The Catalyst Fund cycle is currently closed, however we gladly accept volunteer applications year ‘round, please fill in this form if you are interested. Reviewer registrations received after February 19, 2021, will be saved for the next Catalyst Fund cycle, which will open in January 2022, and you will not be contacted until after that date. Thank you for your interest and willingness to serve. Our program relies on volunteers like you—we could not do this without your support!​​

Are you a critical thinker interested in contributing to innovation within the library, archives, museum, research and open source communities? If so, please consider sharing your knowledge, expertise and experience by reviewing proposals to the Catalyst Fund.

The Catalyst Fund is an award program that provides support for new ideas and innovative projects from the LYRASIS membership. It is administered by the LYRASIS Leaders Circle to expand opportunities to explore, test, refine and collaborate on innovations with potential for community-wide impact. Applications are submitted in January-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 Leaders Circle for use in evaluating which proposals to fund.

Reviewers are critical commentators on what is valuable to the community. We are looking for librarians, archivists and museum professionals 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 review period – March/April. 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, and

  • Add brief comments for the applicant (one to two sentences suggesting strengths or weaknesses).

We will have an optional, online session in early March to go over the review process. A recording link will be sent via email to volunteers unable to attend in person.

After applications are reviewed, comments and ratings will be provided to participants in the LYRASIS Leaders Circle 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