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Reviewer Requirements, Training, and Responsibilities

Qualifications/Minimum Requirements for Reviewers

Reviewers must possess:

  • A doctoral-level degree
  • A strong background in and understanding of current methods for evaluating prevention and treatment interventions

In addition, candidates who have direct experience providing prevention and/or treatment services are preferred.

Reviewer Training and Certification

NREPP reviewers are recruited and selected based on their experience and expertise in mental health promotion, mental health treatment, substance abuse prevention, substance abuse treatment, or co-occurring disorders. In addition to possessing content area expertise, reviewers should be familiar with current methods for evaluating prevention and treatment interventions.

All reviewers must be approved by SAMHSA. After approval, reviewers participate in a training and certification process. This two-part training begins with Web-based training modules and the completion of a knowledge assessment. Upon successful completion of the knowledge assessment, candidate reviewers are asked to complete and submit the NREPP Outcome Rating Instrument (NORI) assessing an evaluation study and participate in a conference call to discuss the assessment. NREPP staff review the NORI to determine whether a candidate receives a “pass” or “provisional pass.” If an individual receives a “provisional pass,” he or she is given a second study to assess. Certificates are sent to reviewers who have successfully completed both phases of the training. Reviewers are paid for their participation in the training upon certification.

Reviewer Responsibilities

Certified reviewers are contacted to determine if they are available for a review and asked to accept or decline an invitation within 5 days. Assignments are made by NREPP contractor staff, not SAMHSA. Interventions are matched with reviewers who have appropriate qualifications and the most relevant experience and content knowledge. The identity of assigned reviewers is kept confidential from both SAMHSA and the applicant.

Reviewers are required to sign a Conflict of Interest disclosure statement for each intervention they are assigned. This ensures they have no professional ties or financial or other interests in the intervention that could prevent an objective review.

Reviewers independently assess the materials they have been sent and are asked to complete the review within 2 weeks. Review Coordinators (RCs) will work with reviewers to answer any questions they may have. Should the two reviewers disagree in their assessments, an RC will engage in a consensus process with the reviewers. If new information is submitted in response to an author query, the reviewer will be asked to make any necessary revisions of the NORI to reflect the new information.

Two reviewers are assigned to assess each new submission. One reviewer may be used to conduct a new review of a program already posted on NREPP (re-review).

Reviewers must submit an invoice for the time approved to conduct the review.