TO: PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS AND INTERESTED RESEARCH FACULTY
FROM: RALPH BROWN, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH ADMINISTRATION
THROUGH: JOHN POATE, V.P. FOR RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
In response to the Paper Reduction Acts of the mid 1990’s, the federal government is
mandating the use of GRANTS.GOV to submit proposals to all the major agencies
sponsoring research. By the end of 2007, GRANTS.GOV will become the only way to
submit your grant proposals to the federal government. Already, the Department of Energy
uses only Grants.gov as the submission portal for all new proposals. The NIH will use only
Grants.Gov for all R01 proposals starting in January 2007. We anticipate that NSF will use only
Grants.Gov by October 2007. We expect NASA and DOD to transition soon. Eventually, all
proposals submitted to all federal agencies will be required to use Grants.Gov as their proposal
To date, ORA has submitted upwards of fifty proposals through Grants.Gov. We have met every
deadline, and although we have experienced only a few problems with the new system, we have
heard that other institutions using the system more frequently have had issues with it. We are
also anticipating that there may be further problems when NIH goes to Grants.Gov for all of its
proposal submissions. ORA is implementing procedures to ensure that your proposals get
submitted accurately and on time, but we need your understanding and assistance. ORA needs
to be contacted that you are submitting a proposal through Grants.Gov at least two weeks
prior to the proposal deadline in order to begin working on the required documents for the
proposal. Most importantly, we need your completed proposal materials to be submitted
to ORA at least six business (6) days prior to the proposal deadline to ensure that your
proposal is accepted by Grants.Gov and transmitted to the funding agency.
PLEASE NOTE: It can take up to four (4) days to complete the submission of a proposal
through Grants.Gov because the verification process used by Grants.Gov consists of four
(4) distinct steps.
1. Within 24 hours after ORA submits your proposal, we will receive email confirmation
that Grants.Gov has received the proposal. Grants.Gov will then scan the proposal for
viruses, incomplete forms, etc. and stamp the time and date of the submission. This is the
official time/date of proposal submission.
2. Within 48 hours, Grants.Gov will certify the submission and notify the funding agency
that your proposal is ready to be transferred to the Agency. Grants.Gov notifies ORA
that the proposal has passed Grants.Gov verification and that the Agency has been
notified. Your proposal has not yet reached the Agency!
3. Within 72 hours, the Agency notifies ORA that they have downloaded your proposal
from Grants.Gov and scans for compliance with the Agency’s own business rules and
4. Within 96 hours, the Agency determines that your proposal is compliant, accepts your
proposal, and notifies ORA that the submission is complete.
If an error is detected at any time during the 4-step review process, your proposal will be rejected
and ORA will receive a “fatal-error” message via email. All errors must be corrected before the
entire proposal package can be resubmitted. The Grants.Gov time/date stamp of submission in
Step 1 will no longer be valid. If the published deadline has passed, then your proposal has
missed the deadline and cannot be resubmitted. The Grants.Gov process has rendered your
proposal ineligible for review.
(As always, ORA will submit your proposals whenever we receive them, but the
Grants.Gov system is new and unpredictable, leaving very little room for error. The
earlier that we receive your proposals, then the more likely they will be accepted by the
In the future, we will distribute specific guidelines for submitting proposals through Grants.Gov.
In the meantime, please work with one of the proposal specialists on each individual Grants.Gov
proposal. If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Dehmlow or Karen Haines in ORA
for more information about Grants.Gov.