Troubleshooting Application Packages
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I'm getting an error message that my CFDA Number is not being recognized?
Grants.gov uses a nightly extract from the CFDA Catalog to update its information. If the CFDA has not updated its catalog yet, Grants.gov may not have the information necessary to recognize the CFDA Program Number. If you are the agency administrator, please contact your Grants.gov agency program advisor. Grants.gov may be able to manually insert this information. If you are not the agency administrator, work with that designated person in your agency to resolve the issue.
How do you create a template?
Not everyone will have the ability to create a template. If an agency user has the right to create templates, the link for this functionality will be listed at the left-hand side of the website after the user has logged into Grants.gov. If a user does not have that functionality listed, either the administrator will need to grant that ability or the administrator will need to set-up a template for the user to use. The template functionality allows an agency to reuse the same application package without having to set-up the necessary forms each time in order to help minimize user error when publishing a package.
What is the purpose of data analysis?
Data analysis allows an agency to provide its form requirements for a specific grant program to Grants.gov. By following this process, agencies can clearly communicate to Grants.gov about how fields on a form are used and what rules, if any, should be enforced on each field. Agencies benefit directly because Grants.gov will accurately reproduce their forms resulting in higher quality submissions. In addition, data analysis provides a mechanism for each agency to review forms used by other agencies, which may result in consolidation or elimination of some items.
I do not intend to use XML. Do I still have to perform the data analysis when we request Grants.gov to develop an agency specific form?
Yes. The data analysis process stays the same even if you do not intend to use XML. For example, we will use a field's maximum character length to determine how much data an applicant should enter into a field.
How do I get started with data analysis templates (DAT)?
- Review all of your programs and determine which ones may be good candidates for Grants.gov - considerations should include:
- The number of expected applications
- Forms already in production that could be re-used in your application package
- The programs that contain forms that could be re-used with other programs
- Review the available resources
- Begin constructing your data analysis templates
What tools/resources are available to assist my agency with completing the data analysis template?
- Guide for Data Analysis & Forms Development Guide - This guidebook Adobe PDF Document explains in detail how to complete a data analysis template. It includes a sample template.
- Get Adobe Reader
- Grants.gov Forms Repository - This is a repository containing all forms currently available on Grants.gov. All of these forms are available for your use.
- Data Element Library - Contains the data definitions for commonly used fields (e.g., address, contact information, application organization details, program details)
SEE: Guide for Data Analysis and Forms Development Adobe PDF Document
- Application instructions. The instructions that you currently provide to your applicants often have very descriptive information about how your forms should be completed.
- Application forms. The application form often contains descriptive information about how your forms should be completed. If not, try completing the form and document any detail that is not clearly stated.
- Database Dictionary. If you enter all or part of your application information into a database, your database dictionary will contain much of the required information about your data fields. Please ask your IT staff for additional help.
- Completed application forms. Review of past, successful submissions will often clarify any undocumented form requirements.
What type of skill set and coordination is needed to develop the data analysis template?
Completing the data analysis template requires:
- Familiarity with the form's instructions and types of entries that are acceptable, including:
- Which fields should be mandatory, conditionally mandatory or optional
- Rules for each conditionally mandatory field (e.g. If 4a is yes, then complete 4b, etc.)
- Expected field lengths
- Field formats (e.g., Assurance number must be in format mm-yyyy-####)
- An understanding of the form's relationship to other forms in the application package (e.g., the 'From Date' on the SF-424 is the same as the 'Start Date' on your agency-specific form)
Is there a sample data analysis template that my agency can review?
Yes. A sample template is provided in the Guide for Data Analysis and Forms Development Adobe PDF Document.
Can I include attachments as a requirement in my data analysis template?
Yes. Your data analysis template provides a way for you to include all of your file attachment requirements.
I have completed data analysis of a program. I am ready to submit the results. What should I do?
You should email the following items to your assigned Agency Program Advisor.
- List of forms that will be required to publish your program (NOTE: some of these forms may already be in production)
- Expected number of applicants for the program
- Data analysis template for each form requiring development
- Copy of each original form (usually submitted as a Word, Excel, or PDF document). If this is a new form, you should create a mock up of the form.
- Copy of the application instructions, if available
- Desired production date (NOTE: You should allow at least 2-3 months for development but timeframes are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on form complexity and number of forms in the development queue.)
How will my forms be prioritized for development?
Grants.gov is an agency-centric initiative and as such we prioritize our work based on a combination of factors:
- Which programs have the highest number of expected applicants
- Which programs contain forms that can be reused
- Which programs are ready for development