Frequently Asked Questions by Applicants

Apply using Workspace

Do I need to register with Grants.gov to apply using Workspace?
Yes, you need one Grants.gov account. If you work with multiple organizations on grant applications, you can create and manage multiple profiles within the same Grants.gov account. For more information, read the My Account help article.

How do I register as a consultant so I can support my clients in Workspace?
Register an account on Grants.gov, then the applicant organization(s) can add you as a participant to their workspace.

Who can create a workspace?
Anyone with the Workspace Manager role can create a workspace. For more information, read the Workspace Roles page.

Who can submit a workspace application? Is there a way to limit submission of the application to one user?
Only users with the Standard Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) role who are added as a Workspace Participant may submit an application. If your organization uses the Expanded AOR role, then any user with the Expanded AOR role may submit any workspace, even if they are not added as a Workspace Participant.

For more information, read the Workspace Roles page and the Manage Organization Profile help article.

What happens if a form is not locked and two people try to fill out a webform or try to work on the same individual PDF form at the same time?
When a Workspace Participant clicks the Webform link to start working on an online form, Grants.gov Workspace automatically locks the form to that user. A different Workspace Participant cannot fill out a webform at the same time.

When two Workspace Participants work on an unlocked PDF form simultaneously, changes to form data will only be captured within the workspace once the PDF form is uploaded. So the last person to upload the form will overwrite the previous upload—Workspace will prompt you before this happens. However, once a form is locked to a participant, any attempts to upload the form by another user will be blocked by the system.

For more information, read the Fill Out Webforms, Lock Forms, Unlock Forms, Override Locked Forms help articles.

Can I preview my application?
Yes. Go to the View Application tab in Workspace to preview the application forms. Review the View Application Tab help article and Attachments Tab help article for more information.

How long will my submitted application package be retained in the Grants.gov system?
Submitted application packages will be retained for 5 years* after submission and status can be checked using the Track My Application page or the Check Application Status page after logging into Grants.gov. Submitted applications with "Validated", "Received By Agency", or "Agency Tracking Number Assigned" status will be available for download from the Check Application Status page during this time. Workspace submissions can be downloaded from the Details tab of the workspace.

*Note: The application purge period was increased from 180 days to 5 years on October 20, 2015, so all applications submitted on or after April 22, 2015 will be stored for 5 years. All applications submitted before April 22, 2015 have been deleted under the previous 180 day purge period.

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Attachments

What is the attachment file size limit or maximum?
Read the federal award-making agency's application instructions for the file size limit for each grant application package you submit. Grants.gov suggests limiting the file size of the entire grant application package including all the attachments to 200MB.

Why does the federal agency say there are no attachments in my application when I can see attachments in the form?
When completing a PDF form using Adobe software, it is important to only use the Add Attachments buttons in the form to attach a document.

If you use other attachment functions, such as those built into Adobe Reader or the menu bar, this will cause errors in the submission and the attachments will not actually transmit to the federal agency.

Do not use the Adobe attachment functionality. Only use the Add Attachment button within the PDF form.

What type of attachments may be added to an application form?
Each agency has their own restrictions on the type of attachments (e.g., .pdf,.xls,.docx) and file sizes allowed for a particular grant opportunity application package.

If you are adding a video (e.g., .mpeg,.mov), image (e.g., tif., jpg., .png), or audio (e.g., .wav, .aif, .au, etc.) be sure to compress these files for web usage. There are different types of applications and compression methods, so please be sure to check the agency instructions for guidance on quality, resolution, and bit rate standards they allow for submission.

NOTE: Although Grants.gov does not restrict types of file attachments, if more than one attachment is included in a grant submission and two or more files have the same name, the grant application cannot be processed without manual intervention. To correct this, you should:

  • Rename attached files with the same name so that no files share the same name.
  • Reattach the files.
  • Resubmit the application package.

Are there restrictions on file names for any attachment I include with my application?

Yes, but it can vary per agency and form in the application package.

  1. Review the application instructions provided by the award-making agency for their attachment restrictions.
  2. Review the form instructions you are completing.
  3. If there are no restrictions for file names identified by the agency or in the form, then the file name restrictions are as follows:
  • Please limit file names to 50 or fewer characters
  • Please use only the following UTF-8 characters when naming your attachments: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore, hyphen, space, period, parenthesis, curly braces, square brackets, ampersand, tilde, exclamation point, comma, semi colon, apostrophe, at sign, number sign, dollar sign, percent sign, plus sign, and equal sign. Attachments that do not follow this rule may cause the entire application to be rejected or cause issues during processing.

NOTE: If these guidelines are not followed, your application may be rejected.

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Filling Out Forms

Can I copy and paste information into my Grants.gov application from a Microsoft Word document?
Copying and pasting data into a Grants.gov application form from Word may lead to errors in the Adobe Reader form. If using the copy and paste function, copy the information from a text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit, which does not have proprietary fonts or special characters.

What kind of information can be entered into form fields within my application?
Grants.gov application packages offer fields to enter a set amount of data. When the limit is reached for a certain field, you will no longer be able to enter data into that field. For every form, there are different limitations to the data that you are allowed to enter (this varies between agency and form). Refer to the agency instructions available for download with the application package for more detail.

Grant.gov is now capable of accepting special characters (UTF-8 character set) within form fields; however, please refer to the specific agency instructions for guidance regarding the use of special characters.

NOTE: If these guidelines are not followed, your application may be rejected.

How can I find my congressional district code?
To find your congressional district, go to House.gov and search for your Congressional District by entering your zip code + 4. If you do not know your zip code + 4, you may look it up by visiting USPS Look Up Zip Code Click to View Exit Disclaimer page.

The congressional district code should use the 2 character state abbreviation, a hyphen, and then a 3 character district number. For example, CA-005 for California's 5th district or VA-008 for Virginia's 8th district. Use 00-000 for programs or projects outside the US.

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Support Center

What supporting details does the Grants.gov Support Center need to help me with my question or issue?

Along with your contact information, please share the following supporting details, as applicable, to help the Grants.gov Support Center provide more efficient and effective assistance:

  • Funding Opportunity Number (FON) or Package ID
  • Browser Type and Version number
  • Operating System Type and Version number
  • Form Name and Version number
  • Adobe Reader/Acrobat version number
  • Exact Error Message if applicable
  • Grants.gov Username
  • DUNS Number

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Help: Online User Guide

Find registration, search, and application instructions for all users in the Grants.gov Online User Guide.

 

For detailed applicant information, review the Applicants section of the online user guide.

Help: Support Center

Contact the Grants.gov Support Center to get help from a representative.

 

Email us at support@grants.gov or visit our Support page.

Account Registration

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 Login page and use the Forgot My Username function to retrieve the username and password associated with your email address.

What is a profile?
A profile in Grants.gov corresponds to a single applicant organization the user represents (i.e., an applicant), an individual applicant, or a single federal agency (i.e., for a grantors). If you work for or consult with multiple organizations and have a profile for each, you may log in to one Grants.gov account to access all of your workspaces. Read the Add Profile to a Grants.gov Account page.

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.

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Login Troubleshooting

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 use the Forgot Secret Answer button on the Reset Password page.

How do I retrieve a forgotten username?

To retrieve the username associated with your email address:

  1. Click the Login link in the upper-right corner of the Grants.gov banner.
  2. Click the Forgot My Username link that is located beneath the Username and Password fields.
  3. Enter your email address associated with this Grants.gov account in the Email Address field.
  4. Click the Submit button. An email will be sent with your Grants.gov username to the email address you entered. Use this username to log in to Grants.gov.

I forgot my password. How do I reset my password?

To retrieve the password associated with your email address:

  1. Click the Login link in the upper-right corner of the Grants.gov banner.
  2. Click the Forgot My Password/Unlock My Account link that is located beneath the Username and Password fields.
  3. Enter your username in the Username field and click the Continue button.
  4. Enter the answer to your secret question, then click the Continue button. If you do not know the answer to your secret question, click the Forgot Secret Answer button and password reset instructions will be sent to the email address associated with the Grants.gov account.
  5. After answering your secret questions, enter your new password and confirm it was entered correctly by re-typing it into the New Password Confirm field.
  6. Click the Submit button to complete the password reset process.

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. Please be patient while your request is handled. Also, be sure to check your spam and junk email folders.

Your E-Business Point of Contact will be able to confirm the email address you used during registration or you may contact Grants.gov Support for this information.

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Password Expiration

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?
To reset an expired password:

  1. Login to Grants.gov using your username and password. If your password is expired, you will be directed to the Reset Password page.
  2. Enter your old password and a new password based on the requirements listed on the Reset Password page.
  3. Click the Submit button. You will receive an email notification of your password reset.

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Account Deactivation

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). 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, you will lose all roles in Grants.gov. Roles are not applicable to EBiz POCs and individual applicant profiles, 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 Forgot My Password/Unlock My Account link and follow the on-screen instructions.

The next steps depend on your account type:

  • EBiz POC – No additional steps after logging in and resetting password.
  • Individual Profiles – No additional steps after logging in and resetting password.
  • Organization Profiles – By re-activating your account, Grants.gov automatically emails your organization's EBiz POC to assign roles in Grants.gov. You may also want to communicate with your organization's EBiz POC 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 roles to your profile Grants.gov.

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Web Browsers

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 Layer Security (TLS) version 1.0, 1.1, or 1.2. Note: TLS 1.0 and 1.1 are disabled in the Training environment and will be disabled in the Production environment in the future. Read the Grants.gov Notices page for more information.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) version 2 and 3 are not supported.

When using the Workspace online webforms in Safari, when I click on the View Attachments button nothing happens?
The Safari browser blocks pop-up windows by default. You will need to allow pop-up windows in order to view attachments in Workspace online webforms.

How to Disable a Pop-Up Blocker: Safari for Mac

  1. Open Safari.
  2. In the top left of the window, click Safari.
  3. Click Preferences in the drop-down menu.
  4. Click the Security tab found on the top row.
  5. Under Web content, uncheck Block pop-up windows.

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:

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Antivirus Best Practices for Grants.gov

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 support@grants.gov

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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.