Become a Stakeholder Reviewer

PKDF demonstrates a patient-centric approach to our mission by incorporating the views of persons affected by polycystic kidney disease into the PKDF grant review process. Stakeholders will read and evaluate research study applications for relevance to the PKD community’s needs and concerns and actively participate in peer review panel discussions.

We welcome applications from patients, caregivers, and parents of children with PKD who are passionate and committed to serve as reviewers for PKDF.

To ensure PKDF funds scientific proposals that address our mission and goals, each grant cycle gives special consideration to specific research topics. Check out our latest funding announcements and priority areas here. We are seeking reviewers with diverse perspectives and a range of expertise/experience to help us identify high-quality, patient-centered research applications.

The PKDF Stakeholder Reviewer program is modeled after the Department of Defense Consumer Reviewer and PCORI Merit Reviewer programs.

We ask all panel members to serve a minimum of three grant cycles (three years). Click here for more information about the Review Process and our past Stakeholder Reviewers.


Please note: In an effort to be good stewards and manage the expenses of our review process, we primarily select U.S. residents as reviewers.

Residents of other countries in North America (Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands) are welcome to apply. We may select you to serve during a review cycle if you have expertise that is not represented by our current, U.S.-based reviewers. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept applications from individuals living outside of North America. Thank you in advance for your understanding.


Qualities of Stakeholder Reviewers
  • Ability to succinctly summarize information in writing and through oral presentation.
  • Ability to identify and present key concepts efficiently and clearly.
  • Ability to speak, read, write, and understand English.
  • Access to reliable high-speed internet and email, as well as ability to download documents and use online programs.
What Is Expected of a Stakeholder Reviewer?

All reviewers will:

  • Understand and apply PKDF’s mission and review criteria specific to our grant review process.
  • Review Reviewer Training materials and attend the Reviewer Training webinar.
  • Identify conflicts of interest following PKDF guidelines.
  • Read, review, and prepare a written critique for all assigned applications. Reviewers can expect to review approximately 4-6 applications per cycle.
  • Represent the perspective of the PKD patients, caregivers, or other stakeholders.
  • Provide scores and written critiques electronically by the established deadlines.
  • Participate in a one- or two-day review panel meeting to discuss the applications with the entire Grant Review Committee and provide an overall score for each.
  • Provide feedback to PKDF in an annual Stakeholder Reviewer Committee meeting after the Grant Review.

How will I be compensated for serving as a PCORI Reviewer?

The cost for all travel and lodging will be provided by PKDF for the in-person meeting.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Grant Review Meeting took place virtually in April and will take place virtually again in 2021.

Grant application review criteria

We rely on our Stakeholder Committee members to review and score applications based on the following:

  1. Relevance to PKD: how this proposal addresses an unmet need in PKD research and the stakeholder vision for how the results may benefit the patient community.
  2. Impact/Significance: the potential short- and long-term impact of the research proposed when put in context of the current state of the science and standards of clinical care.
  3. Innovation: how the proposed research will foster the development of innovative approaches or techniques that may transform patient care or understanding of PKD.
Panel selection process
  • Patients and caregivers are invited to submit applications in the Fall of each calendar year asking about their experience with the disease and why they feel that they can best represent the views of the broader patient community.
  • The selection panel is made up of the SAC Vice Chair, one additional SAC member, and PKDF’s Chief Research Officer and Director of Research.
  • All applications are anonymized (name removed) to reduce bias from any personal relationships.
  • Criteria considered:
    • Quality of writing sample
    • Self-reported connection with others in the community
    • Experience with former review panels
    • Geographic diversity
    • Racial and gender diversity
    • Variety of patient experiences (e.g. ADPKD, ARPKD, caregivers)

For questions or information on the Stakeholder Reviewer program, please email

2021 Patient Stakeholders blog header image, woman on laptop

Published May 25, 2021 | At the PKD Foundation, funding PKD research is one of our primary functions. Starting last year, caregiver and patient stakeholders joined the research grant review panel to evaluate applications from the patient perspective. We spoke to two of our 2021 patient stakeholders….

Page last edited November 2022.