Collecting feedback from reviewers is critical to making the best decisions for your process, whether it is awarding thousands of dollars in grants or scholarships, or simply approving a form as internal documentation. Reviewers often wear multiple hats as faculty or staff members, so it is crucial to help them share valuable feedback as efficiently as possible. Consider the questions below when designing your review process.
How do you decide who the reviewers will be?
- Do you have a pool or panel to select from, a standing committee, contact subject matter experts, or a designated individual that needs to provide approval?
- Are conflicts of interest a consideration? How do you identify and address them?
How were decisions made in the past and how were they communicated?
- Dig into prior review comments, especially on applications that were eventually awarded.
- What did reviewers focus on? If scores were close, what were the determining factors?
- Do you need to share the reviewer feedback with applicants?
Is the most relevant application information easy to find?
- Based on how you answered the previous question, can you make any edits to the application so that the most helpful information for reviewers is prominent?
- Can you remove extraneous application questions?
Which reviewers can give the most constructive feedback?
- Sometimes it’s not about what questions you’re asking but who is answering them.
- If time allows, have potential reviewers fill out a basic form that includes their area(s) of expertise. Use this list as a pool to draw from when making assignments.
Would sharing feedback among reviewers save time and effort?
- If there are multiple steps in the process, pass feedback along so later reviewers benefit from the perspective of earlier ones.
- This is especially helpful if reviewers vary in their involvement with the application. For example, a faculty advisor would be able to share specific details about the applicant upfront that committee members may not be aware of later in the process.
When time, money, and other resources are at stake, decisions need to be made as efficiently AND equitably as possible. Gather detailed feedback from reviewers to make your process is descriptive and transparent as possible.
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