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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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Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications

printer-friendly Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications (PDF - 25 KB)

Purpose

This notice provides details about the process for consideration of late applications for funding opportunity announcements.  HRSA expects that grant applications are submitted and validated by Grants.gov before the posted deadline.  Deadline dates and times are listed on the cover page and in Section IV of all FOAs, titled Submission Dates and Times.  The standard deadline time is 11:59 PM Eastern Time, although this may vary and the specific FOA should be referenced.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to adhere to application instructions, including deadline dates and times.  

Applicants are urged to submit their application well in advance of the posted deadline.  If an application is rejected by Grants.gov due to errors, the applicant must correct the application and it must be resubmitted and validated by Grants.gov before the published deadline date and time.  If an application is submitted under the wrong FOA number, a new application must be submitted to the correct FOA number and be validated by Grants.gov on or before the published deadline date and time.  In order for a HRSA application to be considered for funding, the application must be submitted and validated by Grants.gov as being error free on or before the deadline date and time published in the relevant funding opportunity announcement (FOA).  

Deadline extensions will only be considered for limited the reasons listed in this document.  Deadline extension requests must be received within five (5) calendar days of a funding opportunity’s closing date.  Requests received after that time will not be considered.  The applicant must submit the request in writing to HRSA’s Office of Federal Assistance Management (OFAM), Division of Grants Policy (DGP) at DGPWaivers@hrsa.gov.  DGP will thoroughly research the request and typically respond within three (3) business days.

The policies and procedures for requesting a waiver are outlined below.

Policy

It is the applicant’s responsibility to adhere to all application instructions, including submission dates and times included in the FOA. HRSA accepts the last validated electronic submission through Grants.gov prior to the published application due date as the final and only acceptable submission of any competing application.  HRSA will NOT accept submission or re-submission of incomplete, rejected, or otherwise delayed applications after the published deadline.  

HRSA will consider waiver requests for deadline extensions in the following limited instances:

  • a FEMA-designated natural disaster (e.g., floods, hurricanes, etc.). Severe weather closures may be considered if they occur on the day of the deadline.  
  • a validated disruption of service in a specific area (e.g., widespread power and/or internet service outage),
  • a validated technical issue on the side of the government which prevented applicants from applying by the posted deadline (e.g., a Grants.gov system outage or malfunction),
  • erroneous FOA instructions, and/or
  • sudden acute severe illness or death of the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) or immediate family member.

Procedure

Applicants must submit a written request within five (5) calendar days of the opportunity’s deadline (before or after) via DGPWaivers@hrsa.gov.  Applicants should specify:

  • the FOA number for which they are seeking relief,
  • the name, address, and telephone number of the organization,
  • the Organization’s DUNS number,
  • the name and telephone number of the applicant’s Project Director (not the HRSA/Bureau Project Officer (PO),
  • the “rejected with errors” notification received by Grants.gov (if applicable), as well as
  • any tracking numbers or anecdotal information received from Grants.gov and/or the HRSA Contact Center (if applicable).
  • Additionally, applicants who have experienced sudden acute severe illness or death of the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) or immediate family member should submit a cover letter explaining the timing and the reason for cause of the delay so that an informed decision can be made.  Only an explanatory letter is required; no other documentation is expected.  This letter is only available to HRSA staff who have a need to know (such as those with referral or review responsibilities); it is not available to reviewers or other staff.  

Whom to Contact

Please do not contact HRSA/Bureau staff person to report technical difficulties or request assistance with Grants.gov. Applicants should contact the Grants.gov helpdesk immediately, at 800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov. Grants.gov will assign a case number, which will allow DGP to research the issue. Applicants who wish to request a deadline extension must make the request through DGPWaivers@hrsa.gov, within the five (5) calendar day window.

Determination

After the waiver request has been received by the agency, DGP will conduct a thorough analysis.  The case notes are obtained from Grants.gov and include information such as when the applicant called Grants.gov, issues that were reported, and the subsequent resolution (if any). Grants.gov can also provide an “application audit trail” that shows when the applicant registered in Grants.gov, attempted to submit the application, etc. A variety of reports available through Grants.gov, can also assist in making a determination. These may include System for Award Management (SAM) status, AOR status, applicant audit trails, or other verifications.  

The top reasons applicants request waivers are for an incorrect or missing DUNS number, lack of registration, or not allowing adequate time to complete and submit their application by the published deadline.  In order to approve a waiver request, DGP must be able to validate that the issue is legitimate.  

If a deadline extension is granted, the relevant funding opportunity will be re-opened, which will allow the applicant to submit the application through the Grants.gov portal.  Approval of a waiver request is not guaranteed. Determinations are made on a case-by-case basis and are at the sole discretion of HRSA. There is no appeals process for deadline extension requests.

Procedure for Communicating the Waiver Decision

Waiver determinations will be communicated to applicants via email. DGP typically responds within three (3) business days.  




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