Standard Language for Using Grants.gov Apply

The Grants.gov PMO has provided the following information for the use of grantor agencies in preparing funding opportunity notices and application packages. Use this language and create a customized message for your internal or external communications about Grants.gov.

Application Submission and Receipt Procedures

This section provides the application submission and receipt instructions for [INSERT AGENCY NAME] program applications. Please read the following instructions carefully and completely.

1. Electronic Delivery. [INSERT AGENCY NAME] is participating in the Grants.gov Initiative that provides the Grant Community a single site to find and apply for grant funding opportunities. [INSERT AGENCY NAME] encourages applicants to submit their applications electronically through http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

2. The following describes what to expect when applying online using Grants.gov/Apply:

a. Instructions. On the site, you will find step-by-step instructions which enable you to apply for [INSERT AGENCY NAME] funds. The Grants.gov/Apply feature includes a simple, unified application process that makes it possible for applicants to apply for grants online. There are five "Get Registered" steps for an Organization to complete at Grants.gov. The information applicants need to understand and execute the steps can be found at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html.

Applicants should read through the registration process carefully. The site also contains registration checklists to help you walk through the process. [INSERT AGENCY NAME] recommends that you download the checklists and prepare the information requested before beginning the registration process. Reviewing and assembling required information before beginning the registration process will alleviate last minute searches for required information and save time.

b. DUNS Requirement. All applicants applying for funding, including renewal funding, must have a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Data Numbering System (DUNS) number. The DUNS number must be included in the data entry field labeled "Organizational DUNS" on the SF-424 form. Instructions for obtaining a DUNS number can be found at the following website: http://www.grants.gov//web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-1-obtain-duns-number.html.

c. System for Award Management. In addition to having a DUNS number, applicants applying electronically through Grants.gov must register with the federal System for Award Management (SAM). Step-by-step instructions for registering with SAM can be found here: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-2-register-with-sam.html. All applicants must register with SAM in order to apply online. Failure to register with the SAM will result in your application being rejected by Grants.gov during the submissions process.

d. Username and Password. The next step in the registration process is creating a username and password with Grants.gov to become an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). AORs will need to know the DUNS number of the organization for which they will be submitting applications to complete this process. To read more detailed instructions for creating a profile on Grants.gov visit: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-3-username-password.html.

e. AOR Authorization. After creating a profile on Grants.gov, the E-Biz Point of Contact (E-Biz POC) a representative from your organization who is the contact listed for SAM  will receive an email to grant the AOR permission to submit applications on behalf of their organization. The E-Biz POC will then log in to Grants.gov and approves an applicant as the AOR, thereby giving him or her permission to submit applications. To learn more about AOR Authorization visit: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-4-aor-authorization.html. To track an AOR status visit: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-5-track-aor-status.html.

Applicants are, therefore, encouraged to register early. The registration process can take up to four weeks to be completed. Therefore, registration should be done in sufficient time to ensure it does not impact your ability to meet required submission deadlines. You will be able to submit your application online anytime after you have been approved as an AOR.

f. Electronic Signature. Applications submitted through Grants.gov constitute a submission as electronically signed applications. The registration and account creation with Grants.gov with E-Biz POC approval, establishes an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). When you submit the application through Grants.gov, the name of your AOR on file will be inserted into the signature line of the application. Applicants must register the individual who is able to make legally binding commitments for the applicant organization as the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); this step is often missed and it is crucial for valid submissions.

3. Instructions on how to submit an electronic application to [INSERT AGENCY NAME] via Grants.gov/Apply:
Grants.gov has a full set of instructions on how to apply for opportunities on its website at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/grant-application-process.html. The following provides simple guidance on what you will find on the Grants.gov/Apply site. Applicants are encouraged to read through the page entitled, "Complete Application Package" before getting started.

Grants.gov allows applicants to download the application package, instructions and forms that are incorporated in the instructions, and work offline. In addition to forms that are part of the application instructions, there will be a series of electronic forms that are provided utilizing Adobe Reader.

a. Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader is available for free to download from on the Download Software page: http://www.grants.gov//web/grants/support/technical-support/recommended-software.html. Adobe Reader allows applicants to read the electronic files in a form format so that they will look like any other Standard or [INSERT AGENCY NAME] form. The Adobe Reader forms have content sensitive help. This engages the content sensitive help for each field you will need to complete on the form. The Adobe Reader forms can be downloaded and saved on your hard drive, network drive(s), or CDs.

NOTE: for the Adobe Reader, Grants.gov is compatible with versions 8.1.1 and later versions. Always refer to the Download Software page for compatible versions. Please do not use lower versions of the Adobe Reader.

b. Mandatory Fields in Adobe Forms. In the Adobe Reader forms you will note fields that will appear with a background color on the data fields to be completed. These fields are mandatory fields and they must be completed to successfully submit your application.

c. Completion of SF-424 Fields First. The Adobe Reader forms are designed to fill in common required fields such as the applicant name and address, DUNS number, etc., on all Adobe Reader forms. To trigger this feature, an applicant must complete the SF-424 information first. Once it is completed the information will transfer to the other forms.

d. Customer Support. The Grants.gov website provides customer support via toll-free 1-(800)-518-GRANTS or through email at support@grants.gov. For grant opportunity related questions, contact the number listed in the application package of the grant you are applying for. If you are experiencing difficulties with your submission it is best to call the Contact Center and get a case number. The case number will assist the [INSERT AGENCY NAME] with tracking your issue and provide background information on the issue.

4. Timely Receipt Requirements and Proof of Timely Submission.

a. Electronic Submission. All applications must be received by (insert time) Eastern time on the due date established for each program. Proof of timely submission is automatically recorded by Grants.gov. An electronic time stamp is generated within the system when the application is successfully received by Grants.gov. The applicant will receive an acknowledgement of receipt and a tracking number from Grants.gov with the successful transmission of their application. Applicants should print this receipt and save it, along with facsimile receipts for information provided by facsimile, as proof of timely submission. When [INSERT AGENCY NAME] successfully retrieves the application from Grants.gov, Grants.gov will provide an electronic acknowledgment of receipt to the email address of the AOR. Proof of timely submission shall be the date and time that Grants.gov receives your application. Applications received by Grants.gov, after the established due date for the program will be considered late and will not be considered for funding by [INSERT AGENCY NAME].

Applicants using dial-up connections should be aware that transmission should take some time before Grants.gov receives it. Grants.gov will provide either an error or a successfully received transmission message. The Grants.gov Contact Center reports that some applicants abort the transmission because they think that nothing is occurring during the transmission process. Please be patient and give the system time to process the application. Uploading and transmitting many files particularly electronic forms with associated XML schemas will take some time to be processed.