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This is a great question – and one that we have heard from other people who contribute to an organization’s application.
First, Some Context
Until recently, organizations only needed one Grants.gov account with the AOR role to submit a grant application. Forms were filled out offline as a single PDF package and submitted by this single user (who was required to have the AOR role).
The arrival of Grants.gov Workspace, which replaced the above “legacy” method of applying, brought the applicant collaboration process online. Contributors to an application now log into their Grants.gov accounts (creating one, if necessary) and access the forms inside an application’s “workspace”.
Oliver’s question seeks a solution that would allow them as a subrecipient organization to bypass using Grants.gov Workspace when they are asked by the prime applicant to complete a required subform.
Solution #1: Prime downloads and emails a fillable PDF
Unfortunately, there is not a “quick link” to application subforms (or any application forms) that can be shared among contributors. Therefore, the prime applicant needs to download the required subform as a PDF and email the file to Oliver. Oliver (or other members of the subrecipient organization) can then fill out the form offline and email the file back to the prime applicant. The prime applicant will then upload the form into the application’s workspace.
Solution #2: Prime adds external contributor to a workspace
There is a second solution that involves minimal training: The prime applicant (specifically the user serving as the Workspace Owner) can add Oliver (or any external user) to the application’s workspace, giving them direct access to the specific sub-form they need to complete (see the above screen).
These external accounts can be registered with Grants.gov within a couple of minutes. With minimal training (just watch this four-and-a-half-minute video), a user added to a workspace can log into their account, access the application’s workspace, and then begin filling out a form online.
This approach may put a little more burden on the prime applicant to add the user and assign form access. But it could also be a better long-term option if the external contributor will be working on more than one form – now or in the future. External contributors who have access to forms within Grants.gov can reuse them at a later time. External contributors added as participants also have the option of completing webforms (in their browser window) in addition to PDF forms.
If you have follow-up questions or info to add to this scenario, go to the Grants.gov Discussion Forum and go to the Applicant S2S category.