Applying for Grant Opportunities

Where can I find the Funding Opportunity Number or CFDA Number for a grant?
To locate a Funding Opportunity Number or CFDA Number, you will need to perform a search for a grant. Use the search options available on the Search Grants page. Complete your search and click the Search button. The results will display all applicable grants. The Funding Opportunity Number is listed on the "Search Results" screen and the CFDA Number is listed in the Grant Announcement.

How do I apply for a grant?
Locate a grant opportunity for which you want to apply and record the opportunity's Funding Opportunity Number and/or CFDA Number.

When you are ready to apply, complete the following steps:

Step 1 - Download the Application Package.
Step 2 - Complete the Application Package.
Step 3 - Submit the Application Package.

For more details on how to apply for a grant go to the Applicant Resources page and click on User Guides.

What do I need to record from a search in order to apply for an opportunity?
You will need to record the Funding Opportunity Number and/or CFDA Number of an opportunity for which you want to apply.

Should I apply as an individual or an organization?
An individual grant applicant is defined as an applicant who is submitting a grant on their own behalf and not on behalf of a company, state, local or tribal government, academia, or other type of organization. If you are submitting a grant on behalf of a company, state, local or tribal government, academia, or other type of organization you are an organizational grant applicant. An individual grant applicant can use Grants.gov to search for opportunities, download application packages and submit applications.

Why must I download the application package?
Each funding opportunity includes specific information and forms. Downloading the application package provides you the ability to complete the forms offline at your leisure and to distribute it around your organization to others who may assist you in preparing the application.

Who in my organization can submit an electronic grant application on Grants.gov?
To submit electronic grant applications, you must be fully authorized by your organization, i.e., been given status as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). For complete details on how to apply for grants online go to the Apply for Grants page.

You can easily check your status by logging into Grants.gov by accessing the Applicant Login section of the site. If you have registered your username and password with Grants.gov, you will be able to login. After logging in, access the Manage Profile link. Your status, located below your title, will state: "AOR - request sent" or "AOR - approved." If your status is "AOR - request sent", you cannot yet submit grant applications. You may correct this by contacting your E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC). They will login by accessing the E-Biz POC page. They will need your organization's DUNS number and MPIN, to approve you as an AOR.

Can I decide where I want to save the application package on my computer?
Yes, during the download process you will be prompted to select where you want the application forms to be saved on your computer.

Why did I receive an error message when I entered something into a field on an application form?
You will receive an error message if you enter invalid or incomplete information in a field on an application form.

Why can't I enter my congressional district in "Question 14 a.)" in the Standard Form 424 Cover Sheet (SF-424 Cover Sheet)?
"Question 14 a.)" only allows an applicant to enter in the number for their district. If you are attempting to enter any letters or special characters (example: -, &, *, %, /, #), the box will not allow you to enter that information. Please use numbers for that box.

Why can't I enter in the financial information in Section 15 on the SF-424 Coversheet?
If you are having problems entering information into Section 15, try using the tab key to skip into the fields rather than attempting to use your mouse to click into the field. You should be able to access the box and enter information by hitting tab on your keyboard.

I've completed a form, but don't see a Save button at the top of the screen. Will I lose all of the information I entered when I exit the form?
An application package is similar to a file, made up of the cover page and (possibly) many forms. Data at the form level will be retained when you close a form. Although your data at the form level will be saved, your application package file WILL NOT be saved unless you actually save the file before closing it down.

Why doesn't the Submit button work on my application?
The Submit button will not become active until the application has been completed and saved. After completing your application, you may also want to click the Check for Errors button to ensure there are no errors. Check to make sure there are no remaining yellow fields (indicating a mandatory field) on any forms. If there are, you will need to complete those fields. Finally, make sure you have saved your application.

If the Submit button is still not active please check to be sure you have completed the actions listed below:

  • All mandatory fields in all mandatory forms have been completed and moved to the Mandatory Completed Documents for Submission box.
  • The Save button has been clicked AFTER all documents have been moved to the Mandatory Completed Documents for Submission box.
  • All mandatory fields in all optional forms that have been moved to the Optional Completed Documents for Submission box have been completed.
  • Click the Check for Errors button.

What does the Check for Errors button do on the application?
The Check for Errors button, on the application, finds errors that prevent your application from being processed. A Check for Errors button is available for use on the application. Click this button to be directed to where an error is located in the current application.

Some common errors are listed below.

  • All mandatory fields (yellow fields or fields with an asterisk next to them) have not been completed.
  • Email field(s) are not formatted properly, (ex. name@domain.something) or the date fields have not been completed in their specific format (ex. mm/dd/yyyy).
  • The congressional districts field on the SF-424 is not listed in numerical format.
  • All forms that have data in them, (even optional forms) have not been moved over to the right.
  • Save button was not clicked one last time, allowing the Submit button to become active.

Why do I need to login to submit an application?
You need to login to submit an application so that Grants.gov can authenticate that you are authorized to submit applications. Only Authorized Organization Representatives (AORs) are able to submit applications to Grants.gov.

AORs must complete a Grants.gov profile and create a username and password so that Grants.gov can verify that they are who they say they are. Then, the person listed as the point of contact on the agency's SAM registration (the E-Business Point of Contact) must assign the "Agency Applicant" role in order for the person to be designated as an AOR. Once designated as an AOR, the AOR must register with Grants.gov. Only after completing all of these steps, will a person be able to submit an application.

Do I have to submit a complete application, or may I send it in parts?
No, you must submit the complete application.

Is there a size limit for an application submission and attachments?
Yes. It is recommended the total application submission size not exceed 200 MB. It is also recommended individual attachments not exceed 100 MB. It is the individual responsibility of every user to make sure their submissions do not exceed these limits.

What happens if I submit my application on the date that the application is due, but it is submitted after the agency's filing deadline time?
Grants.gov will acknowledge the receipt of your application. Your application may or may not be accepted and processed by the federal agency, depending on the policy of that particular agency. To determine that policy, contact the agency directly with the contact information provided in the application instructions.

How can I submit my application if there is a Grants.gov system outage on the day of the application deadline?
If there is a system outage on the day of the application deadline, some agencies may specify to print your application and mail it to the address provided by the federal agency soliciting applications. However, you should refer to the competition notice of the grant for specific instructions and contact the agency directly to find out more information.

What should I do if my registration isn't complete by the submission deadline?
You should contact the agency point of contact listed on the grant opportunity to discuss that agency's policy. Grants.gov recommends all potential grant applicants complete the registration process as early as possible to avoid deadline issues. It takes from 3 business days to as long as two weeks to complete the registration process necessary to submit a grant application.

I am receiving an error message stating: "You are not an authorized submitter for your organization." What can I do to correct this?
Ensure your E-Biz POC has given you authorization to submit applications on behalf of your organization. You may check your Approved Organization Representative (AOR) status by logging into your Grants.gov account. Your AOR status will be displayed on the left side of the screen directly beneath your name. If the status states "AOR Status: Approved." You are able to submit grant applications.

Can you apply for earmark grants on Grants.gov?
Yes, you can apply for earmark grants on Grants.gov if the granting agency has published a grant application package.

How can I find my congressional district code?
Finding your Congressional District Code information is quick and easy to do. Visit: Congressional Directory or http://www.house.gov to search for your Congressional District by entering your zip code + 4. If you do not know your zip code + 4 you may look it up by visiting: http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp.

Congressional Code format - 2 character State Abbreviation - 3 character District Number. Examples: CA-005 for California's 5th district, CA-012 for California's 12th district. Use 00-000 for programs/projects outside the US.