Reviewers represent a group of professionals and subject matter experts (SMEs) capable of objectively evaluating a competitive group of grant applications against the criteria published in a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) or Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Reviewers are chosen based on their knowledge, education, and experience. Reviewers are expected to use their expertise to assess the applications according to the evaluation criteria published and accept the responsibilities of thoroughly reading all applications, fully contributing to panel discussions and producing accurate and substantive evaluations.

Reviewers are typically required to make a time commitment to the process for short durations (typically 1 to 2 weeks), confirm compliance with participation requirements, and certify that there are no conflicts of interest. Participants who are not employees of the funding entity receive an honorarium for their services; the honorarium varies and is dictated by the funding entity.