Note: This is part one of two blog posts introducing Grants.gov’s Workspace feature.
Organizations working on federal grant applications may want to use Grants.gov’s new Workspace feature, which can help streamline collaboration and save time when an application deadline looms.
Applicants using Grants.gov have traditionally submitted a single, stitched PDF application package in a process that can be difficult — especially when collaborating with others.
With the introduction of online applicant workspaces, Grants.gov has made it easier for users to collaborate on a federal grant application.
Users still have the option to use the old offline method, but a growing number of applicants are embracing the new functionality, which debuted in October 2015.
The time is ripe for a change: In fiscal year 2015, Grants.gov processed more than 255,000 federal grant applications, and more than 140,000 Authorized Organizational Representatives (AORs) have registered with Grants.gov.
The large and complex nature of federal grant applications means that multiple people must often contribute to the process.
The new Workspace feature allows applicants to create an online “space” where other users in their organization can be added and tasked with completing individual application forms. These forms may now be individually downloaded, filled out offline, and then checked for errors during the upload process.
These validations at the form level help applicants avoid introducing errors as the clock runs out on the application window.
Benefits of using Workspace
The main purpose of Workspace is to streamline collaboration. Participants who have been added to a workspace may complete individual forms simultaneously. When all of the forms have been filled out and uploaded back to the workspace, an AOR can submit the application with the click of a button.
Workspace can also save research administrators and professors time over multiple application cycles. For example, forms used in one workspace may be reused in another, as long as the forms’ names and version numbers match. The more an applicant uses Workspace when applying through Grants.gov, the more time he or she can save by reusing previous forms.