Job Description - Lay Reviewer


Lay reviewers are individuals without formal training as a scientist who have a strong interest in advancing the prevention and/or management of heart diseases and stroke and wish to assist in the review of American Heart Association research applications.


Two-year term.

Equipment Requirements

PC or Apple laptop with wireless internet access is required.

Time Commitment

  • Lay reviewers will be asked to participate in one or two peer review meetings per year. (subject to official invitation by AHA).
  • Orientation and training- 3 to 5 hours
  • Review of applications and preparation of comments prior to meeting- approximately 10-20 hours per meeting.
  • If the review group is meeting face-to-face, 1.5 to 2 days may be required for peer review meetings and travel time. Less time will be required for a web-based meeting, though members are expected to dedicate a full day on the established meeting date.


  • Assist in the evaluation of merit of assigned applications relative to the peer review criteria. Lay stakeholders will be asked to comment specifically on the significance and potential impact to the AHA mission. Lay reviewers may also comment on the career statement and training plan for fellowship applications.
  • Reviewer workload will be from 20-30 application assignments per cycle.
  • Assign a preliminary score and prepare a written comment in the ProposalCentral system. The comment should be focused on the potential mission impact of the application.
  • Post all preliminary scores and comments on the ProposalCentral website within the allotted timeframe.
  • Attend and participate in peer review meetings.


  • AHA volunteer experience, preferably at a board or leadership level.
  • Knowledge of the AHA and commitment to its mission.
  • Familiarity with heart disease and stroke and basic knowledge of scientific method.
  • The ability to examine research proposals objectively, regardless of personal experience with heart disease and stroke. Lay Reviewers must abide by AHA conflict of interest policies.
  • Professional backgrounds and experience that would enable them to provide a complementary perspective to those provided by clinical and scientific experts.
  • Mature judgment and objectivity.
  • Ability to work effectively in a group.
  • Writing skills and ability to make oral presentations; ability to speak, read, write, and understand English.
  • Proficiency in using email and other internet-based technology.

Key Dates

  • February/March- pre-work for spring review cycle
  • April-spring peer review meetings (one day)
  • August/September- pre-work for fall review cycle
  • October-fall peer review meetings (one day)

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