In recent years, a lot has changed about the Grants.gov federal grant application process. The arrival of Workspace in 2015 gave applicants the ability to reuse forms and collaborate more easily. Grants.gov’s latest release, meanwhile, gave applicants the ability to forego the PDF and complete forms within a web browser.
The data requested on the forms also continues to evolve. The process for updating and creating new grant application forms is a complex one involving a range of government entities, including the grant-making agency, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as well as the Federal Register and Grants.gov, among others.
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of articles that will use team-based examples to explain how Workspace facilitates collaboration using roles and access.
Applying for a federal grant can be a team effort, or it can be a solitary task, so Grants.gov’s Workspace is designed to work for the wide variety of federal grant applicants. Adding participants to a workspace is vital for those applying with a team.
New enhancements to Grants.gov are just around the corner. How will they improve the applicant experience?
The Release Notes for 15.4 provide an in-depth explanation of each enhancement. The two biggest changes relating to applicants are the arrival of online forms and the option to use a single username and password to access multiple profiles.
If you don’t have time to read the release notes, take 75 seconds to watching the following two videos explaining these major enhancements:
The Reply All blog series addresses individual user questions that may be relevant to a wider audience.
Q: How smart is Workspace? Can it catch my mistakes?
A: Workspace is built to alert users to potential problems with their grant applications. If you miss a required field, for example, a message will list the overlooked field in a pop-up window when you click the application form’s Check for Errors button.
If you fill out the SF-424 form before working on other forms in the application package, Workspace will populate certain other fields on other forms within the package. This will both save you time and help you avoid making a typo when re-typing data on multiple forms.
However, there are certain mistakes that Workspace will not be able to catch or remedy.
In part two of our Release 15.4 preview, we are highlighting the arrival of online Workspace forms to Grants.gov.
Previously, all federal grant applications on Grants.gov comprised Adobe PDF forms – either as a single package of forms, or – in Workspace – as downloadable individual forms. Now, federal grant applicants can complete forms within their web browser on a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device, such as a tablet.
What are the appeals of using online forms vs. PDF forms? Let’s take an applicant named Tricia at a university’s office of sponsored research, as our example.
With the recent New Year Holiday now in the rearview mirror, we want to let you, the grants community, know what you can look forward to from Grants.gov in 2017.
1. Applying with online forms in Workspace will become the standard way to apply for grants on Grants.gov.
Complete your application package in Workspace with the option of filling out individual, online forms or individual, fillable PDF forms. For more detailed information, review the Workspace Overview page.