Guidelines for Preparing Electronic Proposals for Government Agencies
Grants.gov is the federal government's central resource for finding and applying to grant opportunities. Be sure to read program announcements carefully (whether you find them on Grants.gov or an agency's own web site) to determine if submission via Grants.gov is required.
- In most cases, an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) at the College submits applications via Grants.gov. Therefore, PIs do not need to register (except for NEH fellowship and summer stipend applications).
- You should send your completed Grants.gov application package to CFGR at least ten business days before the deadline. As your application must be validated by both Grants.gov and the agency, the process takes much longer. This also allows time to correct any errors found after submission.
- Grants.gov has transitioned from PureEdge to Adobe forms for the electronic submission of grant applications. PureEdge applications are no longer accepted. Applicants should also make sure they are using the recommended versions of Adobe Reader.
- To view system requirements and download software, click here.
Find and Download the Application:
- Go to www.grants.gov and click on "Apply for Grants" in the left-hand column.
- Use one of the search options to locate the Funding Opportunity Number (FON) and/or CFDA number of the grant opportunity in which you're interested
- Download the unique application package for your opportunity by clicking here and entering the FON or CFDA number in the appropriate field
Complete the Application Package:
- An application package is composed of both mandatory and optional forms. Required fields that are standard for all agencies are highlighted in yellow; however, you must read the application instructions for your specific grant opportunity, which may indicate additional required fields that are not highlighted.
- To work on a form, highlight it and then click "Open Form." Use the "Next" button to navigate forms with multiple pages.
- Be sure to click the "Save" button as you add information since the application package does NOT automatically save changes.
- When you complete a form, move it to the right-hand side under "Mandatory Completed Documents for Submission."
- Click "Check Package for Errors" to see if you have failed to complete a required field.
- Send the completed application to CFGR for submission.
NOTE: Read your program announcement carefully to determine if your grant proposal should be submitted via FastLane or Grants.gov. The CFGR office is
the Sponsored Research Office (SRO), and all NSF proposals are submitted by our
- First step for first-time users: contact Tania Johnson (x5713; 214 Parrish) to sign up as a new user to Fastlane, which will allow you access to the site. This only takes a few minutes. You will choose a password to use to access your account, either as Principal Investigator, or as Co-Principal Investigator.
- To prepare your proposal on Fastlane, log into the site and click on "Proposals, Awards, & Status." Then click on the "Proposal Preparation" link and follow the instructions.
- In order for us to submit your proposal, you must give us "SRO access" to the proposal. When you access the Fastlane web site, at the "Proposal Forms Preparation" function, you will click on the "Allow SRO Access" button and choose the "Allow SRO to view, edit and submit proposal" access level. The system then sends Tania an email that lets her know you are ready to submit your proposal. (You can still edit your proposal after giving "SRO permission" to submit it.)
- Make an appointment on the day you would like to submit your proposal. We will check to be sure all of the forms have been completed, and if
everything is in order, will submit the proposal for you. After submission, we will notify the Provost's office, and they will sign electronically as "Authorized Organizational Representative." The newly submitted proposal will now be listed under "Submitted Proposals." A Proposal ID will be assigned, and e-mails will be sent to all SRO representatives, as well as the PI of the proposal.