7 Must Do’s Before you Submit a Grant

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You have done your research, found your grant, answered all their questions, and made sure you match want they wanted. You qualify. Now, What?  Well, here are 10 Must Do’s Before you submit. Because it is not what you write sometimes, but what you leave out that matters

While applying for grants can be challenging,  very time-consuming, and sometimes a little complicated, many have completed this process and become the recipient of some extremely helpful funding.

 What are the requirements?

You should always learn beforehand the reporting requirements you need to comply with if you are awarded the  funding

But before that,  read the full grant application, including the grant guidelines, and eligibility requirements, to ensure that all required qualifications are fulfilled.

You must do your research and understand the priorities and strategy of the granting organization as well as the grant itself.


At the start, you must gather data, plans, and budget details that are requested before diving in. Make sure your data and number-related questions are accurate.  Sometimes you get only one chance at this. Believe me,  there are some organizations that will dismiss applications with inaccurate information and will not let you reapply for that period.  Be sure to answer all parts of all of the questions. Some questions are multi-pronged so make sure that you answer all elements of that question.

You should answer your questions directly  and give the grant evaluator a full picture of how you will execute your program but avoid including extraneous details


Paying Proper Attention

By all means, give the budget requests your proper attention. The budget is one of the most important components of a grant application.. Always make sure your budget is in line with the budget requirements that are outlined by the funding organization and that it does not exceed the maximum amount of the grant.  

In Essence, review the requirements, review your questions, and your answers.  Also, ask colleagues to read and edit the application before you submit it. Make sure you have clearly articulated the problem and barriers and how your program plan will address these, then you are almost ready to submit your application. 

Though this process can seem long and tedious, the result is worth the effort, and the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that you will get from winning this grant will be motivation to your business and you will go to new heights. Now that you can see the grant reward in your hand, don’t let the final stage send the proposal back to you unread.

7 Must Do’s Before You Submit  Your Grant

1- Since everything is digital these days and you are more than likely to submit over the internet, make sure your files are virus-free.  Use a virus protection program to run a virus scan on your entire application package. This will ensure that your package is completely free of viruses before resubmission.

2- Since with some organizations, you are penalized if you talk with a staff member about any stage of the proposal. Make sure you get the verification process upfront and follow it.  Some like  Grants.gov have support centers. Call or email the Grants.gov Support Center to verify that your submission was received by Grants.gov and to receive a tracking number for your application package.

3- Your worst nightmare, you just attached a blank file or they said it couldn’t be open. 

 check that you have properly saved all of your application package’s supporting documents. Failure to do so will result in the package not being properly transmitted to the organization. The best practice, send yourself a copy first.   Also, If you receive an error message similar to the error message ‘file not found, you may not have completed all mandatory forms associated with your specific application package. Double-check that all mandatory forms and fields are complete in your application package and resubmit.

4-Authorized Organization Representatives Only,
Yes, you may not even be authorized to send in the package. If you have received an error message concerning your AOR status, your organization or  Grants.gov username may not be authorized to submit applications on behalf of your organization. Do your need to be a member or just register? Check your registration status by logging into Grants.gov or contacting your E-Business Point of Contact (POC). Review the information on Grants.gov roles and privileges.

5-Something as simple as Special Characters or File Attachment Length could set you back.
If you are receiving the following error message after attempting to submit your application package, please refer to the Submitting UTF-8 Special Characters page for assistance. For most funders. “Please use only the following UTF-8 characters when naming your attachments: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore, a hyphen, space, period, parenthesis, curly braces, square brackets, ampersand, tilde, exclamation point, comma, semicolon, apostrophe, the sign, number sign, dollar sign, percent sign, plus sign, equal sign, and limit the file name to 50 or fewer characters. Attachments that do not follow this rule may cause the entire application to be rejected or cause issues during processing.”

Please make sure your apps are all updated. You received one of these error messages because your application package or form was opened, edited, submitted, or corrupted by using a version of Adobe Reader that is incompatible with the funding organization or  Grants.gov. Any and all edits made to an Adobe Reader application package or form must be made with a compatible version of Adobe Reader. To resolve these issues, a new application package needs to be downloaded and completed using only a compatible version of the software. Refer to the Adobe Software Compatibility page for more information. It’s best to update before you find this out. You might not be able to resubmit again. 

6-  Clean up your writing. Pay close attention to the style and technical details on the funding sources guideline. Make sure the writing is clear, concise, and flows in a logical manner that is easy to follow. Avoid jargon and be aware of terminology that may only be familiar to a very small circle of researchers.

7- Remember to have your co-workers or family member review your proposal before you send the final copy. CSR organizes peer review groups that evaluate three-quarters of the grant applications submitted. More than one CSR study section frequently has the expertise to review your application because the scientific boundaries of their study sections overlap. To help us identify the best one for your application, you may: Explore CSR study section descriptions: www.csr.nih.gov  Use CSR Assisted Referral Tool (ART) to discover where similar applications have been reviewed .

Get feedback. Following up with the last tip, having colleagues and mentors read over your proposal is a must. But, you should also get feedback from a committee that includes experts and those outside your field to ensure the writing is clear and convincing. They may help you find weak points in your proposal.

Check and double-check. Allocate enough time to make sure nothing is missing before you submit. Have before and after reviews where, applications are scanned for missing critical information, such as signatures. Technical issues such as font size, spacing, margins, and length that don’t adhere to guidelines will also hurt your application. Following these 7 Must Do’s will ensure that your grant application gets there and is accepted.


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