Reaction Paper: Federal Grant Application Process

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[. . .] gov will be sent, including confirmation that the registration process is complete.

Once registration is complete, the applicant can download a grant application package. Downloading the package allows one to route it through the organization for review before submittal. It should be noted that the applicant should save changes to the application as one completes it because Grants.gov does not automatically save changes. After all the necessary information is entered and saved, a confirmation screen appears. Once the grant application package is submitted the applicant can track its status online. There is also a contact center which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help with issues regarding Grants.gov.

In addition to the Grants.gov application, each federal agency has its own grant application forms. All agencies have standard cover forms, budget forms, along with assurances, certifications and disclosures. The remaining forms vary from agency to agency.

Most federal grant making agencies make exceptions to the standard Grants.gov application upload requirement, and will allow applicants to submit a paper application instead. The checklist is especially important for hard copy submissions because the forms, narrative, attachments, and appendices must be assembled in a specific order. Otherwise, an application could be rejected upon receipt.

The cover form, SF-424, is the top page of all federal grant applications. Form SF-424A, budget information forms, are currently two pages in length and begin with a budget summary, Section A. Section B. covers budget categories.

The personnel portion of the budget summary is used to indicate the cost of project staff and fringe benefits that will be paid from grant funds. This section also includes the value of volunteer hours. The travel portion of the budget summary is used to list reimbursement for local travel, such as mileage reimbursement, as well as out-of-town travel expenses. The equipment line item details requests for grant money for equipment purchases of more than $250 with a useful service life of two years or more. Materials and supplies needed for the daily implementation of the project are listed on the supplies line of the budget summary. The contractual line of the budget summary lists money needed to hire anyone for the project who isn't a member of the staff, whose expenses are listed under the personnel section of the budget.

Direct costs are expenses for services and products that are needed for the project and are not otherwise available at the applicant organization. These services and products include personnel, travel, equipment, supplies, contractual services, and anything included in the other category. Direct costs and the category's corresponding line item are used only in those government grants or contracts where direct costs and indirect costs are listed in the application guidelines and on the preprinted budget forms.

Indirect costs, also known as overhead, cover services and products that are essential for the overall organization and are consumed in some small degree by the project. Indirect costs are usually calculated as a percentage of total direct costs. If an organization already has an approved indirect cost rate, that information may be obtained from the business manager or the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The federal government wants assurances that the grant applicant can meet all of its funding expectations, which is the purpose of the assurances form. Each federal agency has its own specific certification forms, wherein the grant applicant acknowledges its understanding of sanctions against fraud, waste, and financial abuse.

In addition to required federal-wide forms, there are agency specific forms as well. For example, applying for a research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires SF424 R&R forms as well as PHS 398 forms. The forms that are included in the NIH application packages for a specific funding opportunity announcement (FOA) are dependent on the activity code used for that FOA.

In conclusion, this paper examined the grant application process and the one overwhelming reaction that the process elicits is that grant writing is not for the faint of heart. Between the specificity and the requisite attention to detail, not to mention the research and deadlines, it is clear that process of applying for federal grants requires effort and commitment on the part of the applicant. [END OF PREVIEW]

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Federal Grant Application Process.  (2011, July 25).  Retrieved April 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/federal-grant-application-process-according/7601769

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"Federal Grant Application Process."  25 July 2011.  Web.  19 April 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/federal-grant-application-process-according/7601769>.

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"Federal Grant Application Process."  Essaytown.com.  July 25, 2011.  Accessed April 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/federal-grant-application-process-according/7601769.