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United States Department of Agriculture

Financial Shared Services

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Introduction

Once you have gained access to ezFedGrants, you are ready to begin applying to grant award opportunities. These FAQs provide information on the entire application process from creation to submission, including signing and reviewing of award documents and the relationship between Grants.gov and ezFedGrants.

Grants.gov

Is ezFedGrants replacing Grants.gov?

ezFedGrants is not intended to replace Grants.gov. However, some opportunities are only announced on ezFedGrants.

Do I have to apply on both Grants.gov and ezFedGrants?

No. Some opportunities appear on both Grants.gov and the ezFedGrants External Portal, but you only need to submit one application.

Applications submitted in Grants.gov for opportunities that also appear on the ezFedGrants External Portal are migrated from Grants.gov into ezFedGrants. Therefore, you may submit an application on Grants.gov, but later sign the award documents through the ezFedGrants External Portal.

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Applications

How do I create applications in ezFedGrants?

Refer to the Application Management Job Aid for detailed instructions on searching for opportunities and creating applications. Your organization must have at least one user with the Grants Administrative Officer (GAO) and at least one user with the Signatory Official (SO) role in order to submit applications through the ezFedGrants External Portal. If your organization does not have an SO, you must submit your application through Grants.gov or email.

Can I submit unsolicited applications or start an application without an opportunity number?

No. Applications in ezFedGrants must be linked to a specific opportunity number.

How do I delete an application?

Applications cannot be deleted, but they can be cancelled or voided. To cancel/void an application, submit it to the Signatory Official (select the Submit button when viewing the application), and inform the Signatory Official to select the Withdraw option when they review the application.

How do I print applications?

Select the Generate Package button on the Application screen.

I have a question about specific requirements for an application.

Please contact the awarding agency for any specific questions about opportunities.

How do I check the status of submitted applications?

Please refer to the Application Management Job Aid for information on checking the status of applications submitted through the ezFedGrants External Portal.

Why can’t I edit or attach documents to a draft application?

Applications accessed through the My Applications link on the left-side navigational menu are read-only. You must use the Actionable Items tile on the Home screen to access and modify your in-progress (draft) applications.

If an application is in "Draft Pending Signature" status, it has been submitted to the Signatory Official. To edit a "Draft Pending Signature" application, the Signatory Official must return the application by accessing the application work item and selecting Return from the Please select an option menu.

How do I change the pre-populated information on the SF-424?

Most of the pre-populated information on the SF-424 comes from the grant award opportunity announcement and your organization’s business partner information. Please contact the awarding agency if a pre-populated item appears incorrect.

What is the importance of the Partners fields?

The Partners fields correlate with Partners functions, such as project ownership or responsibility for submitting reports. Specifically, the Administrative Contacts fields indicates who will be able to submit reports for an agreement resulting from the application.

Additionally, if any entry is made in the Primary/Secondary Signatory Official fields, only the designated individuals will be able to review and sign the application. Leave the Signatory Official fields blank if you would like all Signatory Officials in your organization to be able to review and sign the application.

Do I have to complete all the Partners fields?

No. Only the fields with a red asterisk (*) are required.

I have more Partners than the number of fields.

If you need to designate more partners that allowed by the available fields, please attach a document including the names and partner roles of any additional partners.

The system will not accept the names I typed into the Partners fields.

The Partners fields are tied to ezFedGrants External Portal User Profiles and contact records. For this reason, these fields will not accept typed names. You must select a name from the dropdown menu.

To view the dropdown menu, select a Partner field and press the down arrow on your keyboard. When the menu appears, select the relevant individual’s name. It may take up to 30 seconds for the menu to appear, depending on how many users are in your organization.

Alternately, you may begin typing a name into a Partner field and wait for a list of suggested names to appear. This may take up to 30 seconds depending on the amount of text provided and the number of users in your organization.

Why isn’t this person appearing on the dropdown menus for the Partners fields?

In order to be assigned to a Partner field, a user must have access to the ezFedGrants External Portal and have the appropriate role to be assigned to a specific Partner field. For example, only users with the Signatory Official role can be assigned to the Primary and Secondary Signatory Official fields.

If your organization has more than one DUNS number or registration in the ezFedGrants System, you will only be able to select users who have External Portal access under the same DUNS/registration as yourself.

I am seeing an error message when I select the Submit button.

The following are possible error messages when submitting applications:

How do I edit a returned application?

Refer to the Application Management Job Aid for information on which users are able to edit applications returned by the Signatory Official or USDA agency.

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Signatory Officials: Reviewing and Signing Applications

I am a Signatory Official. How do I review/sign an application?

Applications ready for your review are accessed by selecting the Actionable Items tile on the ezFedGrants External Portal Home screen. For detailed instructions on reviewing and digitally signing applications, please refer to the Application Management Job Aid.

Why can’t I select the Complete Signature button?

The Signatory Official must select the Legal Notice button, review the Legal Notice text, check the checkbox at the bottom of the Legal Notice popup window, and select the OK button to unlock the Complete Signature button.

Can a Grants Processor (GP) or Grants Administrative Officer (GAO) sign an application?

Only users with the Signatory Official role can review and sign applications. Switching/reassigning roles in order to sign applications is strongly discouraged for two reasons:

Each organization must have, at minimum, one Grants Administrative Officer and one Signatory Official. If your organization does not have two users, then you will not be able to use the ezFedGrants External Portal.

I am a Signatory Official. Why can’t I edit the application or add attachments during the e-signature process?

The Signatory Official role does not include permissions for modifying applications. If the application requires editing or has missing or incorrect attachments, reject the application by selecting the Return option. This will send the application back to the application creator for editing.

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Grant Award Agreements

Who signs grant award agreement documents?

If the original application was processed through the ezFedGrants External Portal, the Signatory Official who signed the original application will be responsible for digitally signing the award agreement documents in the ezFedGrants External Portal.

If your organization does not have a Signatory Official, the agreement must be signed offline.

How do Signatory Officials digitally sign agreements?

The Signatory Official must access and sign the agreement through the Actionable Items tile on the Home screen.

I do not see all of my organizations agreements when I search My Agreements.

Historical agreement data may not have been migrated into the ezFedGrants System from other grants-related systems or records. For this reason, when using Search Agreements or attempting to review other records for your organization in the ezFedGrants External Portal, you may have little or no historical information (including currently active agreements that were initiated prior to adoption of ezFedGrants).

Additionally, you may not be able to see all agreements based on your user role, organization, or Partner designation.

When I attempt to view the agreement documents, I receive an error message that the document is corrupt.

If you are unable to view your agreement award documents through the ezFedGrants External Portal, please contact the awarding agency. The awarding agency can email you a PDF of the award documents.

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Last Updated / Reviewed: November 29, 2018