Step-by-Step: Custom Approach
The following approach is just one example of how an organization might use a combination of core Grants.gov roles (Expanded AOR, Standard AOR and/or Workspace Manager) and custom roles.
Please note: When using custom roles, organizations should develop internal guidance for their users, as Grants.gov’s Online User Guide can only take into account the system’s core user roles.
Meet the Team
Here’s a look at the team in our example scenario:
- Expanded AOR (Core Role): An organization executive has the Expanded AOR role, allowing him/her to assign roles, manage organization workspaces and submit applications, among other privileges.
- Grant Manager (Custom Role): The “Grant Manager” has privileges allowing him/her to create workspaces for funding opportunities; add and remove participants as needed; manage all organization workspaces; and complete any workspace form. [Custom role privilege(s) assigned: Create Workspace, Own Workspace, Manage Participants for Organization Workspaces; Participant Activities for Organization Workspaces]
- Budget Manager (Custom Role): An employee with accounting and HR responsibilities is given the custom role “Budget Manager” with privileges allowing him/her to access any organization workspace and complete any workspace form (including budget forms), as well as to assign Grants.gov roles to users affiliated with the organization. [Custom role privilege(s) assigned: Participant Activities for Organization Workspaces, Manage Applicants – All Roles]
- Grant Writer (Custom Role): The “Grant Writer” (an outside consultant) has a privilege allowing him/her to work on forms in any organization workspace. [Custom role privilege(s) assigned: Submit Applications for Organization Workspaces]
1. Make sure all team members and external contributors have registered with Grants.gov
Without a Grants.gov account, team members or external contributors will not be able to access the workspace and fill out application webforms. In our example, all three users to be given custom roles will need to have registered with Grants.gov and must have affiliated a profile with the organization. (Note: Neither an organization profile nor a role is required in order for a user to be added to a workspace. In this example, for illustrative purposes, we have chosen to include affiliated users with roles.)
2. Design an internal application workflow and assign/create roles as needed
Use our interactive workflow graphic to help you design your own application workflow. In our example, the user with the Expanded AOR role will create the three custom roles listed above and assign them to the appropriate users. The organization’s application workflow (described in detail below) will look something like this: (1) The “Grant Manager” will create a workspace and add the “Budget Manager” and “Grant Writer.” (2) All three users will collaborate to complete forms. (3) The executive with the Expanded AOR role will submit the application.
3. Log in and create your workspace on the View Grant Opportunity page of the grant announcement
Any user with the Workspace Manager role (or, in this case, the Create Workspace privilege) may create the workspace. In our example, the “Grant Manager” will create the workspace and also become the Workspace Owner, because he/she also has the Own Workspace privilege.
4. Add team members from your organization as "Participants" so they can access the application forms
The Workspace Owner adds Participants to the workspace. In our example, the “Grant Manager” will add the “Budget Manager” and the “Grant Writer” so they can contribute to forms. The executive with the Expanded AOR role would not need to be added, as he/she can contribute to forms and submit regardless of whether he/she has been added to the workspace as a participant.
5. If applicable, limit budget form access to only the Participants who need it.
The Workspace Owner may want to control access to sensitive budget forms. This is most conveniently done when adding individual participants to the workspace. In our example, all four users have access to budget forms by default because they have one or both of the following privileges: Participant Activities for Organization Workspaces and Submit Applications for Organization Workspaces. (Note: Form-level access can also be controlled at the organization level as a default setting.)
6. Complete all required forms
Applicants may choose to complete either the PDF version or the webform version of each form. They may also switch between form types. Data is synced to the workspace upon uploading the PDF forms and upon saving the webforms. Grants.gov recommends that the person completing each form lock access to it, so that others cannot overwrite the work. This is where participants may also reuse forms from a previous workspace or add subforms. In our example, all three participants can share duties in completing the forms.
7. When all forms have been completed, the AOR 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. In our example, when the application is ready, the “Grant Manager” will click the Complete and Notify AOR button to notify the organization’s user with the Expanded AOR that the application is ready to submit. The executive with the Expanded AOR role will log in, go to the workspace, and then click the Sign and Submit button.
8. Track your application and download the submitted application for your offline record-keeping
After submitting, you can track your application using the tracking number you receive from Grants.gov. You may also want to download a copy of your submitted application for your offline record-keeping. We recommend tracking and downloading your application via the Details tab of your workspace. In our example, all four users are able to complete these actions.