Many federal agencies conduct similar types of work, such as awarding federal grants. While the mission and specific goals of each grant program vary, many of the processes for posting, applying for, managing, and reporting on federal grants are the same. This is where federal shared services come in. Rather than each agency developing & maintaining the same services, the costs and benefits are shared. In this role, Grants.gov serves its purpose—to be a shared service for both the public and federal agencies.
If you have followed this blog for more than a week, you have heard about Grants.gov Workspace—the standard federal grants application method on Grants.gov.
For those of you federal grant managers out there, you also know how much work goes into developing and posting a funding opportunity announcement (FOA). In addition to all the programmatic and financial information and requirements, there are also the nuts-and-bolts how-to instructions to guide applicants in responding and applying for the grant.
In Part 1 of this series, we explained the content development process for new and updated Grants.gov forms. In Part 2, we focus on Grants.gov’s role in the technical development of forms.
The development time of each form can range from one month for a cosmetic change to up to six months for a new, multi-page form. The following provides a high-level overview of the forms development cycle:
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.
The Reply All blog series addresses questions and feedback received on Grants.gov’s various platforms – including Search, Workspace, Blog.Grants.gov, Twitter, and YouTube – that may be relevant to a wider user audience. Read the first post in the series.
Q: What does the Grantor Image tab do in Workspace?
Applicants who have access to the Grantor Image tab are able to preview their application package – including any attachments – just as the grant-making agency will see it when it is submitted. This service can provide peace of mind, ensuring that everything you have included in the application will be viewed optimally by the grantor.
If you apply for grants from multiple federal agencies, you could easily find yourself using several different grant application systems. But with Grants.gov Workspace, in most cases, you don’t need to.
The forms in your federal grant application take quite a journey before getting to your computer.