Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Competitive Grants

This flowchart provides an overview of the Competitive Grants life cycle.

Understanding the life cycle of the award process can help you determine actions you may be responsible for within each step and can be a useful planning tool in preparing for Pre-Award, Award, and Post-Award activities.

 

NIFA ACTIONS
 
APPLICANT ACTIONS
arrow pointing down to NIFA Action step   arrow pointing to next Applicant Action step
• NIFA ACTIONS •

Post and Announce Grant Opportunity (RFA-Request for Applications)

Check the RFA Schedule for future opportunities. Sign up for opportunity announcements.

   
arrow pointing to next Applicant Action step  
• APPLICANT ACTIONS •

Search for Grants

All competitive funding opportunities are available on RFA List or on Grants.gov.

    arrow pointing to next Applicant Action step
   
Determine and Meet Eligibility & Application Requirements

Please read the RFA for more information. If you have specific program questions, contact the program contact listed in the RFA. For generic questions, please see FAQs and/or consult the lead staff indicated. Go to grants.gov for requirements in order to submit applications.

    arrow pointing to next Applicant Action step
   
Register to become a user of grants.gov

Note there are special requirements that need to be met to submit application (e.g. DUNS #, SAMS registration) - can take 6-8 weeks.

    arrow pointing to next Applicant Action step
   
Apply for Grant

Remember to include all the application content required by the program you are applying to. Once submitted, a confirmation with tracking number will be sent from grants.gov.

Send Acknowledgement of Application Receipt

An acknowledgement email from NIFA with the proposal number should be received within 30 days after the application deadline. If you do not receive a NIFA assigned proposal number in email within 30 days after program deadline, contact the program staff listed in the RFA.

  arrow pointing to next NIFA Action step
arrow pointing to next NIFA Action step    
Review Applications

The NIFA peer review process may include steps such as forming a peer review panel, reviewing applications, and conducting a peer review panel.

   
arrow pointing to next NIFA Action step    
Notify Applicant of Recommendation for Award

NIFA will contact the Project Director of recommended awards by phone and/or email. A communication embargo is enacted.

   
arrow pointing to next Applicant Action step  
Provide Required Documentation

Timely response to agency requests is critical to ensure your award is processed efficiently.

Perform Pre-Award Administrative Review

NIFA staff reviews each recommended award for compliance with Uniform Guidance.

  arrow pointing to next NIFA Action step
arrow pointing to next Applicant Action step  
Respond to Agency Questions

Timely response to agency requests is critical to ensure your award is processed efficiently.

Process and Approve Award

Awards Management approves the award and stipulates General and applicable Specific Terms and Conditions. Financial Management reviews the award face sheet and approves the funding. A grant obligation will be created in the accounting system the following day.

  arrow pointing to next NIFA Action step
arrow pointing to next NIFA Action step    
Send Award Notification

Notice of Award is sent via electronic mail notification to both the Project Director and Authorized Representative, includes instructions on ASAP enrollment.

   
arrow pointing to next NIFA Action step    
Announce Program Awards

For applicants receiving an award, the communication embargo is lifted and awardees should cite NIFA support in published manuscripts, presentations, press releases, and other communications.

   
arrow pointing to next NIFA Action step    
Initiate ASAP Enrollment

NIFA initiates enrollment and establishes Recipient Organization & Point of Contact

   
arrow pointing to next Applicant Action step  
Complete ASAP Enrollment

Requires timely completion of 5 tasks:

  1. Point of Contact Names Organization Officials
  2. Head of Organization Approves Officials
  3. Authoring Official Defines Recipient Profile
  4. Authorizing Official Defines Recipient Organization Users
  5. Financial Officials Defines Banking Information.
For assistance, email ASAPCustomerService@usda.gov
Fund ASAP Account

NIFA establishes ASAP account, authorizes funds, and sends package to Treasury for funding.

  arrow pointing to next NIFA Action step
arrow pointing to next Applicant Action step  
Withdraw Funds

Funds are requested through ASAP and sent via ACH to Grantee's bank account.

    arrow pointing to next Applicant Action step
   
Submit Reports

Please reference applicable award Terms and Conditions on your Notice of Award and the NIFA Policy Guide for annual progress and financial report requirements.

    arrow pointing to next Applicant Action step
   
Revise Award (as needed)

Requests for prior approval and/or award revisions may be submitted to awards@usda.gov

    arrow pointing to next Applicant Action step
   
Submit Close Out Documentation

Please reference applicable award Terms and Conditions on your Notice of Award and the NIFA Policy Guide for award closeout procedures.

Process Award Close Out

Review and approve final technical report on activities completed and impacts. Any remaining balances are deauthorized/deobligated and ASAP accounts are closed.

  arrow pointing to next NIFA Action step
     
Website Survey CTA Image Desktop

Your feedback is important to us.