Grant Lifecycle Timeline

Grants.gov brings together Federal awarding agencies and applicants, helping to streamline the grant process. Read below to learn more about the roles of Grantors and Applicants in the Federal grant lifecycle.

The grant process follows a linear lifecycle that includes creating the funding opportunity, applying, making award decisions, and successfully implementing the award. 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


Pre-Award Phase

Grantor Actions Lifecycle Steps Applicant Actions
In the early stages of the grant process, the grant-making agency plans and develops a funding program based on its mission, the Administration, and congressional initiatives. Planning an
Opportunity
 

Next, the grant-making agency formally announces the funding opportunity, advertising it to applicant communities and inviting proposals tailored to address the program mission. The grant-making agency will publish details of the funding opportunity on Grants.gov.

Announcing an
Opportunity 
 
  Searching for
Opportunities
Potential applicants will use the Grants.gov search tool to find funding opportunities that they are eligible for and are a mission match for their organization.
  Registering on
Grants.gov
When potential applicants have identified an opportunity to apply for, they need to register with Grants.gov as an organization or individual. Applicants should also check the funding opportunity for additional registration requirements specified by the grant-making agency.
  Completing an
Application

Completing a grant application can take weeks. The application package can be downloaded from Grants.gov in the form of a PDF, and progress can be saved as form fields are filled in. These fields require everything from basic organizational information, to explanations of proposed work and financial data. When an application package has been completed per the opportunity instructions and checked for errors, it can be submitted through Grants.gov.

When an application has been submitted, the application is retrieved by the grant-making agency and screened for compliance. If it passes initial screening, the application is routed to the appropriate agency program for consideration. Retrieving the
Application
Once an application has been retrieved by the agency from Grants.gov, the applicant is automatically notified via email. At this point, the grantor application processing begins.
  Staying in
the Loop

Applicants can track the status of their application by communicating with the grant-making agency. The application status process is handled differently by each agency.

As the funding agency reviews applications, a range of program stakeholders will participate. The review process takes time and varies based on grant type. As the review process takes place, grant-making agencies may update applicants on the status of their application. Finishing the
Review Process
 


Award Phase

Grantor Actions Lifecycle Steps Applicant Actions
When the review process has been completed, the funding agency notifies the applicants whether or not they have been awarded a grant. The agency also begins working with the award recipient to finalize the legal framework for the funding agreement. Following this, the funds are disbursed. Notifying the
Award Recipient



 

 

  Beginning the
Hard Work

After an applicant receives a Notice of Award and the funds have been disbursed, they will begin their project. The award recipient is responsible for meeting the administrative, financial, and programmatic reporting requirements of the award.


Post Award Phase

Grantor Actions Lifecycle Steps Applicant Actions

After an award has been disbursed, a grants management officer at the funding agency oversees an awardee's reporting compliance. This process extends across the life of the grant award and involves reviewing reports submitted by the awardees. Representatives from the grantor agency may perform on-site visits with the project director and implementation staff. Oversight may also occur in the form of auditing.

Providing Support
and Oversight
 
  Reporting Your
Progress

Award recipients conduct two primary types of reporting to the funding agency on a regular basis: financial reporting and programmatic reporting. These reports provide information about the overall financial status and program performance of the grant project. Recipients must also respond to any audit requests that pertain to the grant.

As reports and financial data are passed along to the grantor agency, the program stakeholders ensure that all requirements are being met. Upon completing all the closeout requirements, including a review of the final financial and technical reports from the awardee, the grant lifecycle comes to an end.

Award
Closeout