Grants.Gov Applicant Hashing Standard

Grants.gov requires the Applicant organizations to hash single-project and multi-project as well as each submission attachment in order to ensure proper delivery of the submission to the agency.

This section describes the Grants.gov technical requirements for Applicant S2S submissions. The following technical requirements are covered in this section:

  • Hashing of submission attachments.
  • Hashing of correct submission XML node.
  • Specify xsi:schemaLocation attribute value in root element of submission XML.
NOTICE: Special Characters not Supported

Grants.gov will only accept ASCII characters in XML, while other characters may be supported by the schema, they may cause differences in the resulting hash value generated when the application is processed by Grants.gov resulting in a FATAL error in the submission.

Secure Hash Algorithm-1 (SHA-1) Hashing

Grants.gov uses the SHA-1 (http://www.itl.nist.gov/fipspubs/fip180-1.htm External Web Site Policy) for computing hash values. The resulting hash value shall be encoded using the Base64 data encoding specification (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3548.txt External Web Site Policy). The resulting value will be populated in the global schema HashValue element.

Grants.gov requires the Applicant organizations to hash the <grant:Forms> XML node for single-project submissions and the <mpgrant:ApplicationPackage> XML node for multi-project submissions along with each submission attachment. When creating the attachment XML, it is important to specify "SHA-1" in the Global Schema "glob:hashAlgorithm" attribute. If a value other than SHA-1 is received in the XML, Grants.gov will reject the application. The next sections describe the process in greater detail.

Preparing and Calculating Attachment Hash Values (Step 1)

This section clarifies the process of sending attachments to Grants.gov. The Attachments schema is required when adding attachments to a S2S grant application package. The schema containing the AttachedFileDataType can be accessed by the URL:

http://apply07.grants.gov/apply/system/schemas/GlobalLibrary-V1.0.xsd.

The schema contains a field named FileLocation. This element represents the Content-ID (CID) for the attachment, which is a unique value for identifying the associated attachment. The href attribute of the FileLocation element should be populated with the CID. The CID (the FileLocation href attribute value) in the schema should match theFileContentId element contained in the GrantsCommonElements:Attachment element. TheGrantsCommonElements schema can be accessed by the URL:

http://apply07.grants.gov/apply/system/schemas/GrantsCommonElements-V1.0.xsd

The following restrictions apply to both single and multi-project submissions:

  • CID values must be unique across the entire submission XML.
  • The XPath to each attachment FileName element must be unique across the entire submission XML. The XPath for attachment names is calculated as follows:
    • Single-project submission XPath starts at the <grant:Forms> child element and continuing to the attachment FileName value, ignoring the immediate parent of the FileName element.
    • Multi-Project submission XPath starts with the overall/sub-application ID value, skipping the<grant:Forms> element and continuing to the attachment FileName value, ignoring the immediate parent of the FileName element.

Each attachment must be hashed and the value placed in the attachment HashValue XML element of the Submission XML.

Calculating the Submission XML Node Hash Value (Step 2)

Once the attachment hash values have been calculated and inserted into their proper location of the submission XML document, the submission XML document is considered to be ┬┐prepared'. The Applicant organization must then compute the hash for the appropriate XML node (described in the following sub-sections).

The submission XML node (element and its sub-elements) must be canonicalized BEFORE hashing to guarantee equivalence of hash values for logically equivalent Grant Application XML documents. The canonicalization standard is the Exclusive XML Canonicalization W3C specification (http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/REC-xml-exc-c14n-20020718/ Click to View Exit Disclaimer.

When applied, this specification will produce an XML that has the identical lexical structure for all XML Node inputs that are logically equivalent. The specification will not include namespace specific attributes that are in ancestor nodes of canonicalized sub-elements. Also, the specification will not include the namespace declarations of ancestor nodes that are not used by the sub-elements to be canonicalized. This shields the canonicalized sub-elements from being affected by namespace declarations in ancestor nodes that are not to be canonicalized.

The resulting hash value computed must be populated in the HashValue element within the<grant:SubmissionHeader> element.

Single-Project Submission XML Node

The hash value must be computed over the <grant:Forms> XML node.

Multi-Project Submission XML Node

The hash value must be computed over the <mpgrant:ApplicationPackage> XML node.