What Is a Grant Manager? (Part 1) Federal Agencies

To make sure grants are awarded and implemented effectively, grant managers perform a wide range of duties. As a result, the job title “grant manager” can refer to many different job responsibilities depending on the size and type of an organization as well as the size and type of a grant.

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Before distinguishing between specific types of organizations or grants, there is a higher-level distinction to make when answering the question, “What is a grant manager?” These grant professionals, after all, can be found at both grant-making organizations and at grant recipient organizations.

Continue reading What Is a Grant Manager? (Part 1) Federal Agencies

What Is a Grant? [Updated]

Editor’s Note: We updated & expanded this article to create a more complete answer to the question—what is a grant? The original publication on May 4, 2016, was our first entry in the ‘What Is…” series, which makes grants more accessible by discussing the grant lifecycle and grant types.

A grant is one of the government’s tools for funding ideas and projects to provide public services, stimulate the economy, and benefit the general public. Grants can be awarded for a wide-variety of activities, such as innovative research, recovery initiatives, infrastructure building, or any of the other hundreds of funding programs in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA).

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Examples of U.S. federal grant programs include those that support justice and law enforcement, social services and health research, and research in science and technology.

The process of successfully serving the public through grants, though, can be quite complex. Grant programs originate from laws, and then are administered by the appropriate federal agency. For example:

Continue reading What Is a Grant? [Updated]

What Is the OMB’s ‘Uniform Guidance’ for Grants?

With a name like Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (commonly called “Uniform Guidance”), you’re unlikely to mistake this government publication for a comic book or romance novel. But, unless you’re a federal grants expert, you may have some difficulty pinning down the Uniform Guidance’s main goal.

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In plain English, the Uniform Guidance is simply a set of authoritative rules and regulations about federal grants from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This “guidance” is designed to keep everyone in the federal grants community – Congress, grant-making agencies, and applicants – on the same page.

Continue reading What Is the OMB’s ‘Uniform Guidance’ for Grants?

What Is a Research Grant?

Within the realm of federal government grants, research and development grants are some of the most numerous and diverse. What types of research grants does the Federal government support?

Well, if you search for the keyword “research” on the Catalog of Federal and Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Program page, you will receive 811 different federal financial assistance programs that include, to some degree, research. These CFDA programs that include research range from Agricultural and Food Policy Research Centers to Mental Health Research Grants to Welfare Reform Research, Evaluations, and National Studies.

Today, when you search for “research” on Grants.gov, there are over 1,500 open grant opportunities! (You will probably want to narrow your search for federal grants).

Continue reading What Is a Research Grant?

What Is a Land Grant? (Part 2): Grants to Individuals for Homesteading and Settlement

A land grant is an award of land to a recipient with the requirement that a public purpose, as defined by legislation, is served through the grant. Last week, we covered land grant colleges and universities, which are great examples of land grants achieving lasting benefits in the United States of America.

Land Grants for “Homesteading”

The passage of the Homestead Act of 1862 established a land grant program that allowed individuals, both U.S. citizens and intended citizens, to apply for 160-acre plots of land. “Homesteading” was a term referring to the process of moving west onto land in unsettled territories and cultivating the land.

Continue reading What Is a Land Grant? (Part 2): Grants to Individuals for Homesteading and Settlement

What Is a Land Grant? (Part 1): Land Grant Colleges and Universities

“Land grant” is a term you may have heard before, especially if you grew up near (or attended!) a state college or university that received land or funding as a result of one of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts. Before we begin our grant history lesson, let’s define what a land grant is.

First, a grant is the transfer of anything of value from the Federal government to a non-federal entity to carry out a public purpose authorized by U.S. law. So, a “land grant” is an award of land, instead of money, to a recipient with the requirement that a public purpose, as defined by legislation, is served through the grant.

Land Grant Colleges and Universities

Continue reading What Is a Land Grant? (Part 1): Land Grant Colleges and Universities

Top 6 Blog Articles from the Grants.gov Community Blog’s First 6 Months

We’re 6 months old as a community, so we wanted to let you know what others in the grants community are reading. From our 64 articles so far, here’s the 6 that have been read the most. Have you read all of them?

6. Video: How Grants.gov Workspace Optimizes the Application Experience for Teams

Continue reading Top 6 Blog Articles from the Grants.gov Community Blog’s First 6 Months

What Is the Grant Lifecycle?

The grant lifecycle refers to the entire process a grant goes through—from creating the opportunity through implementation and ending with the closeout. While the grant lifecycle can be long and includes some complex elements, it also has a lot of consistency and follows a relatively linear path.

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The grant lifecycle is comprised of three distinct phases: Pre-Award, Award, and Post Award. These main three phases are consistent across the different federal grant-making agencies as defined by the Uniform Guidance for Federal Awards. Continue reading What Is the Grant Lifecycle?

What Is a Government Grant and Pass-Through Funding?

You can find a lot of websites about “government grants,” but not all of these sources are using this term in the same way. So, what is a government grant?

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As we’ve written about before, a federal grant is one form of federal financial assistance in which the main purpose is to carry out a public purpose. In such a grant, this is typically done by transferring anything of value (typically funding) from the federal agency to a non-federal entity.

The phrase “government” grant, on the other hand, is not an official term, but rather a common way people refer to a grant that is awarded by a governmental entity to another entity. In the U.S., this generally refers to the federal, state, or local government levels. On Grants.gov, we only have federal grant postings.

Continue reading What Is a Government Grant and Pass-Through Funding?

What Is a Cooperative Agreement?

On Grants.gov, we obviously have government grants, but you will also find a lot of “cooperative agreements” while searching for funding opportunities. This is because cooperative agreements and grants are very similar, but with one big distinction.

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Both cooperative agreements and grants are “a legal instrument of financial assistance between a Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity and a non-Federal entity” as defined in the OMB Uniform Guidance (§200.24 for cooperative agreement and §200.51 for grant agreement).

Both cooperative agreements and grants “transfer anything of value from the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity to the non-Federal entity to carry out a public purpose.”

So, What’s the One Big Distinction?

Continue reading What Is a Cooperative Agreement?