Top Ten Tips for Applicants

1. 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.

2. Follow the instructions in the Notice of Funding Opportunity carefully. Place all information in the order we request. Don't force reviewers to hunt through your application for information.

3. Keep your audience in mind. Be sure your 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.

4. 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 you omit any required information or data, 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.

5. 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.

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

7. Attend to technical details. A missing or incorrect DUNS number or an expired SAM registration are the top two reasons reviewers reject--or don't even review--an application. Reviewers also reject applications because:

  • File names exceed the Grants.gov 50 character limit;
  • File names include special characters;
  • Files are saved in the wrong version of Adobe Acrobat; or
  • Files are saved in unacceptable file types.

8. Be careful in the use of attachments. Do not use the attachments for information that the NOFO requires 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.

9. 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 you included all attachments before submitting the application.

10. 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 we receive your application.

Date Last Reviewed:  May 2018