NCURA Peer Reviewer

Description of Position

NCURA Peer Reviewers and Peer Advisors are responsible for supporting several services offered to institutions. Peer Reviewers conduct confidential peer reviews initiated by a given institution.  This represents the “primary” role of the Peer Reviewer.  Peer Reviewers may also serve as Peer Advisors and assist in strategic planning related to research administration, directed education, and focused analysis on specific areas.

**Note that any applicant that currently has or anticipates holding an officer, governing, or oversight position in another research administration organization should contact peerreview@ncura.edu prior to application.


Initial 2-year appointment, which may be renewed.

Key Position Details

A.    Function of Position: To assist institutions in improving the effectiveness of their sponsored programs operations, identifying areas for improvement, best practices, or alternatives that may improve an operation’s effectiveness and services.

B.     Essential Duties, Responsibilities, and Time Commitment:  For Peer Reviews, individuals are selected from the Reviewer pool and are extended opportunities to participate several months prior to a proposed site visit.  Acceptance of an assignment requires willingness to follow-through with all aspects of that commitment, and includes a certain amount of flexibility to assure that the Review Team can meet its collective responsibility to the clients being served.  In making the decision to accept an assignment, Reviewers should reasonably consider their existing professional and personal commitments throughout the entire process of the review, which extends across several months.  Peer Reviewers represent NCURA in a professional manner and are responsible for:

Pre Site Visit

  • Reviewers analyze extensive materials prepared by the institution, supplemented by review of web information.  Based on this review, they develop critical questions for the site visit to confirm understanding, clarify discrepancies, and ultimately assess effectiveness of practices.
  • NCURA Reviewers participate in one pre-site-visit telephone discussion with institutional representatives, and one pre-site visit team only call.
  • The Review Team communicates frequently through e-mail to prepare for the site visit.

Time Commitment: Preparation for the site visit may take 1-2 days effort, depending upon the individual's proficiency with analyzing quantities of information.

On-Site Reviews

  • Depending on the scope of the review, Reviewers will need to be available for a two to three day institutional site visit.  Additionally, this requires allowance of sufficient pre- and post-visit travel time to ensure attendance for the complete itinerary that has been established.
  • Reviewers will be expected to interview and interact with many levels of institutional personnel from senior leaders to front-line administrative staff.
  • Reviewers must be able to quickly distill site visit information into key issues to be presented in an exit interview.

Time Commitment: On-site the Reviewers are typically engaged from 8-5 with continuous interviews and with a one-hour executive session to enable them to manage work e-mails, if they are still employed.  Several hours are spent during the evenings to debrief from the day and to prepare for the next.  For the time spent physically at the client’s site, it is expected that outside distractions are kept to a minimum, and limited to emergencies only, or managed during the one-hour executive session or evening. Reviewers are expected to commit to being present for the full duration of the site visit.

Post Site Visit

  • Within 30 business days of the site visit, the Review Team must submit a final draft report.
  • The Team will submit a final report 10 business days following correction of inaccuracies by the institution.

Time Commitment:  The Peer Reviewer makes a commitment following the site visit to adhere to a writing schedule for the report, previously agreed upon. The six-week period following the site visit requires attention to the writing requirements and responsiveness to e-mail communications.  On average, for a medium to large review, it can take 30 hours of effort per Reviewer to analyze the information collected and to produce the final draft report across several collaborative iterations.  Time can vary considerably based on the Reviewers proficiency with writing and style.


C.    Peer Advisors: Peer Advisors are drawn from the list of approved Peer Reviewers who have successfully engaged in the peer review process, and have the requisite background for the service requested. Peer Advisors can be invited to participate in the services for strategic planning related to research administration, directed education, or focused analysis on specific areas.

Time Commitment:  Will vary considerably based on the service requested.


D.    Qualifications/Requirements

Research Administration Requirements

1.      Be a current regular member of NCURA.

2.      Have at least 10 years recent experience in the area of research administration; 15 years preferred.

3.      Have at least 10 years experience in a senior management position (makes decisions, directs an area, effects change process, builds a team, implements policy changes, and supervises personnel).

4.      Have at least 10 years recent experience with U.S.-based research administration, systems, and models.

5.      Have demonstrated leadership in the field of research administration.

6.      Expectation for a Director/Manager or higher title.

7.      If research university, be engaged at a national level. If PUI, regional level engagement will satisfy.

8.      Possess current knowledge and expertise with a significant number of the Standards used as part of the reviews.

Critical Skills

9.      Possess a broad knowledge of institutional practices beyond their own institution and be able to articulate practices that relate to a particular institution's environment.

10.  Be able to succinctly analyze large amounts of information.

11.  Posses critical listening skills and be able to facilitate discussions.

12.  Be excellent at writing extensive in-depth reports (60+ pages).


E.    Training and Support: Approved Reviewers must attend and complete a training session sponsored by NCURA on the review process and the Standards, prior to being asked to participate in a review. Costs for attending this required training are covered by the attendee.  Whenever possible this training is offered concurrent with existing, scheduled NCURA or other national meetings, to minimize additional attendee costs. When conducting a peer review, support is provided to the Review Team by the Peer Programs staff. Standards and templates for the review process are utilized for each review. An experienced Reviewer is designated Team “Lead” for each review, and guides the review process on site, and the post-review writing.

Additional Information: Peer Reviewers receive an honorarium and direct travel costs for each review.  Honoraria are based on the number of days actually on-site, as well as a set allowance for time associated with pre-site visit work, and post-site visit report writing. The honorarium amount is set by NCURA and used across all NCURA activities where there is an honorarium.