If you are a critical thinker interested in contributing to innovation within the library, archives, museum, research and open-source communities, please consider sharing your knowledge, expertise and experience by reviewing proposals to the Catalyst Fund. Applications are submitted in January and February each year and reviewed in March and April. That is where we hope you can help!

All proposals are reviewed by field experts to rate them against the Catalyst Fund criteria. Each application is evaluated by multiple reviewers. The combined feedback is then provided anonymously to the Lyrasis membership for use in evaluating which proposals to fund.

Reviewers are critical commentators on what is valuable​e to the community. We are looking for librarians, archivists, museum professionals and researchers working in diverse areas, such as accessibility, assessment, collections management, community outreach and programming, facilities, metadata, open content, open-source software, preservation, professional training and technology. Individuals from Lyrasis member and non-member organizations may volunteer. To avoid any conflict of interest, however, volunteers will not be allowed to review if their own institution submits a proposal.

If you are interested, please fill in this form to provide us with current contact instructions and some information about your interests and expertise so that we can match you to the right types of Catalyst Fund applications.

Reviewer Responsibilities

Each reviewer will receive 5-6 proposals to review depending upon how many are submitted to the Catalyst Fund. The applications are not long — only 2 pages each — and will be sent to you in PDF format via email.

During mid-February, Lyrasis will contact you to check your availability during the anticipated March-April review period. If confirmed, everything a reviewer needs will be included in a follow-up email package — your assigned proposals, a link to the online review form, instructions and review criteria. Based on previous review processes, we expect that it will take you approximately 20-30 minutes per application.

Reviewers will:

  • Read the proposal
  • Review it against the evaluation criteria, giving numeric ratings to indicate how well the proposal meets each
  • Add brief comments for the applicant (one to two sentences suggesting strengths and/or weaknesses
  • We will have an optional, online session in early March to go over the review process (a recording will be shared with volunteers unable to attend in person)


After applications are reviewed, comments and ratings will be provided to participants in the Lyrasis membership for the selection process. Recipients will be announced in early June. As follow-up for both funded and unfunded applications, Lyrasis will share reviewers' comments anonymously with individual applicants, but not numerical ratings.

If you have questions about reviewing for the Catalyst Fund, contact catalystfund@Lyrasis.org.