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Grants.gov at Berkeley

Grants.gov provides a common website for federal agencies to post discretionary funding opportunities and for grantees to find and apply to them.


Tips before you start

  • Start early! This is very important especially if you are using Grants.gov for the first time. If you have any problems with a Grants.gov application, contact a SPO Contract and Grant Officer (CGO). You will find the CGO assigned to your unit by using the search box on the SPO staff list.
  • Principal investigators and campus staff do not create Grants.gov accounts. The only account holders are SPO CGOs who submit applications on behalf of the University via Grants.gov.
  • The Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number for the University of California, Berkeley is 124726725. UC Berkeley is already in the System for Award Management (SAM); do not re-register the institution.
  • It is the responsibility of Principal Investigators (PIs) and campus staff to prepare Grants.gov applications, but only SPO CGOs are authorized to submit these applications to federal sponsors via Grants.gov.

Steps for using Grants.gov

Identify and Download the Application Package

  • Each application package is specific to a specific grant program and deadline and cannot be used for other grant programs.
  • Use the Grants.gov Search to search for and identify the grant program you want to apply for, and click the Application Package tab.
  • Or, if you know the program-specific Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number or Funding Opportunity Number, go to the Get Application Package page, type in the number, and download the application package and instructions. You can search for CFDA numbers on the CFDA web site.

Creating a Grants.gov Proposal

  • Carefully read the instructions to ensure you are following proper submission procedures for that program; some agencies may be using alternates to Grants.gov for application submission.
  • Grants.gov provides resources for learning and using the system, including For Applicants and Learn Grants.
  • Please make sure you are using a compatible version of Adobe Reader or Acrobat Professional before working on your Grants.gov application. For information, see Grants.gov Adobe Software Compatibility.
  • Specific Guidance (Note: Such guidance is subject to change):
    • Set the Adobe Reader page layout options to “Continuous” instead of “Single Page” to ensure all features function properly. To do this, choose View > Page Layout, and then choose the “Continuous” option.
    • Open the application package with a compatible version of Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
    • Complete all required fields (yellow with red outlines), or the application package will not be validated. If a yellow field doesn’t apply, answer with a zero or N/A.
    • For the SF424(R&R) form, the DUNS for UC Berkeley is 124726725, the Employer Identification number (EIN) is 94-6002123, and the Congressional District is CA-013. See Standard Institutional Information for Proposals.
    • Do not use the Document>Attach function in Adobe Reader to attach the file. Upon submission, Grants.gov will remove any files attached in this manner. Use only the “Add Attachment” buttons on the forms to attach files.
    • Grants.gov suggests limiting the size of the entire grant application package including all attachments to 200MB and naming all attachments with different names.
    • Attachment file names should be 50 or fewer characters.
    • After all required documents are completed and any required or optional documentation is attached, click on the “Check Package for Errors” button. If any of the required fields are not completed, an error notice which will indicate where revision is needed within the package. Correct any errors.
    • When no errors are found, click the “Save” button to save the final copy of the application.
    • Make sure that the “Save & Submit” button is now active, although you will not be able to submit the application. (The SPO Applicant Organizational Representative (AOR) is the only official with the authority to submit applications through Grants.gov.)
    • If you revise the application, you must repeat the last three steps.

Submitting a Grants.gov Application to SPO

Submit Grants.gov applications to SPO for review and submission using Phoebe Proposal, the UC Berkeley system for proposal approvals and routing from departments and units to SPO and the Industry Alliances Office (IAO).


After Submission to Grants.gov

  • After the application is submitted, the SPO administrator will receive emails from Grants.gov and the agency confirming receipt of the application and whether or not the application passed or failed data verification. The SPO administrator will forward the pertinent email to the CSS/Department research administrator and the PI.
  • If there are errors in Grants.gov submission, you must correct them and replace the application in Phoebe so that SPO can resubmit it. If this occurs too near the application deadline, the proposal may not be able to resubmitted by SPO in time to make the agency deadline. This is why it is very important to submit your proposal at least five working days before the proposal is due and to have the final application ready for SPO review by the time designated by the SPO administrator.
  • Once the proposal has been accepted by the agency, it is no longer in Grants.gov. The only way to check on its status is to query the agency (for example, eRA Commons for NIH proposals).

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