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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration

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Apply for a Grant: 10 Tips

Start preparing the application early. Allow plenty of time to gather required information and submit well before the deadline. Power failures happen and are not an excuse for late submission.

Follow the instructions in the Funding Opportunity Announcement carefully. Place all information in the order requested in the guidance. Don't force reviewers to hunt through your application for information.

Keep your audience in mind. Reviewers will use only the information contained in the application to assess the application. Be sure the application and responses to the program requirements and expectations are complete and clearly written. Do not assume that reviewers are familiar with your organization, service area, barriers to health care, or health care needs in your community. Keep the review criteria in mind when writing the application.

Be brief, concise, and clear. Make your points understandable. Provide accurate and honest information, including candid accounts of problems and realistic plans to address them. If any required information or data is omitted, explain why. Make sure the information provided in each table, chart, attachment, etc., is consistent with the proposal narrative and information in other tables. Your budget should reflect back to the proposed activities, and all forms should be filled in accurately and completely.

Be organized and logical. Many applications fail to receive a high score because the reviewers cannot follow the thought process of the applicant or because parts of the application do not fit together.

Show evidence of fiscal stability and sound fiscal management. Your application should demonstrate your ability to be a responsible steward of public funds.

Attend to technical details. A missing or incorrect DUNS number or an expired SAM registration are the top two reasons an application is rejected and not even reviewed. Applications are also rejected because they use file names that exceed the Grants.gov 50 character, no special character limitation, the wrong version of Adobe Acrobat or unacceptable file types.

Be careful in the use of attachments. Do not use the attachments for information that is required in the body of the application. Be sure to cross-reference all tables and attachments to the appropriate text in the application. Be sure to upload the attachments in the order indicated in the forms.

Print out and carefully proofread and review your electronic application to ensure accuracy and completion. When submitting electronically, print out the application before submitting it to ensure appropriate formatting and adherence to page limit requirements. Check to ensure that all attachments are included before sending the application forward.

Submit all information at the same time. We will not consider additional information and/or materials submitted after your initial submission, nor will we accept e-mailed applications or supplemental materials once your application has been received.