On October 17th, Grants.gov will roll out Release 15.3 to all system users.
Question: So, what do I need to know about Release 15.3 for applicants?
Answer: The biggest additions are within Workspace, which was launched in October 2015 and is becoming the standard way to apply for grants in our system. Workspace will now have a “Reuse” function built-in, so you will be able to reuse completed forms from other workspace applications. This should help you to save time when completing grant applications. To reuse forms you need to apply using Workspace—the Reuse feature is only available for forms completed in Workspace.
We’ve also improved the user interface, making it easier to create a workspace. Within Workspace, we added the Grantor Image and Preview Grantor Validation functionality.
Question: What does the “Grantor Image” feature provide?
Answer: Grantor Image is the name of a service provided by the National Institute of Health (NIH), which allows applicants (i.e., you) to download a full, printable version of your application. This includes all the forms, the data you’ve entered, and attachments you have uploaded to Grants.gov.
In Release 15.3, we have connected with this service to provide it within Workspace. This feature is only provided by NIH, and no other agencies, so the Grantor Image won’t be available unless you’re applying for an NIH grant.
Question: What about the “Preview Grantor Validation” feature you mentioned?
Answer: This feature allows you to check your current application and all its forms against the grant-making agency’s submission validations. Basically, you can find out if there are any errors or missing data fields that would prevent your application from successfully submitting. Just like the Grantor Image function, though, this is available when applying with Workspace and is currently only offered to NIH applicants.
Question: Anything else we should know about in Release 15.3?
Answer: Definitely. Release 15.3 also includes a lot of work preparing for the launch of online forms in 2017. For more details about online forms, check out this article—Get Ready: Online Forms Coming to Federal Grant Applications on Grants.gov. There’s also work on renewing OMB approval of R&R Forms and updating these in Grants.gov. For more about forms, check out the Forms Process page or the 15.3 Applicant Release Notes.