Submit an Application
The following is a brief overview of the process of submitting an application and is not exhaustive. Applicants must follow all instructions in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission and on Grants.gov.
1. Download the instructions and application kit from Grants.gov. The application kit includes everything you need to complete an application, including all the forms. Save the kit to your computer and complete it off-line.
***REMEMBER! In order to view application packages and instructions, you will need to download and install a Grants.gov compatible version of Adobe Reader on your computer.
2. Complete the Application, including all required forms, assurances, and certifications. When complete, save the application to your computer. Be sure to click the "Check for Errors" button, which will validate your application and activate the "Save and Submit" button.
3. Save and Submit only after you have double-checked your application for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with the page limit and application submission requirements (e.g., electronic applications must be submitted in only two separate files.) After you click "Save and Submit," you will enter your username and password. Assuming you are registered with Grants.gov, you can click the "Sign and Submit" button to authenticate and submit your application.
As stated in the FOA in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, under Application Upload Requirements, applicants submitting their applications electronically are required to upload ONLY two electronic files, excluding Standard Forms (SFs). No more than two files will be accepted for the review and additional files will be removed. Standard Forms will not be considered as additional files.
Applicants may not attach additional documents to the SF-424 at Question 14 and/or after Question 15. Instead of providing a separate response to Question 14, all applicants are required to submit the SF for Project/Performance Site Location(s) (SF-P/PSL). In the SF-P/PSL, applicants may cite their primary location and up to 29 additional performance sites. Any documents attached to the SF-424 form will be removed from the review.
Applicants for Head Start and Early Head Start funds are currently exempt from this two-file requirement.
***REMEMBER! All ACF applicants must submit their application electronically unless they have received an exemption from this requirement through the process described in the FOA.
4. Watch your E-mail. You will receive a series of e-mails from Grants.gov that will help you track your application. You can get the same information by logging into your account at Grants.gov.
For any systems issues experienced with Grants.gov, please refer to the ACF Policy for Applicants Experiencing Federal Systems Issues document for complete guidance.
Tips on the Submission Process
Know Your Role
Each role in the submission process carries specific responsibilities. Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) work with their organization to prepare the application, and pass the completed application on to their Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). Only AORs have the ability to submit a grant application to ACF via Grants.gov. The E-Biz POC has the ability to designate the AOR for their organization.
Obtain Software - Adobe Reader
Applicants must download a Grants.gov compatible version of Adobe Reader software in order to view and complete the application forms. Users can identify and download Grants.gov compatible versions of Adobe Reader by visiting the Download Software page on the Grants.gov Web site.
Creating Portable Document Formats (PDFs)
Some applicants choose to submit their applications in a PDF. Grants.gov has published a list of PDF conversion programs to assist you in converting documents to this format.
The free Adobe Reader used to complete an application cannot be used to create PDF attachments or merge multiple documents. To comply with instructions in the FOA, some applicants may need to merge multiple documents together into one PDF file. Grants.gov provides a list of software that can be used to create and merge PDF documents. View instructions on using one software to create and merge PDF documents or watch this video. ACF does not endorse any of the software listed on Grants.gov, and applicants are not required to use a specific type of PDF conversion software to submit an application.
The content on this page is for informational purposes and should not be construed as instructions for submitting an application. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Announcement of interest for detailed instructions.