Attn. Grantors: What Does the Legacy PDF Retirement and Workspace Mean for Me?

With the switch to Grants.gov Workspace as the standard grant application method, some federal grant managers have asked us what this means for them.

To avoid burying the lede, here it is—the system process for grantors has not changed since Grants.gov launched Workspace in October 2015 and will not change as a result of the Legacy PDF Application Package retirement on December 31, 2017.

While Workspace is a new-ish, upgraded user interface for grant applicants, the submissions you (i.e., grantors) receive after the retirement date will not change. Grantors will continue to use the same process to create and post funding opportunities on Grants.gov.

What Do I Need to Do as a Grantor?

Grantors should update any instructions pertaining to Grants.gov that may be included in new Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA). To make this easier, we have a Grantor Standard Language page that we maintain for agencies to copy into opportunities so that you do not have to re-write Grants.gov instructions.

To assist applicants using Workspace now and after the retirement, grantors with the Agency Report Viewer role are able to access the Workspace Report in Grants.gov. The Workspace Report gives you a read-only view of an applicant’s workspace. More details can be found in the Workspace Report help article.

“If we release an FOA this month and the FOA closes at the end of January 2018, will the new Workspace feature be required for applicants?”

For any funding opportunities where applicants have downloaded the Legacy PDF Application Package before its retirement on December 31, 2017, they will be able to continue to submit the Legacy PDF Application Package until March 31, 2018.

However, if an applicant accesses a funding opportunity after the Legacy PDF Application Package retirement on December 31, 2017, then they will not have the option to download the Legacy PDF. In this situation, applicants need to apply using Grants.gov Workspace.

“Can our applicants still access or find the FOA in the same way?”

Yes, applicants will create a workspace to apply for a grant in the same way after the retirement as they currently do.

Applicants may preview the application forms, access the application instructions, and read the FOA using the same functionality currently available to them. Here is how Applicants may preview the forms and instructions currently and after the retirement:

  1. Go to the View Grant Opportunity page, then click the Package tab.
  2. In the Actions column, there is a Preview link and an Apply link.
  3. Clicking the Preview link will display a non-fillable preview of all the mandatory and optional forms, as well as a Download Instructions button.
  4. Clicking the Apply link will begin the process of creating a Workspace to apply for the grant.

Also on the View Grant Opportunity page, the Synopsis tab and Related Documents tab will still display to applicants, so grantors may link to or upload the FOA following the same process you use currently.

We strongly recommend applicants begin using Workspace now and ask Grantors to encourage their applicants to make the switch now as well.

If you have more questions or feedback, please let us know in the comments below. Grantors may also email their Grants.gov Program Advisor. Comment Policy and Privacy Notice.

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