How to Apply for a Federal Funding Opportunity on Grants.gov

First-time applicants can understandably feel daunted by the task of applying for a federal funding opportunity on Grants.gov. Here, we explain, at a high level, the key steps in the application process, providing a roadmap that will help applicants feel more confident about the journey ahead.

Step 1: Make sure you have registered an account on Grants.gov

You only need to register once in order to apply for federal funding opportunities on Grants.gov. But if you are applying for the first time, this is a key step in the process. This training video guides users through the registration process.

💡 Registration Tip: Individual vs. Organization Registration: If you are applying for grants as a specific person and not on behalf of an organization, you are considered an “individual applicant”. If you are working on grant applications on behalf of a company; state, local or tribal government; academic institution; or other type of organization, then you are an “organization applicant”. Learn more about adding an Individual Profile or Organization Profile after account registration.

Note: When an organization user registers with Grants.gov, the organization’s admin user (E-Business Point of Contact or a user with the Expanded Authorized Organization Representative [AOR] role) can assign the new user a core role, a custom role, or no role. Click here to learn more about roles and privileges on Grants.gov.

Step 2: Determine Your Eligibility and Identify a Funding Opportunity using Grants.gov Search

Funding opportunity eligibility requirements are defined by legislation and federal agency policies. To receive federal funding, you must meet an opportunity’s eligibility requirements. A key part of this step is knowing your entity type. Are you a nonprofit organization? A city government? A university-sponsored research lab? Knowing this allows you to more easily narrow your search for funding opportunities you might be eligible for.

đź’ˇ Key Resource: If you have questions about your eligibility for a federal funding opportunity, please read our blog post How to Determine Eligibility for Federal Funding Opportunities.

Step 3: Apply to the Funding Opportunity by Creating a Workspace

Workspace is a shared, online environment where your team may simultaneously access and edit different forms within an application.

đź’ˇ Key Resource: This help article and this training video walk step-by-step through the process of creating a workspace. Become a workspace wizard by watching the entire Learning Workspace video series.

Step 4: Complete Your Application

Once a workspace has been created, it’s time to complete your application. This involves a range of tasks, including adding other team members (registered Grants.gov users) to the workspace, carefully reviewing agency instructions, filling out required application forms, and proofreading your application.

💡 Key Resource: We have developed Basic, Intermediate and Advanced workspace use-cases for applicant teams that go into greater detail. We recommend reviewing the use-cases and choosing one as your team’s workspace roadmap.

Step 5: Check Your Application for Errors and Submit Your Completed Application

Check the completed application for errors by using the Check Application button.

Once the application has been checked for errors, an authorized user can submit the application. The grant-making agency will then pull the application from Grants.gov and reach out to applicants as needed.

đź’ˇ Key Resource: For step-by-step instructions on all application related tasks, review the Grants.gov Online User Guide and bookmark the Grants.gov YouTube Channel.

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