User Story: Federal Program Manager Prepares for the Closing Date

The clock is ticking down for Trish, a program manager at the Department of Health and Human Services, and for the organizations who are preparing to submit grant applications.

You may recall, in Part 1, we explained the process that Trish took to publish a new grant opportunity on Grants.gov. Since then, she has been focused on preparing for the peer review panels and other responsibilities. But now it is time to begin preparing for the posted grant’s closing date.

Trish - Federal grant manager - As the close date approaches, I need to be able to prepare for the review process and help my applicants.

In this phase of the process, two of Trish’s (many) responsibilities include (1) checking the status of early submissions and, when appropriate, (2) helping applicants address questions with their Grants.gov workspaces – often in conjunction with Grants.gov Support Center.

Monitoring Submissions

Checking the number of submissions for any open opportunity only takes Trish a couple of minutes.

Trish logs into her grantor account on Grants.gov and navigates to the Published Opportunities page listed in the Grantor Center’s left navigation menu. As a note, Trish has been assigned the Agency Report View role, which is required in order to view agency reports.

Published Opportunities page in Grants.gov

On this screen, Trish sets the Search By menu to Opportunity Number and then types in the Opportunity Number of the grant she wants to monitor.

The Results table shows the grant’s information, including the Number of Applications received to date. In this case, only four applications have been submitted, but Trish expects at least 20 more submissions before the July 31st closing date.

Helping Applicants

It so happens that an applicant has emailed Trish about being unable to access a form in the applicant organization’s workspace. Before directing the user to contact the Grants.gov Support Center (available 24/7 by phone and email), Trish decides to investigate the issue herself.

On the Workspace Report screen, also accessed through the Grantor Center left navigation menu, she first runs a search for the applicant’s workspace using the Workspace ID.

Workspace Report page with the Workspace ID field highlighted

In the search results, Trish locates the correct workspace record and then clicks the View Workspace link, which unlocks a read-only view of the applicant’s workspace.

A quick look tells Trish exactly what the issue is: The applicant has not selected the optional form (Research and Related Budget [V1.4]) to be included in their submission.

Manage Workspace page in Grants.gov

By selecting the box next to the form in the Include in Package column, the applicant will activate the form and enable it to be filled out and included in the final submission.

Trish drafts a short reply email to the applicant and explains the issue and solution.

Note: Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Grants.gov Support at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov when facing questions like this one. In this case, Trish responded to the applicant email, but federal program managers are not always able to provide individual assistance to applicant questions.

Subscribe to the Grants.gov Community Blog today so you will receive an email notification when Part 3 of Trish’s user story is published.

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