During a year that has been anything but typical, this is the first time the DRS application process has spanned the holiday season. The time between the release of Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) and the application due date is longer than usual – nearly 10 weeks as opposed to 8 weeks – but with the holidays, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more time for application preparation.

Here are four strategies to help you navigate DRS through the holidays and to support successful submission of your DRS application.

1. Establish timelines for drafting and reviewing that fit people’s unique needs. Determine when DRS team members will be in the office, available remotely, or scheduled for time off. Given COVID-19, holiday plans and schedules are changing more than ever. Maintain an up-to-date list of DRS team members’ schedules and share it among the team.

2. Determine grants.gov assignments as soon as possible and start data entry. As soon as you’re able, begin data entry in grants.gov. This is a tedious process, so be prepared with the information you’ll need to gather from others. Make sure team members know who is doing what and build this into your timeline (e.g., data entry, document upload, review for completion, submission). And, also…

3. Be aware of scheduled maintenance. Each month, grants.gov goes down for scheduled maintenance. The system will be down December 19-21, 2020, just before the Christmas holiday. Plan accordingly so that your data entry is not scheduled during this time when grants.gov will be inaccessible.

4. Consider submitting your grant application early. The deadline for DRS applications is Tuesday, January 5, 2021. With New Year’s Day on the Friday prior, this leaves only one business day after the holiday and before applications are due. We recommend you submit your application, at the latest, during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. This allows for troubleshooting if you have challenges with grants.gov and still gives you a cushion before the deadline, if needed.

If you’re concerned about submission of your grant application, we are here to help. Our Grant Writing Solutions includes grants.gov submission support. Our team is available to provide step-by-step support through the final stage of the application process.

We hope you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Thank you.

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