Great Schools for Connecticut


CTCSA seeking Peer Reviewers for grant applications

Posted 10/13/23
The Connecticut Charter School Association (CTCSA) is currently seeking subject matter experts as peer reviewers to objectively evaluate grant applications for the Great Schools for Connecticut (GSCT) Charter Schools Program (CSP) grant. Applications will be reviewed according to the rubric outlined in the GSCT program’s Request for Applications guide. The diverse Peer Review panel will possess expertise in charter school operation, governance, authorization, finance, administration, leadership, and law.

Overview of the Peer Review Process
The GSCT CSP grant is a competitive grant to be awarded to high-quality developers1 to open new charter schools and to expand and replicate existing charter schools in the state of Connecticut. Applicants seeking CSP funding under the GSCT program will submit a Request for Application (RFA) on SurveyMonkey Apply (the online GSCT application platform). Each application submitted will be reviewed by at least three and up to five peer reviewers. Reviewers must have the ability to participate in online virtual meetings. Peer reviewers will complete an online initial Conflict of Interest Check concurrent with the peer reviewer application process and a more specific Conflict of Interest Check before reviewing a grant application (also online). 

Reviewers will receive online training and instructions from the GSCT team before reviewing applications. Following this training peer reviewers will independently read and score applications for the grant, and provide detailed, objective, timely, and well-written comments supported by the application scoring rubric and by relevant laws and regulations. Each peer reviewer will review up to five applications and submit scores for all applications on the GSCT SurveyMonkey Apply platform. These scores will be used to recommend application approval or denial and will be shared with applicants. Comments on applications awarded a subgrant will be made publicly available.

Following the initial review peer reviewers will compile any remaining questions about an application and have the chance to join a brief capacity call with applicants. This call will be moderated by the GSCT team and held between December 11 - 15, 2023. This is essentially a short window of time to ask applicants clarifying questions before finalizing their score. Immediately after this call peer reviewers will submit final scores on SurveyMonkey Apply. Peer reviewer attendance during this call and submission of final scores shortly thereafter is mandatory.

Time Commitment and Honorarium
Depending on the number of applications, reviewers will need to dedicate between 15 - 30 hours from November 27th - December 8th, 2023 (estimated dates) to the review process. This time estimate includes (1) participation in a synchronous training session prior to evaluating the applications; (2) reading and scoring applications, and providing detailed written comments; and (3) participating in capacity interviews. No travel is required, training and reviews will be virtual. All review communications will be done via email, through the SurveyMonkey Apply portal, or via phone. 

Peer Reviewers will receive $100 for participating in the training and $500 for each application they are assigned. Reviewers must have the ability to participate in online virtual meetings.

How are Peer Reviewers Selected?
Applying to be a reviewer does not guarantee selection. Reviewers are selected based on their qualifications, experience, number of grant applications received and corresponding fit with the application review requirements.

>>>  Apply HERE to complete the GSCT Application Peer Reviewer form  <<<

To be considered as a peer reviewer, please complete the Google Form below by October 30, 2023. Selected reviewers will be notified by November 10, 2023 and the training session will be held between November 13 - 20, 2023. An Initial Conflict of Interest Check must be completed with the Peer Reviewer application form. Before the initial review of applications reviewers will complete a more specific Conflict of Interest Check. After the peer review scores have been submitted reviewers will complete a post-review Conflict of Interest Check.

1  From ESEA §4310(5) (266/449) - The term ‘‘developer’’ means an individual or group of individuals (including a public or private nonprofit *organization), which may include teachers, administrators and other school staff, parents, or other members of the local community in which a charter school project will be carried out.