Time Is Running Out Before Grants.gov’s Full Transition to Workspace

December 5, 2017 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

745621_pocket_watch_3In case you haven’t realized it yet, it’s now December and the clock is ticking. No, we’re not talking about meeting the deadline for getting your holiday shopping done. In the grants community, the end of the month is when Grant.gov plans to phase out its legacy PDF application package download process and require all users to apply for awards via its Workspace functionality.

We at Thompson have been providing articles for months about the Grants.gov transition so our subscribers should be aware of the change. But for those who haven’t heard about this, here’s a rundown:

Currently, when nonfederal entities prepare an application in response to a funding opportunity, they can either log on to the Workspace portal or download the more traditional PDF legacy application package. Grants.gov launched the Workspace portal in October 2015, under which applicants no longer apply using the familiar, single-stitched PDF package of forms. Instead, they fill out and upload each form separately using the Grants.gov Workspace feature.

Applicants will no longer be able to download the legacy PDF application package of forms for funding opportunities as of Dec. 31. However, applicants that have downloaded the legacy PDF application package prior to that date still will be able to continue to submit those PDF packages until March 31, 2018. Grants.gov states that after that date, Workspace will continue its current practice of enabling applicants to choose whether to fill our online webforms or individual PDF forms, as there are no plans to completely retire PDF forms from within Workspace.

In preparation for the change in procedures, Grants.gov has updated the standard instructions page on its website (https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/grantors/grantor-standard-language.html) discussing what information grantmaking agencies should include when posting their funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) on Grants.gov. These instructions provide an overview of how applicants should register and apply for grants, along with links to more detailed resources.

Because Grants.gov is transitioning to only accepting applications on Workspace, this site does not include any references to downloading the legacy application package and now only includes language on applying using Workspace. Grants.gov urges applicants to follow the application submission instructions in the FOA carefully as some agencies may customize them or use different instructions entirely.

The Workspace functionality particularly is designed to assist applicants who typically have more than one individual working on a federal grant application, and also is useful for ensuring compliance with the Office of Management and Budget’s uniform grant guidance.

Grant applicants now have about three weeks to prepare. If you are using Workspace already, consider yourself ahead of the curve and set for the new year. If not, use these last few weeks wisely and get accustomed to the Workspace format.

Are you using Workspace yet? If not, how hard would it be for you to transition to Workspace? We’d love to hear from you.

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