Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications

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

Below are details about the process for consideration of late applications for notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs).

When should I submit my grant application?

We expect you to submit grant applications, validated by Grants.gov before the posted deadline. In fact, we urge you to submit your application well in advance of the posted deadline.

We list deadline dates and times on the cover page, and in Section IV ("Submission Dates and Times") of all NOFOs. The standard deadline time is 11:59 PM Eastern Time, although this may vary so you should always reference the specific NOFO. It is your responsibility as the applicant to adhere to application instructions, including deadline dates and times.  

If Grants.gov rejects your application due to errors, you must correct the application, resubmit it and have it validated by Grants.gov, before the published deadline date and time.  

If you submit an application under the wrong NOFO number, you must submit a new application to the correct NOFO number and have it validated by Grants.gov on or before the published deadline date and time.  

For us to consider an application for funding, you must submit an application and have it validated by Grants.gov as being error free on or before the deadline date and time published in the relevant notice of funding opportunity (NOFO).  

We will only consider deadline extensions for limited reasons listed below in our policy.

  • Deadline extension requests must be received within five (5) calendar days of a funding opportunity’s closing date. We will not consider requests received after that time.  
  • You--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.

Read below for our policy and procedures for requesting a waiver.

What is your policy?

It is the applicant’s responsibility to adhere to all application instructions, including submission dates and times included in the NOFO.

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.

What procedure do I follow to request a waiver?

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

  • the NOFO number for which you are seeking relief,
  • the name, address, and telephone number of your organization,
  • the Organization’s DUNS number,
  • the name and telephone number of your 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.
    • We only require an explanatory letter; we don't expect any other documentation. 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.  

Who should I contact?

You 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.

If you wish to request a deadline extension, you must make the request through DGPWaivers@hrsa.gov, within the five (5) calendar day window.

Please do not contact a HRSA/Bureau staff person to report technical difficulties or request assistance with Grants.gov.

How do you evaluate a waiver request?

After we receive your waiver request, DGP will conduct a thorough analysis.

We will obtain case notes from Grants.gov. These notes include information such as when you called Grants.gov, issues that were reported, and the subsequent resolution (if any). Grants.gov may also provide an “application audit trail” showing when you 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 include:

  • an incorrect or missing DUNS number; 
  • lack of registration; or
  • not allowing adequate time to complete and submit their application by the published deadline.

To approve a waiver request, DGP must be able to validate that the issue is legitimate.  

If we grant you a deadline extension, the relevant funding opportunity will be re-opened, which will allow you 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.

What is the procedure for communicating the waiver decision?

We will communicate waiver determinations to you via email. DGP typically responds within three (3) business days.  

Date Last Reviewed:  November 2017


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