After looking back on 2017, we now look forward to 2018. As the Grants.gov program, we are designing forward with the guiding principles of simplify, support, and strategize. What does that mean for this next year?
#1 Increased Commitment to Learning from Grants Community
Grants.gov is committed to improving its service to you, the federal grants community, by transforming itself into a more user-friendly system for years to come. We cannot do that without listening to you.
Release 16.1’s Workspace enhancements will, among other things, improve form copy functionality—this feature allows you to copy previous Workspace forms into another Workspace to save time on filling out those forms. Here are the specifics:
We heard your feedback, so Release 16.1 on November 20, 2017, will bring improvements to the funding opportunity and communications subscription process.
How? The new Connect tab will contain ways to subscribe to Grants.gov email updates and alerts. After logging in to your Grants.gov account, you can save custom search queries or subscribe to specific funding opportunity numbers.
Here are some of the features coming with the release:
Logged-in users will be able to subscribe to a funding opportunity – including forecast, synopsis and package – with a single click on the View Grant Opportunity page. Also, users can save searches from the Search Grants page.
Since launching Workspace in 2015, Grants.gov has continued to enhance its collaborative features for applicants. Several new features will be available when Release 16.0 is deployed on June 19, 2017.
Our first Release 16.0 preview post highlighted changes to user roles and access levels that will allow Workspace Owners to control access to budget forms and to add participants from outside organizations.
Another upcoming enhancement is the addition of the new progress bar at the top of the workspace.
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:
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.