Recently, we were reminded of how important advance planning is in grant writing – especially when you are dealing with the intricacies of grant proposal submission.
Many federal grant programs require grant proposals to be submitted through Grants.gov, the government’s online grant submission system. In order to submit using grants.gov, applicants must fill out several registrations and go through several steps. This process can be lengthy, which is why we suggest applicants make it one of their first priorities once they decide to go for a grant.
In our particular scenario, our client was already registered, but a typo within the system meant that our E-Business Point of Contact could not log in to authorize the AOR. Identifying the problem – and then fixing it – took time. Because we make it a point to double check the registration information early, we were able to iron out the issue before the grant was due to be turned in, averting a potential disaster.
Grants.gov provides a wonderful handout that outlines the registration process, summarized here:
- Obtain applicant organization’s DUNS number. (Most organizations know this information, otherwise it can be retrieved from Duns and Bradstreet).
- Register with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) or confirm past registration. CCR will ask you to designate an E-Business Point of Contact, who will then create an MPIN password.
- Within CCR, the E-Business point of contact will designate Authorized Organizational Representatives (AORs), which are representatives who have the power to submit grants on behalf of the applicant organization.
- AORs must register with the Credential Provider to obtain usernames and passwords.
- Once AORs have received their usernames and passwords, they must register with Grants.gov.
- Once the AORs are registered within Grants.gov, the E-Business Point of Contact must log into Grants.gov and approve the AORs. Once the AORs have been approved, their organization is prepared to submit grants through grants.gov.
Some agencies require an additional registration on the agency website as well.
Grants.gov warns that the process can take up to 4 weeks, which is due in part because users have to interact with two separate electronic systems (grants.gov and CCR), which then have to interact with each other. As it takes time for information to travel between these two systems (typically 48 hours), a snafu on one end can mean significant delays, or even worse – missed submission deadlines. We were lucky in that we caught the mistake well before the proposal deadline, so we were able to submit on time.
Both Grants.gov and CCR offer free support help on the phone, and they are great resources if you are having trouble with the grant registration process. You can find contact information for Grants.gov here, and CCR here.
Need assistance with federal grant submission? We can help! Contact a Grant Helper here.