Grantors' Frequently Asked Questions
The following answers address common queries relating to managing agencies and users, creating application packages and templates, using data analysis, 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 Tracking Numbers
- Publishing and Managing an Application Package
- Creating and Managing Forms
- Using Data Analysis
- 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.
What roles can be assigned to agency users?
When a user has registered with Grants.gov, they have the ability to log on, but they cannot perform agency-related actions until they are given a role. The following roles can be assigned to agency users:
- The Manage Packages role allows a user to add, modify, and delete an application package.
- The Agency Tracking Number Assigner role allows a user to assign tracking numbers to submitted applications.
- The Agency Template Creator role allows a user to manage application package templates.
- The Manage Agencies role allows a user to manage agencies.
- The View Applications role allows a user to view the applications submitted to the agency.
- The Agency Report Viewer role allows a user to view a report or the registration status for an applicant or organization.
- The Manage Forecasts role allows a user to add, modify, and delete forecasts within your agency's grant opportunities.
- The Manage Synopses role allows a user to add, modify, and delete synopses within your agency's grant opportunities.
- The Agency Grant Retriever role allows a user to retrieve applications that were submitted to the agency.
What is an Agency Enrollment Code, and who needs one?
Grants.gov has assigned an Agency Enrollment Code to each of the federal Grantor agencies that identifies them within the Grants.gov system. This enrollment code links Grantor users to their particular Grantor agency and enables the Grantor agency "Super User" to assign rights and responsibilities to members of their agency. The Agency Enrollment Code is required for Grantor registration and is only given to members of a Grantor agency responsible for managing opportunities, application review, generating reports and other Grantor functions at Grants.gov. This is NOT required for individuals or entities applying for grants.
Where can I find my Agency Enrollment Code?
You can find your Agency Enrollment Code by contacting your agency Point of Contact (POC) or by contacting the PMO.
I don't think our agency is registered on Grants.gov. How do I create my agency in Grants.gov?
Grants.gov will perform the initial set-up of the agency and establish the Agency Enrollment Code. From there, the Agency Administrator will be able to set up sub-agencies.
How is a sub-agency created on Grants.gov?
As the Agency Administrator, you will be able to create your agency's organization on Grants.gov. When creating a sub-agency, follow the steps outlined in either the Grantor User Guide (accessible after logging on) or in the training materials. Once you have created the sub-agency, you will need to provide sub-agency users with their Agency Enrollment Code, as they will need it when registering with Grants.gov.
The Agency Enrollment Code for a particular sub-agency will incorporate all of the enrollment codes for the agencies above it. For example, Tier 1's agency code is T1, Tier 2's agency code is T2, and Tier 3's agency code is T3, and so on. If you want to register with the Tier 3 sub-agency, your Agency Enrollment Code would be T1-T2-T3.
How does a user become a sub-agency administrator?
The Agency Administrator determines sub-agency administrators. If Grants.gov receives a request from an agency user either to register or to become a sub-agency administrator, we will direct them to the Agency Administrator to determine if they should be registered to use the system.
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 3 years* after submission.
*Note: The application purge period was increased from 180 days to 3 years on October 20, 2015, so all applications submitted on or after April 22, 2015 will be stored for 3 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 Download button. After downloading applications, clicking on the Acknowledge 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?
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 a 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 application package?
You will need the following key information:
- Agency CFDA Number
- Opportunity Number
- Opportunity Title
- Competition ID
- Opportunity Category
- Instrument Type
- Activity Category
- Posting Date
- Close Date
- Grace Period
- Agency Contact Information
- Eligible Applicants
- Award Ceiling
- Award Floor
- Funding Opportunity Text Description
- Form Package
- Application Instructions
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 locate and download the package using the funding Opportunity Number.
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 easily modify an application package at any time. Please keep in mind that if you make any significant changes to an existing application package, applicants who have already downloaded that package may need to re-download and complete a new application package. Applicants who have signed up for notifications will be automatically notified of the changes via email, if the grantor chooses to send change notifications.
How do you create a template?
Not everyone will have the ability to create a template. If an agency user has the ability to create templates, the link for this functionality will be listed on the left-hand side of the page after the user has logged on to Grants.gov. If a user does not have access to that functionality, either the administrator will need to grant that ability, or the administrator will need to set up a template for the user. The template functionality allows an agency to reuse the same application package for multiple opportunities without having to set up the necessary forms each time. This helps to minimize user error when publishing a package.
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?
To create a form, work with your Agency Administrator and the Grants.gov agency Program Advisor. Typically, a form can take up to three to four months for development. If you need the form for a package, you will need to allow for this development time in your planning processes.
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 the SF-424 family of forms, because these forms have been approved for government-wide use.
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. If you find the form you need is not listed, contact your Agency Point of Contact (POC) to begin the forms development process. If you are the Agency POC, contact your designated Grants.gov Program Advisor.
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 data analysis templates 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.
How will my forms be prioritized for development?
Grants.gov is an agency-centric initiative and, as such, we prioritize our work based on the following factors:
- Which programs have the highest number of expected applicants?
- Which programs have forms that can be reused?
- Which programs are ready for development?
What is the purpose of data analysis?
Data analysis allows an agency to provide its form requirements for a specific grant program to Grants.gov. By following this process, agencies can clearly communicate to Grants.gov about how fields on a form are used and what rules, if any, should be enforced on each field. Agencies benefit directly because Grants.gov will accurately reproduce their forms, resulting in higher-quality submissions. In addition, data analysis provides a mechanism by which each agency can review forms used by other agencies. This may result in consolidation or elimination of some items.
I do not intend to use XML. Do I still need to perform the data analysis when we request Grants.gov to develop an agency-specific form?
Yes. The data analysis process stays the same even if you do not intend to use XML. For example, we will use a field's maximum character length to determine how much data an applicant should enter into a field.
How do I get started with data analysis templates (DAT)?
Review all of your programs and determine which ones may be good candidates for Grants.gov. Your considerations should include the following:
- The number of expected applications
- Forms already in production that could be re-used in your application package
- Other programs with forms that could be re-used
What tools are available to assist my agency with completing the data analysis template?
- Grants.gov Forms Repository – This resource lists all forms currently available on Grants.gov for your use.
- Application instructions. The instructions that you currently provide to your applicants often have very descriptive information about how your forms should be completed.
- Application forms. The application form often contains descriptive information about how the fields should be completed. If not, try completing the form and document any detail that is not clearly stated.
- Database Dictionary. If you enter all or part of your application information into a database, your database dictionary will contain much of the required information about your data fields. Please ask your IT staff for additional help.
- Completed application forms. A review of past, successful submissions will often clarify any undocumented form requirements.
What type of skill set and coordination is needed to develop the data analysis template?
Completing the data analysis template requires:
- Familiarity both with the form's instructions and with the types of entries that are acceptable. This includes knowing which fields should be mandatory, conditionally mandatory, or optional. It's also important to identify rules for each conditionally mandatory field (e.g. If 4a is yes, then complete 4b, etc.), expected field lengths, and field formats (e.g., Assurance number must be in format mm-yyyy-####).
- An understanding of the form's relationship to other forms in the application package (e.g., the 'From Date' on the SF-424 is the same as the 'Start Date' on your agency-specific form).
Can I include attachments as a requirement in my data analysis template?
Yes. Your data analysis template provides a way for you to include all of your file attachment requirements.
I have completed data analysis of a program, and I am ready to submit the results. What should I do?
You should email the following items to your assigned agency Program Advisor:
- A list of forms that will be required to publish your program (NOTE: Some of these forms may already be in production.)
- The expected number of applicants for the program
- A data analysis template for each form requiring development
- A copy of each original form (usually submitted as a Word, Excel, or PDF document). If this is a new form, you should create a mock-up of the form.
- A copy of the application instructions
- The desired production date (NOTE: You should allow at least 3-4 months for development, but timeframes are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on form complexity and the number of forms in the development queue.)
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 Grantor Login page to retrieve the account information associated with the email address registered in the Grants.gov system. Once you retrieve the username and password associated with your email address you will be able to login to Grants.gov.
What are the Grants.gov password requirements?
- Cannot be the same as the previous six (6) passwords
- Must contain at least eight (8) characters
- Must contain at least one (1) number
- Must contain at least one (1) uppercase letter
- Must contain one (1) lower case letter.
- Must contain one (1) special character.
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 or submission 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, you can either click "I Forgot My Password/Unlock My Account" or request a system-generated password.
How do I retrieve a forgotten password or username?
To retrieve the username associated with your email address:
- Go to the Grantor Login page.
- Click on "I Forgot My Username."
- Enter your Email and Agency Code.
- After clicking the "Submit" button, you will see a message stating, "An email has been sent with your username."
- Check the email account used for registration.
To retrieve the password associated with your email address:
- Go to the Grantor Login page.
- Click on "I Forgot My Password/Unlock My Account."
- Enter your username and click the "Submit" button to see your secret question.
- Once your secret question displays, enter the secret answer and click the "Submit" button.
- You will now be prompted to enter a new password.
- Once you enter and confirm a new password, click the "Submit" button. A message stating, "Your password has been changed" will appear.
I am trying to reset my password, but I did not receive an email with the temporary password, what should I do?
If you are attempting to reset your password and do not receive a password reset email with a temporary password, you may have entered an incorrect email address for your request. Make sure that the email address you use to request a password reset is the same email address you used when registering. If you are sure that you have entered the proper email address for your password reset request, wait a few moments and check your email again. Some systems take longer to return the password reset email, please be patient while your request is handled. Also be sure to check your spam and junk email folders. If you still do not receive the email, you may contact your agency's assigned Grants.gov PMO Program Advisor for this information.
I am trying to reset my password, but I am receiving multiple emails with a different password in each, what should I do?
If you are trying to reset your password, be sure to only press the submit button ONCE when submitting your password reset request. If you have pressed the submit button more than once and have received multiple emails, use the temporary password in the last email you receive to reset your password. Please be patient while your request is being handled.
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?
You can change your password by using the "Change My Password" link on the login page. Once your password is successfully changed, you can log in.
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). This deactivation protection applies to organization applicants, individual applicants, and grantors. 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, applicants and grantors will lose their respective roles in Grants.gov. The EBiz POCs and individual applicants will not lose their roles, but their account will also be deactivated after inactivity for 365 days.
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 I Forgot My Password/Unlock My Account link in the appropriate Login tab (i.e., Applicant, Grantor, or EBiz POC) and follow the on-screen instructions. This applies to all applicant types and grantors.
The next steps depend on your account type:
- EBiz POC Applicant – No additional steps after logging in and resetting password.
- Individual Applicant – No additional steps after logging in and resetting password.
- Organization Applicants – By re-activating your account, Grants.gov automatically emails your organization's EBiz POC to approve or reject your roles in Grants.gov. You may also want to communicate with your organization's EBiz POC, or AOR with the MPIN, 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 your roles in 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 Security Layer (TSL) version 1.0, 1.1, or 1.2.
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.