A More Efficient Approach to Submitting a Federal Grant Application

As the Legacy PDF retirement deadline nears, some applicant organizations are preparing to apply using Grants.gov Workspace for the very first time.

We recently sketched out a basic application scenario in which only one or two people have Grants.gov accounts.

In this post, we sketch out another scenario – one that involves a team of 3-5 registered applicants who prefer to fill out Grants.gov webforms instead of PDF forms.

Intermediate path for Workspace. Best path for organizations with 3-5 registered Grants.gov users

Continue reading A More Efficient Approach to Submitting a Federal Grant Application

A Basic Approach to Submitting Your First Workspace Application

As the Legacy PDF retirement deadline nears, applicant organizations are preparing to apply using Grants.gov Workspace for the first time.

Basic approach to Workspace is the best path for organizations with 1-2 registered Grants.gov users

Let’s flesh out an applicant scenario that some new Workspace users will face:

You are about to begin your first federal grant application using Grants.gov Workspace. For years, you (and sometimes one other colleague) applied using the old Legacy PDF Application Package.

 

You traded a package of PDF forms back and forth until you were ready to cross your fingers and click Submit. It was never easy, but you had grown comfortable with the painstaking process. Now, with the upcoming retirement of the Legacy PDF, you are trying to learn the new Grants.gov method for applying.

 

Below you will find an example approach for applying with Workspace that keeps to the familiar workflow as much as possible.

Continue reading A Basic Approach to Submitting Your First Workspace Application

How Do I Download, Complete & Upload a Workspace Form? #ReplyAll

The Grants.gov Support Center helps a lot of you resolve problems and complete your federal grant applications before the deadline. One of the most common questions the Support Center gets is how to use Workspace forms.

Below are general steps to answer that question. “General” because the steps below depend on whether you are filling out a webform or a PDF version of the form—you get to choose. Since this is the most common Workspace-related question to the Support Center, we know many of you have no problem creating a workspace since the forms are only accessible through that.

Continue reading How Do I Download, Complete & Upload a Workspace Form? #ReplyAll

How the Government Prepares Grant Application Forms – Part 3

In Parts 1 and Part 2 of this series, we discussed the two phases of developing grant application forms: content approvals by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and technical development by Grants.gov.

The time required to deploy new or updated forms largely depends on the amount of technical development that is needed.

The graphic below estimates the different deployment timelines for cosmetic, minor, moderate, and major form changes. Click on the graphic to view its full-size version.

Continue reading How the Government Prepares Grant Application Forms – Part 3

What Is an Online Form?

In the context of applying for federal grants, “forms” are those seemingly endless documents you must fill out to complete the application process. An “online” form or webform, then, is a digital version of these documents that is accessible and editable in a web browser.

There is nothing revolutionary about this concept, but we at Grants.gov have now made online forms available in Grants.gov Workspace to make the application process a bit easier for you and your team. Continue reading What Is an Online Form?

Roles for Applying with Workspace #3: AORs Submit

Before your organization can receive a federal grant, you must first submit the grant application (among many other things, of course). This is why the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) role in Grants.gov is important.

A user with the AOR role is authorized to submit applications on behalf of the organization. When the E-Business Point of Contact (EBiz POC) assigns the AOR role to a user, the Manage Workspace role is automatically added as well.

Submitting a Workspace as a Team

If we continue to think of each workspace team as a basketball team, the team member with the AOR role is like the go-to scorer—the person who has the ball in clutch moments at the end of the game.

teamwork for user roles in workspace

Continue reading Roles for Applying with Workspace #3: AORs Submit

Grant Writing Basics: Look for the Little Details

Planning and completing a grant application is a lot of work, so in the rush to meet the application deadline it can be easy to overlook little details. That is why it is important to identify all requirements listed in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) near the beginning of the process (even if it does not seem like a big deal).

grant writing basics icon

Examples of “Little” Details (that are actually important)

These are specific examples of requirements for certain FOAs—these are NOT requirements for all grant applications.

Continue reading Grant Writing Basics: Look for the Little Details

Roles for Applying with Workspace #2: Participants on the Team

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.

teamwork for user roles in workspace

In each workspace, there is a “Participants” tab that lists all the people in your organization who can access and work on the forms in this application. A user with the Manage Workspace Role can add participants to each workspace.
Continue reading Roles for Applying with Workspace #2: Participants on the Team

Reply All: ‘What’s with the Grantor Image Tab in My Workspace?’

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.

Reply All Blog Series logo

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.

Continue reading Reply All: ‘What’s with the Grantor Image Tab in My Workspace?’

7 Tips for Transitioning Your Organization to Grants.gov Workspace

Thousands of federal grant applicants have submitted their application packages using Grants.gov Workspace. In this blog post, we share tips for streamlining organizational workflow in order to take advantage of Workspace’s full range of benefits.

These benefits include the following:

  • A set of shareable individual grant forms, rather than the legacy application package (which will be phased out in December 2017)
  • A form reuse feature that imports data from past application forms
  • Improved form validations that help to cut down on last-minute submission errors
  • A preview feature that gives applicants the ability to view the complete application in a single window

Below are some tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible for you and your organization:

1. Form reuse is the single most beneficial feature in Workspace.

Whether you’re a one-person show or you have a large team working on each application, the reuse feature within Workspace has the potential to save you tons of time.

Scenario
Let’s say you apply for a grant later this month using Workspace. In the end, you aren’t awarded the funds. The next time you apply for the same grant – perhaps a year from now – you will be able to reuse all of your old forms and focus your time and effort on improving the weakest parts of the application.

2. Familiarize your team with the general Workspace workflow.

Grants.gov Workspace Workflow

Workspace separates the application package into individual forms. This allows a team of applicants to work on each form separately – at the same time, if they wish. This changes the traditional workflow, which permitted only one applicant to work on the application at a time.

Continue reading 7 Tips for Transitioning Your Organization to Grants.gov Workspace