A More Efficient Approach to Submitting a Federal Grant Application

As the Legacy PDF retirement deadline nears, some applicant organizations are preparing to apply using Grants.gov Workspace for the very first time.

We recently sketched out a basic application scenario in which only one or two people have Grants.gov accounts.

In this post, we sketch out another scenario – one that involves a team of 3-5 registered applicants who prefer to fill out Grants.gov webforms instead of PDF forms.

Intermediate path for Workspace. Best path for organizations with 3-5 registered Grants.gov users

Here’s the scenario:

You are about to begin your first federal grant application using Grants.gov Workspace. For years, you and several other colleagues applied using the old Legacy PDF Application Package. You traded a package of PDF forms back and forth—and back again.


You are eager to try Workspace because the shared online application environment will enable your team to work simultaneously on the forms, saving time (and stress). You also prefer to complete webforms in a browser rather than downloading and filling out PDF forms offline.


A team like this could proceed with their application as follows:

  1. Make sure your team members have registered with Grants.gov

Without a Grants.gov account, a team member will not be able to access the workspace and fill out application webforms. Note: Unregistered collaborators are able to complete PDF (offline) forms that are emailed to them.


  1. Design an internal application workflow and assign responsibilities to your team members

For example, you will want one collaborator (i.e., a “participant” using Workspace terminology) to have the Manage Workspace role, so that he or she can create the workspace. You will also want a participant who has the AOR role, so that the application can be submitted when it has been completed. (In some cases, a single user with both the AOR and Manage Workspace roles might be asked to create the workspace and submit the application.)


  1. Log in and create your workspace from the Package tab on the View Grant Opportunity page of the grant announcement

Any user with the Manage Workspace role (or the AOR role) may create the workspace. The user who creates the workspace will automatically become the Workspace Owner.


  1. Add your team members as “Participants” so they can access the application forms

The Workspace Owner (an access level automatically assigned to the user who creates the workspace) should add Participants to the workspace. (Note: The EBiz POC can also add users to a workspace.)


  1. Fill in all required form fields

Applicants may choose to complete either the PDF version or the webform version of each form. They may also switch between forms. Grants.gov recommends that the person completing each form locks access to it, so that others cannot overwrite the work.


  1. When all selected forms have been completed, the user with the AOR role can be notified and the application submitted

Workspace performs some error checks on form fields automatically. Other checks are run by clicking the Check Application button within the workspace. When the application is ready, the Workspace Owner (if he/she does not have the AOR role) has the option of clicking the Complete and Notify AOR button. However, at any point after all selected forms are in the “Passed” status, the user with the AOR role may log in and click the Sign and Submit button.


  1. Track your application and download the submitted application for your offline record-keeping

We recommend tracking and downloading your submitted application via the Details tab of your workspace, as well as verifying that all contents of the application were retrieved by the grant-making agency (including attachments).

Did you find this helpful? A more in-depth version of this scenario can be found here, along with related help articles and training videos.

In the coming weeks, we will share more complex scenarios that take advantage of Grants.gov Workspace’s new applicant features.

2 thoughts on “A More Efficient Approach to Submitting a Federal Grant Application

  1. I work for a Tribe and understand there is a training for Tribes today on the use of “workspace”. Can you please provide the link to find the training? Thanks.


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