Grants.gov Workspace for Colleges and Universities, Part 1 of 3

Workspace is the new standard application method on Grants.gov. What does that mean for institutions of higher learning (IHE) that apply for federal grants? This 3-part series will provide tips for how you, as representatives of colleges and universities, can integrate Workspace into your grant application process.

Workspace for Colleges and Universities icon

The Office of Sponsored Research (or sponsored programs) is typically the go-to resource for principal investigators, researchers, professors, and other IHE employees who want to apply for a federal grant. For Tier 1 Research Universities, this may be a robust office with a very large team of specialized staff. For smaller public or private IHEs, this may be a couple full-time staff with institutional knowledge about who you should talk to for help with navigating Grants.gov or other federal grant systems.

We designed Workspace to allow for this organizational range of grant processes to fit within its structure and roles (and we continue to make improvements, so let us know what you think after trying it). To help us talk about Workspace in a way that is helpful to you, here are the three general categories of IHEs applying for federal grants.

Big Team with Specialists: Teams of about 10 or more people, each with specific tasks in developing the grant proposal, completing forms, and managing the grant after receiving an award. Development includes multiple levels of internal review as well as outside grant consultants. Specialists typically work on their area of expertise and responsibility across multiple grant applications.

Small Team of Generalists: Typically, fewer than 10 people who do a little bit of everything. As the workloads, seasons, and priorities shift, you have to be an Excel wizard for one grant application then provide a subject matter review for another (or both for every application, as it were). It’s not that you don’t have specialization; it’s that your situation demands a lot of different skills and responsibilities to help your IHE secure grant funding.

One-Person Show: You need to know and do all things grants. The professor or principal investigator has the interest and expertise in a specific area, and you have to turn that into grant funding for your IHE.

Of course, these are generalizations that may not completely fit your school, but we hope these concepts will help us relay the information you need to know to make your job of finding and applying for federal grants a little simpler.

Tomorrow, we will post part two that begins applying the details of Workspace to your situation (and here’s Part 2 now that it’s posted). Subscribe to the blog to have this and other posts delivered to your inbox.

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