Familiarize Yourself with the Solicitation
If you haven’t already done so, download the solicitation and review it carefully. Basic eligibility requirements, application forms, information, and procedures vary for each solicitation. Many have strict guidelines and fixed deadlines. Learn the specific requirements of the grant for which you want to apply.
In addition, make sure you understand all reporting requirements, making note of any data you may not be able to report and determining how your organization will collect the data required.
After determining that you are eligible for a solicitation, consider the application deadline and whether you have sufficient time to complete the registration process, prepare a quality application and budget, and complete the online submission process. It is important that you complete the application thoroughly and that you allow sufficient time to submit it before the deadline. It can take a while to upload documents into GMS or Grants.gov, and you may need time to correct errors found in the verification process and to re-submit your application.
Deadlines are clearly stated on the front cover of the solicitation. Highlight the deadlines, and make note of the specific time stated, which is always based on Eastern Standard Time. GMS and Grants.gov are programmed to close when the stated times have been reached, and, in most situations, applications that are not completed and submitted by the deadlines will not be considered for funding. Verify the time difference if you are not in the eastern time zone.