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So far this year, I have been asked to be an assessor for proposals submitted to three different international funding schemes, with the value of the proposals ranging from $0.5M to $10M. I acceded to the first two requests (one of which has me assessing 7 proposals, the second only one proposal) because I thought it would be useful experience to see how proposals are assessed, in case it brought insights that would be useful next time I submit a proposal of my own. The time commitment is starting to become an issue, though, and starting to clash with my other commitments, so I am hesitating about the third.

So: apart from the small honorarium that some of these schemes pay assessors, is there anything in it for me? Is assessing grant proposals simply seen as part of one's academic community service, to be performed as a good citizen like reviewing papers, or is it seen as a measure of esteem that is therefore worthy of putting on a CV?

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    It's common for early-career researchers to put refereeing experience on their CVs, so I see no issue with including this as a line in your "service" section. Like a lot of things, the decision whether to include it will depend on how impressive and extensive the rest of your CV is. – user37208 Feb 26 '16 at 5:28
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    I've seen senior faculty do it on very long CVs. – Anonymous Physicist Feb 26 '16 at 5:33
  • I think you glossed over the big reason: I thought it would be useful experience to see how proposals are assessed, in case it brought insights that would be useful next time I submit a proposal of my own that insight is much more valuable then the honorarium or even your time. – StrongBad Feb 26 '16 at 15:34
  • @StrongBad more valuable than an honorarium, certainly, but not more valuable than my time, beyond a certain point. I have deadlines, grant proposals to submit, and commitments to colleagues. – Significance Feb 26 '16 at 22:12
  • There's also the benefit of learning some science from reading the proposals. – David Ketcheson Feb 28 '16 at 8:15
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Mike C's answer is good. Just to add a bit to it, many universities in the U.S. at least require service as a portion of your duties. In my field, it's not unusual to see jobs described as 50% research, 40% teaching, 10% service. It's extremely important when applying for these jobs to be able to demonstrate experience in all three areas. Reviewing, whether for grants or for manuscripts, is one of the few areas where early career people have a real opportunity to get some service experience, and so you absolutely should have it on your C.V. Just don't do so much that it's significantly impacting your research!

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    Relevant PhD comic: phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1060 – tomasz Feb 26 '16 at 15:42
  • That's why I asked: it was getting to the point where it was impacting my research and other duties. I do a lot of reviewing of journal papers and understand this as simply a matter of service, to be done as time allows and in proportion to the number of papers I submit. I also do other service for conferences and my academic society. My question was to ascertain whether reviewing proposals was simply another form of service, or whether it was more highly regarded. The answer seems to be: just more service. – Significance Feb 26 '16 at 22:10
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You performed a valid service and gained valuable experience. You should definitely include this on your CV.

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I think you have a bit a mismatch between the title and the actual question, which has lead to you getting answers that don't address your real question. You say:

Is assessing grant proposals simply seen as part of one's academic community service, to be performed as a good citizen like reviewing papers, or is it seen as a measure of esteem that is therefore worthy of putting on a CV?

But that's a false dichotomy. Reviewing papers should go on your CV (not the individual papers, of course, but the list of journals you've reviewed for), so the answer is yes and yes. If you're asking whether the sort of grant review you're doing will be seen as a research accomplishment like publishing a paper, winning a grant or an award of some kind, it won't (at least by most people). If you find yourself inclined to say no to doing it, say no.

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I think that you should keep at your little job because of the extremely valuable skills it will give you .Putting it on the CV is a nobrainer. Assessing grant proposals tends to go to very senior people in my country so it would be held in high esteem that such a young person is entrusted with such an important task.Many employers are confused with the grants system and would complain to me about it being a "paperwork nightmare" and want some of thier staff to know the ropes in this regard . I remember that the research job that I got in 1986 payed less than working on the door of the Students Association .I did not get the job on the door .For me it is clear that that research job was the best thing .It led to one thing and another and another ...

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