A Short Summary of Federal Grants

What is a grant? A grant is a way the government funds your ideas and projects to provide public services and stimulate the economy. Grants support critical recovery initiatives, innovative research, and many other programs listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA).

A grant is one of many different forms of federal financial assistance. Federal financial assistance is a broad term to refer to the various ways the U.S. government redistributes resources to eligible recipients. On Grants.gov you will find grant and cooperative agreement opportunities from federal agencies that award grants.

The Grant Lifecycle

The grant process follows a linear lifecycle that includes creating the funding opportunity, applying, making award decisions, and successfully implementing the award. Check out the Grant Lifecycle page to find out what the applicant and the grant-making agency do in the lifecycle.

The specific actions along the lifecycle are grouped into three main phases. Each of the three phases has its own page that provides a more detailed look at the process:

  1. Pre-Award Phase - Funding Opportunities and Application Review

  2. Award Phase - Award Decisions and Notifications

  3. Post Award - Implementation, Reporting, and Closeout

Confused about the different types of federal grants? Check out the "What Is a Grant?" series on the Grants.gov Community Blog ​​​​​​ .

Grant Lifecycle

Pre-Award Phase
Funding Opportunity Announcement & Application Review

Award Phase
Award Decisions & Notifications

Post Award Phase
Implementation, Reporting & Closeout