OverviewPKGrantsGrants Process


Grants Process

When an eligible entity applies for a grant or cooperative agreement, the component must work closely with a Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA) Grants Officer throughout the process. The average time for processing an award is 90 days, but it can take longer depending on the complexity of the award and the number of awards issued.

Grants Process Overview

Here you can examine the procurement process step by step and learn more about what each phase entails.

Establish Statutory Authority

Identifying who has statutory authority before setting grant and cooperative agreement program guidelines. To understand the process of establishing statutory authority, read the site's Statutory Authority page.

Develop Program Requirements

After establishing statutory authority, the component will develop program guidelines according to the Program Guidelines Template and submit a zero-dollar purchase order request to the Defense Agencies Initiatives (DAI). If the award is sole source, the component must also develop a budget for the program guidelines using an Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE). .

Then the component will meet with a DHRA Enterprise Operations Center (DEOC) Contracting Directorate (PK) Grants Officer, who will guide the component through the application process. If the award is competitive, the component and the DEOC/PK Grants Officer will develop the requirements for a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), which will also identify the funding source, the total ceiling amount for all awards, and a minimum and maximum amount for individual awards. Please note that the use of a BAA will, in almost all cases, result in multiple assistance awards.

Review & Approve Program Summary

Preparing and submitting a Program Summary to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), which will be reviewed by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Once approved, the Program Summary will be assigned a CFDA number and will be published in the CFDA.

Announce Program at Grants.gov*

Announcing that the grant or cooperative agreement is open to applicants. The DEOC/PK Grants Officer will prepare a public synopsis of the BAA and post it to Grants.gov. All applicants must have a valid registration with System for Award Management (SAM) and Grants.gov in order to apply for funding.

*Posting to Grants.gov is not required if the grant is sole source.

Select Applicants*

Collecting applications and providing them to the DHRA component's Technical Evaluation Board. The panel chairman will forward the component's recommendations to the DEOC/PK Grants Officer for final approval. The DHRA component and the DEOC/PK Grants Officer will conduct discussions with grant recipients regarding the terms and conditions of the award.

*Posting to Grants.gov is not required if the grant is sole source.

Award the Grant or Cooperative Agreement

Finalizing agreements, meeting terms and conditions, and providing funding documents for the grant. As part of this process, the component will forward funding documents via Defense Agencies Initiative (DAI) to the DEOC/PK Grants Officer for final approval. Note: DEOC/PK is responsible for the award of the grant or cooperative agreement.

Manage the Award

Overseeing the use of the grant or cooperative agreement award. The Grants Officer will delegate post-award administration to a Department of Defense (DoD) Admin Grants Officer at either of the following locations, depending on the institution the award recipient represents:

  • Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA): For-profit organizations, nonprofit organizations not performing research, and state and local governments.

For more details, read the site's Post-Award Administration page.

Grants vs. Cooperative Agreements

Grants and cooperative agreements are similar: Both transfer funding to a recipient so the recipient can carry out an activity authorized by United States law. With a grant, however, the DoD and the grant recipient are not closely involved after the award has been made. In the case of a cooperative agreement, substantial involvement is expected between the government and the award recipient.

Acquisition regulations do not apply to DoD grants and cooperative agreements. For more information, read the Defense Grant and Agreement Regulatory System (DGARS) policy.

Competitive vs. Sole Source

Per DoD policy, Grants Officers encourage competition for grants and cooperative agreements. For example, a Grants Officer always uses merit-based, competitive procedures to award a grant or cooperative agreement to an institution of higher education for the performance of research and development or for the construction of research and development facilities.

In limited cases, though, grants or cooperative agreements can be negotiated and awarded with a sole source, as long as the project involved is not a research project with an institution of higher education. The component must prepare and submit a Memorandum to the DEOC/PK Grants Officer using the Sole Source Award Template.

Although the award process for sole source grants or competitive agreements does not involve a BAA, a synopsis in Grants.gov, or a meeting with the Technical Evaluation Board, the component and the DEOC/PK Grants Officer are still required to evaluate the sole source application to ensure that it meets the requirements set forth in DGARS. The funding and final award steps remain the same as a competitive action.