Grantors' Frequently Asked Questions
The following answers address common queries relating to managing agencies and users, creating application packages and templates, and more. Please refer to the Grants.gov Online User Guide for a complete description and discussion of the Grants.gov Grantor system.
- Managing Agencies and Users
- Managing Sub-Agencies
- Managing Applications
- Assigning Agency Tracking Numbers
- Publishing and Managing an Application Package
- Creating and Managing Forms
- Account Registration
- Login Troubleshooting
- Password Expiration
- Account Deactivation
- Web Browsers
- Antivirus Best Practices
How many grantors can register under an agency?
An unlimited number of grantors can be registered under an agency. Read the Grantor Registration page for more information.
How can a user affiliate their Grants.gov account with an agency?
Complete the Grantor Registration process, then contact your agency point of contact (POC) for Grants.gov. Read the Grantors: Add Profile & Agency Affiliation help article for more information.
What roles can be assigned to agency users?
When a user has registered with Grants.gov, they have the ability to log in, but they cannot perform agency-related actions until they are given a role. Read the Manage Roles help article for a list of roles and functionality associated with each.
Grants.gov will perform the initial set-up of the agency. From there, the Agency Administrator will be able to set up sub-agencies. Contact your Grants.gov Program Advisor to have your agency registered.
How is a sub-agency created on Grants.gov?
Grantors with the Manage Agencies role are able to create agencies and sub-agencies in Grants.gov. Review the Create Agency help article and Modify Agency and Sub-Agency help article for instructions.
How does a user become a sub-agency administrator?
Grantors with the Manage Grantors role may assign roles to grantors within their agency and sub-agencies. For new users, please Register with Grants.gov then follow the Add Profile & Agency Affiliation instructions. For information on how to add roles to a grantor, review the Manage Roles help article.
I have already downloaded and acknowledged all of my submitted application packages. When will these old submitted applications be removed?
Submitted applications will be available on the "View All Submitted Applications" page for 5 years* after submission.
*Note: The application purge period was increased from 180 days to 5 years on October 20, 2015, so all applications submitted on or after April 22, 2015 will be stored for 5 years. All applications submitted before April 22, 2015 have been deleted under the previous 180 day purge period.
I downloaded my applications days ago, so why won't they disappear from the Retrieve Submitted Applications list?
If you have downloaded an application and it is still visible in the list, you may have forgotten to click the Acknowledge Completion of Download button. After downloading applications, clicking on the Acknowledge Completion of Download button will change the status of the applications. The status is viewable both to the Grantor and to the applicant communities.
I just assigned an agency tracking number to an application. When I clicked on the Continue button, the application was no longer on the screen. What happened to it?
Users still have access to these submissions after assigning the agency tracking number; search criteria can be adjusted to view those submissions. The Assign Tracking Numbers screen only displays applications submitted to your agency that have not yet been assigned a tracking number. You may see a full list of applications submitted to your agency by clicking the View All Submitted Applications link.
How does my applicant know an agency tracking number has been assigned to his/her application?
The applicant will receive an email notification stating that a tracking number has been assigned. An applicant may also obtain the tracking number for their grant application by logging on and checking the status of their grant application.
What if my agency does not assign tracking numbers?
Assigning tracking numbers is not mandatory and is the choice of the individual agency. If your agency does not assign tracking numbers, the application process will not be affected.
What information will I need to publish an opportunity?
Please review the Manage Opportunities help article and Create Grant Opportunities help article for information about publishing funding opportunity announcements and the required information.
Can I post earmarked or mandatory grant application packages on Grants.gov?
Yes. You can post any type of application package on Grants.gov. In the case of those packages that have a limited applicant pool or that are part of a block or mandatory grant program, you can simply post the application package on Grants.gov without publishing an opportunity synopsis. The applicant will be able to find the package on the Search for Opportunity Package page.
How can I create a draft of a grant synopsis or forecast for my co-workers to review?
When creating a grant synopsis or forecast of a funding opportunity announcement, it is considered a draft until it reaches the Post Date you selected and is published by the system. Your co-workers, or anyone with the appropriate Grantor roles, may review and edit it until its publication.
Some Grantors may choose to set the Post Date well into the future to give ample time to create, refine, and finalize the grant synopsis or forecast. Once the synopsis or forecast is ready for publication, the Grantor may change the Post Date to make the opportunity available to the public.
Will I be able to make any modifications to application packages after they are published?
Yes, you can modify an application package at any time. However, please keep in mind that if you make any significant changes to an existing application package, applicants must update their application and possibly lose work already completed. For applicants using Grants.gov Workspace, they will see an alert on the Manage Workspace page to update their application. Applicants who have signed up for email notifications will be automatically notified of the changes via email, if the grantor chooses to send change notifications.
How do you create a template?
Users with the Agency Template Creator role may create and manage application package templates. Read the Manage Application Package Templates help article and Create Application Package Templates for instructions on using the template functionality.
Why am I getting an error message that says Grants.gov does not recognize my agency's CFDA Number?
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 I create a form?
Before a grant application form can appear in a Grants.gov user's workspace, it must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and developed by Grants.gov's team of developers and testers. Read the Forms Request for information on how to have a form added to Grants.gov.
Will Grants.gov obtain OMB approval for me?
No. Agencies are responsible for obtaining OMB approval prior to submitting the forms to Grants.gov for development. OMB approval is not needed if the agency uses forms that lists Grants.gov as the Agency Owner because these forms have been approved for government-wide use. Review the Forms Process page for more information.
How can I view the forms that Grants.gov has created?
Grants.gov has all of the forms listed on the website within the Forms Repository. Review the Forms Request page for more information.
Is it possible to reuse an existing form?
Yes. The following four types of forms are currently available for your use:
- Standard forms. OMB has approved Standard Forms, such as the SF-LLL, SF-424, and SF-424A-D, as well as the Faith-Based EEO form for government-wide use.
- Agency-specific forms. You may reuse forms created by other agencies if the fields on those forms are the same as the fields on one of your existing OMB-approved forms. If necessary, Grants.gov will change the form name, title, and agency logo to meet your needs.
- Grants.gov forms. Grants.gov provides "attachment forms" that allow applicants to include supporting documentation via pre-existing files (Word, Excel, PDF, etc.), such as a budget narrative, project narrative, or other miscellaneous documents.
- Government-wide forms. The SF-424 was established as the core government-wide standard data set and cover sheet form. Besides the base SF-424 form, several additional coversheets and forms address grant information needs for programs requiring less applicant information, as well as for specific applicant communities applying for mandatory, research and individual program grants.
May I reuse an existing form but add my agency's name to it?
Yes. Just let Grants.gov know when you submit your forms request for development.
My agency requires that all applications be signed. Does Grants.gov handle electronic signatures, and has the signature undergone legal review?
Grants.gov does provide electronic signatures on forms that contain a signature block (e.g., SF424, Certifications, and Assurances). However, you should continue to adhere to the policies set forth by your agency regarding electronic signatures for grant applications.
What file formats are supported for applicants uploading files?
Currently, when using the standard attachment forms provided by Grants.gov, there are no restrictions on file types. If you would like to restrict your applicants to certain formats (e.g., Word, Excel, PDF), please specify the particular formats within your agency-specific instructions.
Did You Know?
Grantors may register and log on to Grants.gov, but they will not be able to perform agency-related actions until they are assigned a role.
Did You Know?
Forms can take up to three or four months to develop. It's important to allow for this development time in your planning processes.
What should I do if I receive the message "Email Already Exists in System" and I am unable to register?
If you receive the message "Email Already Exists in System," your email address has already been used to register. Go to the Login page and use the Forgot My Username function to retrieve the username associated with your email address.
What is a profile?
A profile in Grants.gov corresponds to a single applicant organization the user represents (i.e., an applicant), an individual applicant, or a single federal agency (i.e., for a grantors). Read the Add Profile and Agency Affiliation help article for instructions on how to register with Grants.gov and have your profile affiliated with an agency.
What are the Grants.gov password requirements?
- Must contain at least eight (8) characters
- Must contain at least one (1) uppercase letter (A-Z)
- Must contain at least one (1) lower case letter (a-z)
- Must contain at least one (1) number (0-9)
- Must contain at least one (1) special character (e.g. ! @ # $ % ^ & *)
- Cannot be the same as the previous six (6) passwords
- Cannot contain dictionary words, names, or your Username
How do I use my PIV/CAC card to login to Grants.gov?
First, you must have a Grants.gov account with a Grantor profile. Then you need to link your PIV/CAC card to your Grants.gov account. Read the Link to Grants.gov Account (PIV/CAC) help article for instructions and additional troubleshooting information.
What federal agencies are supported on the Grants.gov PIV/CAC login screen?
The PIV/CAC cards for the following federal agencies are supported:
- Department of Defense (DOD)
- Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Department of State (DOS)
- Department of Transportation (DOT)
- Department of Treasury (TREAS)
- Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Social Security Administration (SSA)
- United States Government Publishing Office (GPO)
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
To request that your agency's PIV/CAC card be supported by Grants.gov, or if you are unable to link your agency's PIV/CAC card to your Grants.gov account, please contact your agency's assigned Grants.gov Program Advisor for assistance.
Why am I being locked out from logging in?
For your security, Grants.gov sets a system lockout on your account if it recognizes actions that appear to be a remote attempt to hack into your account. After three (3) consecutive failed attempts at login over a period of 5 minutes, accounts are locked for 15 minutes.
How do I log in after being locked out?
If you have a username and password, wait 15 minutes before taking any action on the login page. After 15 minutes, your correct username and password will allow you to log in.
If you do not want to wait 15 minutes to unlock your account, click "Forgot My Password/Unlock My Account".
How do I retrieve a forgotten username?
To retrieve the username associated with your email address:
- Click the Login link in the upper-right corner of the Grants.gov banner.
- Click the Forgot My Username link that is located beneath the Username and Password fields.
- Enter your email address associated with this Grants.gov account in the Email Address field.
- Click the Submit button. An email will be sent with your Grants.gov username to the email address you entered. Use this username to log in to Grants.gov.
I forgot my password. How do I reset my password?
To reset the password associated with your account:
- Click the Login link in the upper-right corner of the Grants.gov banner.
- Click the Forgot My Password/Unlock My Account link that is located beneath the Username and Password fields.
- Enter your username in the Username field.
- Enter the email address associated with your username in the Email Address field.
- Select how you want to receive the temporary code (via email or mobile phone) to reset your password. Users who have not added mobile number to their account profile will not see this option and will automatically receive the temporary code via their account email address.
- Click the Continue button.
- Enter the Temporary Code that was sent to the email address or mobile phone number associated with your account, then click Continue. (Note: If you do not receive the code, click the Resend Temporary Code button.)
- Enter your new password and confirm it was entered correctly by re-typing it into the New Password Confirm field.
- Click the Submit button to complete the password reset process.
How long are passwords valid?
Passwords are valid for 60 days and will not be valid on the 61st day onward.
How do I log in after my password expires?
If you always login to Grants.gov using an alternate method (Login.gov, PIV/CAC card, etc.), you may disregard password expiration notices. At any point when you attempt to log into Grants.gov with your expired password, you will be prompted to reset the expired password.
To reset an expired password:
- Login to Grants.gov using your username and password. If your password is expired, you will be directed to the Reset Password page.
- Enter your old password and a new password based on the requirements listed on the Reset Password page.
- Click the Submit button. You will receive an email notification of your password reset.
Why has my Grants.gov account been deactivated?
Your Grants.gov account is automatically deactivated after 365 days of inactivity (i.e., not logging in for a year). Grants.gov automatically sends you four separate warning emails, one per week for the four weeks immediately preceding your deactivation.
If your account is deactivated, you will lose all roles in Grants.gov.
What do I do after my Grants.gov account is deactivated for inactivity?
If your account is deactivated, you must log in and change your password to re-activate your account. If you do not remember your password, then click the Forgot My Password/Unlock My Account link and follow the on-screen instructions.
The next steps depend on your account type:
- EBiz POC – No additional steps after logging in and resetting password.
- Individual Profiles – No additional steps after logging in and resetting password.
- Organization Profiles – By re-activating your account, Grants.gov automatically emails your organization's EBiz POC to assign roles in Grants.gov. You may also want to communicate with your organization's EBiz POC outside of Grants.gov to ensure your roles are reassigned.
- Grantor – After re-activating your account, you need to communicate with someone within your grant-making agency with the Manage Agencies role, requesting that they reassign roles to your profile Grants.gov.
Which web browsers are supported by Grants.gov?
The latest versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari are supported for use with Grants.gov. However, these web browsers undergo frequent changes and updates, so we recommend you have the latest version when using Grants.gov. Legacy versions of these web browsers may be functional, but you may experience issues.
Grants.gov no longer provides support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 or below.
Which security protocols does my web browser need to support to access Grants.gov?
Your web browser must support at least one of the following: Transport Layer Security (TLS) version 1.0, 1.1, or 1.2. Note: TLS 1.0 and 1.1 are disabled in the Training environment and will be disabled in the Production environment in the future. Read the Grants.gov Notices page for more information.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) version 2 and 3 are not supported.
How do I clear my browser cache?
The cache refers to the Temporary Internet Files folder which contains a record of the items you have seen, heard, or downloaded from the web, including images, sounds and web pages.
Below are links to instructions on how to clear your browser cache:
How can I prevent a virus from infecting my computer or system?
Grants.gov checks for viruses when a file is uploaded, but it is the users' responsibility to make sure they do a virus check on their end when downloading to help protect against zero-day attacks. A zero-day attack is an attack on a computer system that exploits a previously unknown vulnerability that the vendor has not had time to address and patch.
Users are encouraged to do the following when downloading and uploading files with Grants.gov:
- Ensure virus protection software (with the latest signature updates) is installed and running on the system/network being used to perform actions within Grants.gov Workspace
- Perform a scan for viruses locally prior to uploading files or data packages to Grants.gov Workspace
- Download Grants.gov Workspace data to a temporary folder and perform a scan for viruses prior to opening files or data packages
- Report suspicious files or activity immediately to the Grants.gov Support Center at 1-800-518-4726 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Get More FAQs
For additional information, check out the Support Center's frequently asked questions knowledge base and ticket status system—Grants.gov Support Center iPortal.