, Retention and Diversity
Phone: 301-405-4183

Please refer any questions about the program to:

J. Blair Hayes
Procurement Advisor
Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Aerospace Building, 6th Floor East
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington D.C. 20447
Office Phone: (202) 401-5404
Fax Number: (202) 401-5450

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Build Your Future: Become an ACF Student Grant Reviewer

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) provides national leadership and directions to plan, merge, and coordinate the nationwide administration of comprehensive and supportive programs for vulnerable children and families.

Each year, ACF oversees and finances a broad range of programs for children and families, including Native Americans, persons with developmental disabilities, refugees, and legalized aliens to help them develop and grow toward a more independent, self-reliant life. These programs, carried out by state, county, city, and Tribal governments and public and private agencies, are designed to promote stability, economic security, responsibility, and self-sufficiency.

What is it like to be an ACF Student Grant Reviewer?

Grant reviewing is tough and demanding but incredibly rewarding. Important decisions are in your hands and the hands of your panel members. Grant reviewers accept the responsibilities for each application assigned to them. You will spend the first part of your week doing a lot of reading and note taking; the latter part of your week will involve intelligent debate, critical thinking, and writing. You bring it all to the table: your comments, insight, and expertise as a student or post-graduate. You come away with the knowledge of what it truly takes to communicate with a diverse group of people - diverse in background, age, and perspective. In the end, you will know your work and the work of your fellow grant reviewers assisted ACF to make funding decisions which will benefit the children and families of America.

Why become an ACF Grant Reviewer?

Earn While You Learn - Compensation* will vary by grant program

Reach Out - Connect with other people in your area of expertise

Make an Impact - Contribute to the process of choosing the best projects for funding

Build Your Future and Your Resume - Companies will value your tremendous practical knowledge of Federal grant programs

Personal Knowledge - Find out what it takes to write successful grant applications!

* Compensation may be subject to income tax. Form 1099 will be issued to all grant reviewers.

What Kinds of Grant Programs Might I Review?

ACF offers a variety of grant programs:

Children's Bureau provides grants to programs that support the prevention of child abuse and neglect and promote adoption awareness, abandoned infant adoption, and healthy marriage.

Child Care Bureau provides grants to programs that support research projects conducted by graduate students.

Family and Youth Services Bureau provides grants to programs that support Street Outreach projects, Basic Center shelters for runaway and homeless youth, and Community-Based Abstinence Education.

Office of Head Start provides grants to programs that support Head Start and Early Head Start providers, Research Partnerships, and specialized discretionary programs for initiatives like Oral Health and Responsible Fatherhood.

Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation provides grants that support research focused on the efficiency of programs to improve the economic and social well-being of children and families such as Head Start and Early Head Start programs, child and family services, and healthy marriage.

Administration for Developmental Disabilities provides grants to programs that support Projects of National Significance. These projects support the development of national and state policies that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion in all facets of community life of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Administration for Native Americans provides grants to programs that support the self-sufficiency of Tribes, Alaska Native Villages, Native Hawaiians, and America Pacific Islanders such as, Social and Economic Development Strategies, Native Language Preservation and Maintenance, and Environmental Regulatory Enhancement.

Office of Child Support Enforcement provides grants to public and private non-profit organizations for research and demonstrative projects that improve the economic and emotional support of children.

Office of Community Services provides grants to programs that support a range of human and economic development services which ameliorate the causes and characteristics of poverty and assist persons in need, such as the Compassion Capital Fund, Urban and Rural Community Economic Development, and Assets for Independence.

Office of Family Assistance provides grants to programs that support fatherhood activities, responsible parenting, and economic stability, such as Promoting Responsible Fatherhood.

Office of Refugee Resettlement provides grants to programs that support Refugee Services and promote assistance to refugees and other special populations in obtaining economic and social self-sufficiency in the U.S.

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What General Job Responsibilities Must I Meet?

  • Post-graduate or currently enrolled (part- or full-time) in an accredited college or university
  • Read and evaluate approximately 1,000 pages of typed text over a six-day period
  • Discuss, write, and share objective, evaluative comments based on knowledge and the criteria of the grant. You will provide much more that just your opinion
  • Be a working team member. Engage in discussion, bridge differences, and synthesize your panel members' evaluative comments
  • Honor confidentiality standards. Only discuss applications with your panel members

What is the Application Process?

Potential reviewers should e-mail their resume and writing sample (Word, WordPerfect, PDF, .rtf) to E-mailing is preferred. If you do not wish to e-mail your information, mail it to:

Administration for Children and Families Operations Center
ATTN: ACF Student Reviewer Submission
118 Q Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002-2132

Include in your resume:

  1. The best way to contact you
  2. Your major/minor, areas of study, and a good description of your coursework or practicum
  3. Work and volunteer dates and experience
  4. A list of published or non-published papers, awards, and honors
  5. Foreign languages and proficiency
  6. Interests and hobbies

Include a three-paragraph writing sample titled "My Best (or Worst) College Experience Working in Student Groups"

What if I Have Questions or Need Help with the Application Process?

Call the Administration for Children and Families Student Reviewer Help Line at 1-888-289-8442 or TTY 711, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) Monday - Friday

Areas of Study

If you don't see your area of study on this list - that's OK - include something similar or provide your own.

  • Applied research
  • Assessment
  • Cash/benefits assistance
  • Child abuse
  • Child care and child care development
  • Child care policies
  • Child care programs and practices
  • Child protective services
  • Child support services
  • Community-based services
  • Community organizers/grassroots
  • Curriculum development
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Diversity or cross-cultural issues
  • Drug addiction
  • Early childhood development
  • Early Head Start
  • Economic development
  • Emotional/behavioral disorder
  • English as a second language
  • Environment
  • Evaluation
  • Faith-based services
  • Family violence prevention
  • Gang prevention/intervention
  • Head Start
  • Independent living/adolescent development
  • Infant/toddler education or services
  • Kinship care
  • Language preservation
  • Law
  • Literacy
  • Male involvement/fatherhood
  • Marriage counseling/research
  • Marriage education
  • Medicine/nursing
  • Mentoring
  • Minority issues
  • Native American
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational therapy
  • Parenting, family strengthening, or healthy marriage
  • Peer services
  • Personal finance
  • Physical therapy
  • Pregnant or parenting teens
  • Preventive health
  • Program evaluation
  • Psychology
  • Qualitative research
  • Refugee assistance
  • Research and evaluation
  • Research partnerships
  • Runaway youth/homeless youth
  • School administration
  • Shelter/foster care for unaccompanied alien and refugee children
  • Social services
  • Special education
  • Speech pathology
  • Street outreach
  • Substance abuse
  • Technical assistance
  • Tribal governments
  • Victims of trafficking and torture
  • Volunteer programs
  • Welfare to work/employment assistance
  • Welfare/welfare reform
  • Youth advocacy


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Last Updated: November 24, 2003