Volunteers Wanted to Review Consumer Horticulture Proposals

Volunteers Wanted to Review Consumer Horticulture Proposals

Do you want to help shape the future of consumer horticulture research and influence how federal research dollars are spent? Here’s your chance. The National Institute for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) is seeking volunteers to be a reviewer of USDA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) proposals.

Anyone who works in any aspect of horticulture, from production to end-use, from retail to tree care professionals, industry association representatives, or anyone engaged in the production, handling, processing, distributing or sale of specialty crops is eligible.


“The National Institute for Consumer Horticulture is asking everyone in the industry to spend just a few hours of their time to review SCRI proposals,” stated Casey Sclar, Inaugural Chair of NICH, in a prepared news release. “Doing so helps grow our industry and connect more people and plants, and you’ll also grow from the experience.”

Volunteers are given proposals covering topics closely related to their expertise to read, evaluate, and prepare brief comments on to determine its relevancy. When reviews are complete, the panel decides which proposals will be invited to submit a full application. No travel is required; email and conference calls are used. The review process involves 20 to 25 hours of volunteer time.

Ellen Bauske, NICH Co-Chair and a previous submitter to SCRI is quoted, “Every consideration is given to reviewers’ comments.  Even when a pre-proposal doesn’t proceed, your comments help guide the next proposal.”

To sign up, visit https://nifa.usda.gov/announcement/scri-relevance-review. Interested parties also can contact Dr. Tom Bewick, National Program Leader, at [email protected].