The Federal Funding Process: The First Steps to Applying, How to Prepare Now & Other Considerations
This Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) webinar was held on January 21, 2021, as the second of two trainings to help prospective applicants find and apply for funding opportunities that address their needs. Prior to the release of a solicitation, there are a number of steps that applicants can take. In this webinar recording, viewers can learn what registrations are necessary to apply, how to navigate Grants.gov and JustGrants, and what resources are available for applicants, such as the Office of Justice Programs’ Funding Resource Center. A Q&A session was available at the end of the webinar.
The Funding Process: First Steps to Applying, How to Prepare Now, & Other Considerations
DARYL FOX: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to today's webinar, The Funding Process: First Steps to Applying, How to Prepare Now, & Other Considerations, hosted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. At this time, I would like to introduce today's presenters, Gregory Torain and Elizabeth Wolfe with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Stacey Kernisan and Lisa Hartman, JustGrants, to begin today's webinar.
ELIZABETH WOLFE: Good afternoon, everybody. My name is Elizabeth Wolfe, and I'm with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and I'm here with my colleague, Greg Torain, and I'm also delighted to be sharing the stage with two members of the JustGrants team, Stacey and Lisa, who'll be providing a demo of the new JustGrants system. For today's webinar, we're going to be providing an overview of the Office of Justice Programs and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. We're also going to introduce you to the brand-new JustGrants system. And we're also going to provide an overview on how to approach a BJA solicitation. There'll be a lot of discussion on key steps to completing your application, as well as going over the peer review process. And luckily, with this team, you'll also be getting all of your questions answered.
The webinar is designed for those who are interested in applying for BJA funding. Our objective today is to kind of help you be prepared as possible to do exactly that. So, how are we going to do that? We're going to provide you with information you need to successfully submit an application in Grants.gov and JustGrants. We will go over the critical elements of a BJA solicitation. We're going to share some tips on developing your budget. We're also going to explain how the peer review process works. And lastly, we're going to show you how you can stay connected with all the latest information regarding BJA funding and resources.
So what exactly is the Office of Justice Programs? Well, OJP provides a variety of resources to the criminal justice community. And how do we do that? We do it through grants, training, and research. We are one of three grant-making components of the U.S. Department of Justice. The other two are the Office on Violence Against Women and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Within OJP, there are six business bureaus and offices. As you can see, BJA is one of these six. They also have the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which is the primary statistical agency of the Department of Justice; the National Institute of Justice, which is the research, development, and evaluation agency; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which supports state and local communities to develop and implement effective programs for children; and then the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and
Tracking, which the title kind of explains it, but it does provide jurisdictions with guidance in--regarding the implementation of the Adam Walsh Act. And finally, there's the Office for Victims of Crime, and just like it says, it provides a broad range of programs and services that focus on helping victims.
So I want to give you a little bit more information about the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Our office provides leadership and services, and grant administration, and criminal justice policy development to support local, state, and tribal law enforcement in achieving safer communities. Our office supports programs in a number of areas, these are just some of the areas, including information sharing, countering terrorism, managing offenders, combating drug crime and abuse, advancing tribal justice, crime prevention, protecting vulnerable populations, and capacity-building. I strongly encourage you to learn more about BJA. You can go to our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. I realize the slide has some tiny print on it, so I'm going to explain it a little bit, and you'll also get a copy of the slides afterwards if you want to look at them more closely.
But there are six stages to the grant life cycle. It's good to be familiar with them all. I want to note right now that this webinar is only going to be focusing on the first three phases of the grant life cycle. So, the first one is administrative preparedness. We get--we want you to be ready to submit an application, and that includes looking up solicitations and finding things, and figuring out what your community needs in order to develop a program to apply for funding. Then the next section is when our office, we're going to be posting solicitations, and then the application period begins. And this is when you can locate opportunities for funding and kind of look in deep--delve deep into developing your proposal, and then the next step is, of course, submitting your application. The first step, which we'll also be covering today during this webinar, is understanding the application review process, so that's the internal review process that BJA does in awarding it.
Now, we won't be covering the next three, but I just want to make you familiar with them, which is the award notification process. When you submitted your application, the next step, of course, is when a decision is being made. We generally make our awards by September 30th, and for applications that were not selected, you will be officially notified by November 30th. Post-award, this is like the happy dance part of the life cycle. This is when you have been awarded a BJA grant, and then you get to--the opportunity to begin working with your Program Manager and administering your project. The last stage is the closeout, and as all things must come to--good things must come to an end eventually, this is also true for grants. The closeout date is when you're wrapping up your deliverables and submitting reports, and closing out your award.
So last October, the Office of Justice Programs launched the JustGrants system to replace the old Grants Management System. You may be familiar with it, it was called GMS. And I really want to emphasize this point to you, this year, you will need to use the JustGrants system in Grants.gov to apply for all BJA grants. The goal of JustGrants is an improved user experience. It's much more streamlined than it had been in the past, from the moment you receive your award, all the way through your closeout. The system allows you to manage users better so you can figure out where staff should be, and how they should have access to the system much more easily than we would have been doing in the past, and then also integrates the payment systems, which helps make it easier for you to access your fund--funds. Because this is a brand new system, two members of the JustGrants team are here to walk you through it, and will answer questions at the end of the presentation as well. So with that, what I'm going to do is turn it over to Stacey Kernisan and Lisa Hartman, who will be providing a demo of the new JustGrants system. Ladies?
STACEY KERNISAN: Thank you so much. Actually, I’m going to pass the ball to Lisa so that she can share her screen. So, good afternoon, everyone, my name is Stacey Kernisan, as stated, and I am a training specialist with the Department of Justice. And also with me today, I have Lisa Hartman, who will be walking us through a few demos. Next slide, please. So the purpose of today's discussion is to learn a little bit more about JustGrants, and to address some of the questions that you may have. We want to make sure that you also could start using it and you have the tools that you need to utilize JustGrants. So today, we're going to talk a little bit about entity onboarding, application submission, application acceptance, and lastly, where to go for help. Next slide, please.
So let's talk a little bit about onboarding. Next slide, please. So here's a roadmap that can help you visualize each of the steps that are needed when you are onboarding. Once the entity administrator invites the users into DIAMD, the entity administrator will then assign the roles for those users. You have to have a role in the system in order to do anything. So those users, after they receive--after they've been put into DIAMD, they'll receive an email from DIAMD and then they would need to successfully be logged into JustGrants. Once the users have logged into JustGrants, the entity administrator will then assign awards to those users. Next slide, please.
So a little bit about entity roles. Next slide, please. So as you prepare to transition to JustGrants, you will need to understand the six fundamental roles for your users. You will find that the roles in the JustGrants are not a one-to-one match with the roles that you may have had in GMS or NexGen. We have this matrix that we created that will help you understand the scope of the six fundamental roles as you determine who should be JustGrants users in your entity, and which roles those users should possess. Entities may
have multiple JustGrants users, there is no limit. Each user can possess also multiple roles. The entity determines who possesses what roles. You're going to assign users to multiple applications and awards as well. Each user will have one username and password, and we will place the link to this matrix in the chat for you for reference. Next slide, please.
So now, let's get into a little bit about application submission. Next slide, please. So welcome to the application submission, and this is the beginning of the journey, so let's get started. This part of the grant's life cycle involves completing and submitting web-based forms, as well as the attachments that are required from the public solicitation. The process of submitting an application in JustGrants begins in Grants.gov. Once you have located a funding opportunity with DOJ, you will submit an SF-424, and if you're applying for funding from the COPS Office, you will submit a supplemental to the SF-424. An SF-LLL is also submitted in Grants.gov. Aside from the SF-424 and the SF-LLL, which are completed in Grants.gov, most of your application is entered in JustGrants. Your entity information is populated based upon entries made in SAM.gov, and used in Grants.gov. This is important to know, you will have two application submission deadlines, one for the Grants.gov and one for the JustGrants. Most of the application requirements will be submitted from JustGrants.
Some of the ways that JustGrants streamlines the process is that you are provided with the ability to use a web-based budget detail worksheet. Not only is this process more efficient, it establishes a shared structure and narrative for all of DOJ. Streamlined validation of your budgets allows the process of clearing new budgets much faster. Your organization, specifically your assigned entity administrator, has more control over users in award assignments and does not require intervention from DOJ to make updates to those assignments. The entity administrator defaults to your organization's e-biz point of contact. But as you saw earlier what--is we also have the person that reassigns the responsibilities to other users as needed. Next slide, please.
So a user with the application submitter role will be the only person in JustGrants that will be able to submit an application. This role is automatically created when the application is submitted in Grants.gov. The person submitting the information in Grants.gov is assigned to the application in JustGrants. Again, the entity administrator can reassign this role in JustGrants as needed. The application submitter identifies the forms needed to submit an application and completes the web-based budget form, and completes and certifies the application on behalf of your entity, and submits the application in JustGrants. If a member is assigned only the application submitter role, they will not be able to see funded awards in JustGrants. It is possible to assign multiple roles to the user with the application
submitter role if that is what your organization prefers. Next slide, please. So now, let's get into a little bit of demonstration. Lisa, you're up next.
LISA HARTMAN: Thanks, Stacey. I'd like to go ahead and first do a little demo on how to locate an application in JustGrants. Before we get to this point of logging into JustGrants, you will have created or used your SAM.gov account to associate your JustGrants--or sorry, your Grants.gov account. We take the information from your SAM.gov account to create an entity administrator. That entity administrator is the e-biz point of contact in SAM.gov. The person submitting the application in Grants.gov will automatically be created as the user in JustGrants. So the application submitter from Grants.gov will be able to log in. You'll be sent registration information and instructions on how to do that by email. So once the application submitter then is logged into JustGrants, you'll need to locate the application that you submitted in Grants.gov. Typically takes about 24 hours for that connection to be made and for the information to be passed to JustGrants. It's not immediate.
So I'm going to go ahead and start this little demo. So from the homepage in JustGrants, this is what it looks like, you'll see the My Worklist. This is work that's assigned to you. So if you're the application submitter, you should see your application here under My Worklist. I'm going to show you another way to access it. You can use the header in the My Worklist to locate specific information and the application is actually listed as a grant package case type. All of the case IDs begin with an A for application. So what we're going to do, we're going to go ahead and click the link to that--or actually, I'm sorry, in this case, we're going to an applications list, this is all the applications for your organization, whether you're the application submitter or not, you can see them all. And as you can see here, we have an application submitter listed here. These do not have one associated. We have an authorized representative. This is the person who's going to accept the application.
We've opened up the application from here. When you open from the Applications menu, you're going to need to click this Begin button at the top. If you don't click the Begin button, you can only see this application in a view-only mode. The Begin button is what allows you to edit and make a page and upload attachments, and enter data. You can click Cancel. From here, you can click Save, which will save any information you may have entered and allow you to come back later to complete it, so you don't have to complete the application in one sitting. And on the right, you can see that there are navigation options.
I'd like to take a moment and move to the next demo, which is the process for actually entering application information. So this little demo on submitting the application--also, we'll walk you through opening the application and then we will talk a little bit about the
various sections of the application that you'll need to enter. So this is showing the--My Worklist and all of the different items that are on here. Most of the things that you're looking at here are actually active awards, funded awards. So this is the application. And on the right-hand side here, you see a list of menu options and each one of those is a section of the application that you're going to need to review and complete. If you leave something unattended, you will not be able to submit this application.
On the main Standard Applicant Information page, there is a section down here called Areas Affected by Project, Cities/Counties, States, etc. And this is where you will enter the ZIP Code relating to your particular project. You must enter at least one. I'd also like to--while we're waiting for the demo to catch up, I would like to note--like you to note that the menu options here on the right are specific to the solicitation that was--that you're--you know, for the funding that you're applying to. So, different solicitations will have different sections. Each, you know, application is going to be a little bit different. So here's showing you entering the Areas Affected by the Project. And you can add as many ZIP Codes as you need to add. Once you've finished entering these ZIP Codes, we're going to scroll down a little bit in the screen and there is another section here that you'll want to enter.
You want to take a look at the application type. This has come over for Grants.gov and if you are--would like to change it or you'd like to update it from the information, you can do that there. Also down here, the type of applicant are fields that were entered in Grants.gov and you can, again, update those as needed. So, all of the fields here that are editable are available for you to update. And again, many of them have been populated from the information you will have entered in Grants.gov. For the next section we're going to review is we're going to confirm the authorized representative, that this would be the person who is able to enter into a legal agreement with the Department of Justice. And so you select that person from the list provided. Notice here there are two authorized representatives, that is a--I'm going to stop this for a moment, that is a qualification for a funding opportunity from the COPS Office. BJA will have a single authorized representative associated with their application. All right. We'll continue on.
We're going to next verify the legal name and address. This information is pulled through Grants.gov from SAM.gov. And so if there's any information here that is incorrect, you notice that we can't edit anything, you'll need to go back to SAM.gov and update your legal name and address. Typically, when you update something in SAM.gov, it takes about 24 hours to be accessible in JustGrants, but it will--it will pass through. All right. Let's continue on. All right. So we verify the legal name and address. And in the next step, typically, you're going to need to--need to include a proposal abstract. And this is a free text box. You can either type directly into the--into this text field or you can copy and paste from, you know, from Word if you choose. Typically, it will retain most of the word
formatting, but you can reformat as you see. The proposal narrative is--can be uploaded and then you can also enter goals, you would enter goal statements, objectives, deliverables, and you see where the pluses are, you can add additional objectives or statements as needed.
The next step here is to look at the budget and associated documentation. So in this particular application, you see all of the budget categories that will need to be entered. And again, this application will vary. It varies from solicitation to solicitation. Rather than go through, in detail, how to add all this information, there are text fields, there are Add Items, there are--you know, you'll need to add what applies to your project. Any field with a red asterisk associated with it is going to be a required field. You will not be able to submit the application until you have completed that field. So you can add and delete items, you know, with these plus and minus options.
Your procurement contracts, there's a section for other costs, section for indirect costs, there's a budget summary, and that's just going to give you a view of what you've added so far. And then in the Budget and Financial Attachments, there are various different sections that you can open and attach the appropriate supporting documentation. And again, the requirements for the entries are going to be found in the solicitation. And if you notice up above the right-hand menu, solicitation instructions are here, that’s a link that you can use to actually open the solicitation to see specifically what is being requested. The Disclosure of Lobbying Activities should come over from Grants.gov. That would be one of the forms that you submitted when you submitted your request in Grants.gov. There are other additional fields. And, again, these all vary from application to application. So what you're seeing here is an example. And then here is the Declaration and Certification. And there are other fields, there is Certify and Submit.
When you're finished entering all of the information that you are prepared to enter and you verified that all of the required fields have been completed and you're comfortable with what you want to do, then you're going to use the Certify and Submit field to actually submit the final application to BJA. So we can, again, use these little carets here to open up and view each of the sections. And once you have, then you're going to click the Final Review and Certification of Application Information or Confirmation. So once you do that, that indicates that you have reviewed and entered all of the information that you need to enter to satisfy the solicitation requirements for this application.
So once you've certified, we can scroll down. And at the bottom of the page, we have still a Back button where you can go back one section, we have a Save button so that you can save and come back later, or Submit. And once you submit, this application then will be routed to the Department of Justice for review and you should hear then more about it
once they've finished their review process. So that was kind of a quick walkthrough of all the sections in the--in the application. And perhaps we have just a few moments to take a couple of questions about the application process so far and perhaps about SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and the application process in JustGrants. Jen is…
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Yeah.
LISA HARTMAN: Thank you.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Hi. Yeah, that was great, Lisa. Thank you so much for going through that. We do have a few questions that are coming through. And in the next set of demos, we'll ask to slow down just a little bit just because it's a newer system, folks are just asking to have the content slowed down just a little bit to digest it. However, we are getting questions from the audience about submitting applications. And do you need to submit an application before you've received JustGrants invitations or how does that process work?
LISA HARTMAN: That's a really good question. So Grants.gov is the central website for federal grant-making--or funding opportunities. So that's where you'll go first to locate a funding opportunity that you would like to apply for. So when you apply in Grants.gov, you're going to be required to submit sort of a minimum amount of information. You're going to be required to submit the SF-424, which is sort of a--sort of a general set of questions and then an SF-LLL, which is the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. Those two documents will be submitted in Grants.gov, and that submission in Grants.gov is going to create the JustGrants application that you're going to use to submit all of the rest of your information. So the--it's--most of the information that you submit is going to be in grants--in--sorry, in JustGrants. And Jen, can you remind me again the specific question?
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Yeah. Do I need to submit my application before I proceed to entering in information in JustGrants? Can you talk a little bit about that process?
LISA HARTMAN: Yes. So submitting the application from Grants.gov submits it to JustGrants. And so, yes. And then once you complete all of the information in JustGrants and submit it, you'll submit it twice, once in Grants.gov and once in JustGrants. When you submit the JustGrants information, which is sort of the full application package, then, yes, you will--it--upon funding, then be able to sort of manage your award. But yeah, you do have to submit in Grants.gov in order to submit the full application in JustGrants. I hope that answered.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Yeah. That was really helpful. Yeah. We're just getting a lot of--a lot of questions of why there is a two-step application process and I think that that was helpful. One more specifically, it looks like someone applied for the SCAAA--excuse me, SCAAP app in Grants.gov. They only completed the SF-425 and they thought that the SF-LLL will be submitted in JustGrants. Did they have this correct or is that not the correct process?
LISA HARTMAN: I believe the application in Grants.gov will require both the SF-424 and the SF-LLL, which is the Lobbying Activity Disclosure. So those--once you submit them in Grants.gov, that information doesn't disappear, it will--it will be carried over from Grants.gov into JustGrants. So you will have already completed those two pieces, but, no, it is submitted in Grants.gov.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Great. We'll go ahead and move forward, so we have enough time to get through the rest of our demo.
LISA HARTMAN: All right. Stacey, I'll turn this back over to you.
STACEY KERNISAN: Awesome. Thank you. So, now let's get a little bit into the award acceptance. Next slide, please. So here we have the authorized representative. This role is the only role that is able to accept or decline an award. It must be a person in your organization with the authority to enter into a legal agreement on behalf of the entity and bind it to the award terms and conditions. The entity administrator must assign the authorized representative to the award package in order to accept or decline the award. If the award representative changes between the time of the application submission and the award receipt, then the entity administrator will need to update the authorized representative in JustGrants. No grant adjustment is needed. The change will be made to the entity profile and will require the organization administrator to invite the new authorized representative as a signing authority for the organization. Once invited and authenticated, the new information will reflect on the award package detail. Next slide, please.
Prior to accepting the award, the entity administrator must assign a financial manager and a grant award administrator to the award. Each authorized rep will receive an electronic notification to sign and accept their award. Once received, the authorized representative will be able to log in and review the award package or accept it. The system-generated notification email will be saved in the award for the entire life of the award. One new feature in accepting awards is that it is done using an electronic signature. It is no longer necessary to print, sign a PDF, and email the acceptance document. The signature takes place in JustGrants. Next slide, please. So now, I'll turn it back over to you, Lisa, for award acceptance demonstration.
LISA HARTMAN: All right. Thank you, Stacey. So, once the authorized representative has been notified that there is a funded award or a funded--funding available for you to accept, the authorized representative then will log into JustGrants and they will see that information here on their workplace. So, each individual in JustGrants has assigned roles. Those roles might be the application submitter, might be the authorized representative for funded awards. There will be a grant award administrator who will take care of most of the management of the award itself, and then there's also a financial manager who will manage the federal financial reports that are due quarterly to be reported back to BJA.
So the authorized representative here will see on their work list a list of tasks that are specifically assigned to them. I'm going to start this little demo here and I will show you how the authorized representative can use this work list to locate the information that they are looking for. So, if there are a number of different awards that you're working with, you can actually use the case type here to look for the Accept/Decline Award Agreement, and that header can be used to filter down to the specific type of case that you want. So notice in this case that there are a couple of statuses. You have pending approval, essentially means that this was a new award that has already been requested, has already been accepted or declined, typically accepted, and is now pending approval. The two case statuses that are new are new awards that need to be accepted or declined individually.
So, I'll continue to move forward and we'll select the--one of these awards and I'll walk you through the steps of actually accepting that award. Again, this is accepted by the authorized representative. They do have the authority in order to enter into a legal agreement with the Department of Justice. So the award package will appear here in a number of different sections, and each section will need to be reviewed and accepted separately. The first section that you see here is an introduction letter. There should be a notification date here if needed and the introduction letter should be, you know, read through and absorbed. And once ready to approve, there's a little checkbox here down at the bottom of that section and it says "I have read and understand the information presented in this action of the federal award agreement.” So they'll read through it and we'll check the little box. There we are.
And then move onto the next section. The next section is Award Information, and this is really just view-only information. You want to view the award information to make sure that it is--aligns with your expectations. The project information here, project start and end dates, solicitation title, application number, we'll review that as well. And this is the financial information that comes from the budget that was submitted as part of the application. And, again, there's no editing to be done here, but it has to be read and accepted. The award conditions are attached to the award. These conditions should not be a surprise. They are visible in the solicitation, so this is just the verification and they
should all be read through. They're agreed to as a--as a single section. Rather than agreeing to every single condition, you must agree to all of them as a--as a group in order to be able to accept this award. So, as you can see this can be lengthy, takes a little time. And they are, you know, sort of legally binding conditions of the award.
And this one goes into the 40s, I believe. So, again, once we have reviewed all of the award conditions, there is a single checkbox at the bottom that--you can load more --you should load more and read them all-- but there is a single checkbox at the bottom that indicates that you accept all of the award conditions. And once you've selected that checkbox and have agreed to the award conditions, the Acceptance of Electronic Signature Page here appears. So, again for a BJA award, there will be an authorized representative, a single one. If in future you accept awards from the COPS Office, there will two authorized representatives and each one must go through the same process of checking each of those boxes separately. So once you've checked it, you've certified it, you can see the--that your title appears, your name appears, and the signed date and time appear as a timestamp here, and this will indicate that you are ready to accept the award.
So once that process is done, we'll scroll down just a little bit and you'll have some options that you can review. So, we should scroll here in a moment. All right. There we go. So, at the bottom, you see you have options you can cancel and that will remove any checkbox you--checks you may have made in boxes and will set you back to exactly what it looked like when you logged in. You can decline the award if you choose, although you would not have certified any of that. But you can decline the award and you'll need to provide a justification and if you choose to attach some supporting documentation, you can do that there. But what we're going to do right now is accept the award. And once you do, then it will then go ahead and route pending account creation. So, the system will take a moment to then go ahead and create the account, and there are sort of a number of other items that you'll need to do in order--once you've accepted the award in order to be able to edit and move forward with the award. And this--at this point, the authorized representative will follow additional steps to assign a financial manager and a grant award administrator and those we have instructions for all of that when, you know, when you get to the point where you're ready to do that. All right. Do we have time, Jennifer, to take a few questions?
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Yeah. I think we have a few moments that we can take a few questions. Let's look through and see. We're getting quite a few questions that are coming in but I want to make sure they're relevant to the topic that we just covered. Okay. Let's see.
LISA HARTMAN: While Jennifer is looking for questions, we will take--we will take questions on all of the material at the end of the--at the end of the presentation, so we will take additional questions towards the end.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: All right. I'll look through. "So how soon after Grants.gov submission is--" oops. The question just dropped out.
LISA HARTMAN: Okay.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: "Will the application be available in JustGrants?"
LISA HARTMAN: So that's a good question. So once you submit the application in Grants.gov, it typically takes about 24 hours to make its way over to JustGrants, so it's not an immediate thing. I would--I would wait until the following day to try and look for it in JustGrants. And typically once you submit in Grants.gov, you'll get emails from JustGrants notifying you, you know, how to log in to JustGrants and, you know, and how to access that application. So, I would wait for those emails to appear. That should be 24 hours give or take.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Great. All righty. I'm just trying to see questions that are relevant to this section. That's it for now. We'll go ahead and move forward to…
LISA HARTMAN: Okay.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: We'll get to the Q&A section.
LISA HARTMAN: All right. Thanks so much, Jen. Stacey, I think--would you like to take it from here?
STACEY KERNISAN: Thank you. I sure will. So, we'll go into a little bit about where to go for help if you have any questions or are needing some assistance as you begin to use the system. So, next slide, please. So here are a few tools to ensure you smoothly transition into JustGrants. Make sure you're checking your emails for updates and information on getting started during--for this transition. If you're not getting the emails, if you go to the link that's on the bottom of this page, on the screen you see here, and click on the News and Updates section, this will bring you to a place where you can sign up for email updates. The link that you see on the bottom of the screen also brings you to everything that you see here on the slide. You have a checklist where you can check off and make sure you've completed all the tasks that are needed to log in and get started with JustGrants. You have training videos that you can watch at any time about each step of
the process to go into JustGrants. We have frequently asked questions. And these are also broken out into different sections based upon the topic that you are looking for. We also have user support and additional resources as well. Next slide, please.
So since we've created a wealth of information at your fingertips, we ask that you review the training materials and the self-service support options. Start by trying to help yourself as a user by reviewing the training material, then look at the self-service support options. Then you can--need to bring whatever you have that you still can't get into to the JustGrants support page. So we have the self-support link here. Again, that's the same link that was on the previous slide that has all of the information that you need to get started using JustGrants. Next slide, please. If you are unable to figure out how to use the system or something's not working that says it should be working, we ask that you reach out to our technical support at [email protected] or 833–872–5175. You can also reach out to them on the weekends and holidays if needed. They're open from a wide range of times during the week from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Next slide, please.
In order to make sure that the help desk can help you, we ask that you have as much information as possible when you reach out to them. Some of those things that will be very helpful to the support team is a clear statement of your issues, if you have your DUNS and/or active award number. If you can also get a screenshot of your entity profile that contains your entity information, the roles that are used in JustGrants. If you can screenshot or video screen your problem or issue that you're having in JustGrants, that'll also be helpful, what you did to get there, the date and time it occurred, your email address, and your browser version. These are all things that'll help the help desk be able to get to your answer quicker if they have as much information as possible. Next slide, please.
Here is the funding--I mean, grant-related support contact information for each office that you--if you need. So I'll leave this here just for a second so you can write down the phone numbers or email addresses as you need. You can also contact your grant award administrator as well with DOJ, but if you can't get to them, this is also a way of support. Next slide, please. The Automated Standard Application for Payment, or ASAP, is now available for enrolled DOJ award recipients to request their funds. Your organization's e-biz point of contact should have received an ASAP enrollment email invitation and completed the ASAP enrollment. If you have not received your ASAP enrollment email invitation or need assistance in completing the ASAP enrollment, we ask that you contact [email protected]. And please note that all DOJ-related ASAP accounts will be suspended for the last three business days of every month for reconciliation. Next slide, please.
So we encourage you to check out our FAQ documents on all of the topics that we have on that link that’s on the bottom of the screen right now, the justicegrants.usdoj.gov. Each of these documents help you have a wealth of information that can help you as you go through your transition into JustGrants. And so we encourage you to reach out to--also to JustGrants training team when you need it. And please utilize the JustGrants support email for any questions you may have along the way. So I believe that is the end of our section. So who do we need to pass the ball back to?
GREGORY TORAIN: You pass to Greg. Hello, everyone. This is Gregory Torain. I'm a policy advisor at BJA. I'm just trying to get up to my slides right now. So I'll be talking about understanding the solicitation, organizing your application, and going over tips for the budget. So step one, when you're applying for a BJA grant, first thing you want to do is make sure you're eligible for the application. So we've had a number of years several times where we have applicants that apply but don't meet the eligibility requirement. And when they submit the application, the application doesn't move forward just because they weren't eligible. So, again, on the first page of the solicitation, make sure you go through and read through the eligibility requirement to ensure that you're eligible. If you aren't an eligible entity to be able to apply, one of the things you may want to do, this means that you can't be a part of the application, you can also serve as a subawardee under the application but at the same time, it has to be that you have an eligible entity within your state or your local jurisdiction or county that's applying that you may be able to attach to to serve as a partner with that eligible applicant.
Step two, you want to make sure you have enough time to develop your application. Remember that there's two due dates or deadlines within the solicitation or with BJA solicitations, one being the Grants.gov deadline as well as the JustGrants deadline. You want to take into account the required time to register, preparing your application, and gathering all the attachments to submit your application. Remember the beginning stages of applying for funding, make sure you have your DUNS number, you’re required to maintain your registration with SAM, which is a system for award management, and you're registered with Grants.gov as well as grants—JustGrants, and that process can take between 10 to 14 business days. So you definitely want to make sure you're--give yourself enough time to be able to apply.
Step three, read through the program-specific sections to understand how funds may be used. So looking up and to the right, we have within those sections different categories of funding. You want to read through those to ensure that when you're looking to apply, that you could apply or you're requesting to use BJA funds for different strategies or different things that are indicated within the solicitation that you can use the funding for. And then, again you want to just, step four, read through the rest of the application in its entirety. Get
a highlighter, go through the application or that solicitation to make sure you're addressing everything that may be critical to you in terms of understanding what's allowable use of funds or as well as what--you have a better understanding of what you're applying for within the solicitation.
Step five, you want to determine whether your agency has the capacity to apply for the funding. So you could--you--when you go through, again, through the categories, you're looking to see--you're looking to determine whether your current entity could actually do what's actually listed in the solicitation. If you aren't able to do some of the things that's indicated in the solicitation, the best thing would do, to begin to look at what are other resources within your community or other partners you can bring to the table that could address those gaps in services that you may not be able to provide within that application. The strongest applications we do receive at BJA are those that have strong partnerships within the application.
Also one of the things that you may want to do that I would recommend, one of the things I used to do back when I worked for county government and applied for federal grants, you also want to maybe network or connect with already established criminal justice coordinating councils and things like that, already established boards that already kind of doing that work and begin to work with them in terms of planning, to identify how you can build or looking at the capacity--it may already be developed in your county or in your jurisdiction that you can partner with that'll be a part of this grant that would make this a stronger application.
Step one in terms of planning and organizing, you want to read the application a second time, develop a timeline, checklist yourself. You want to think about the steps needed to register or to develop a letter of support, again, advising parties to the table. So you want to really look at--when you look at the solicitation--at the end of the solicitation within the appendix there is a checklist, but you want to develop your own checklist and timeline and identifying partners to be a part of that solicitation or part of writing that grant. Try to identify everything that's needed to have a successful application and make sure that you go through that checklist and mark everything off once, twice, and three times to make sure you cover everything within the solicitation.
Step two, read the review criteria. So this is extremely important. So you could see to your right, section E of the solicitation, there are several components within the project narrative. There's the statement of the problem, project design, budget, there's another piece in there. You want to make sure that when you're submitting the application, each one of those sections within the solicitation carries a weight of score. If you look to the right, you'll see statement of the problem--15%. Each one again has a score to it. You
want to make sure you put most of your energy in those sections that have the higher amount of scores. Usually project design is usually between 35 and 40 percent of the score. So again, you want to put most of your efforts in that.
Also when you're reviewing the criteria and getting ready to start to write the application, biggest mistake applicants make is not answering every question. Do not change the order of the questions. When you have peer reviewers reading the application, you definitely want to make it as easy as possible for them when they're reading through the solicitation. They're--when they read your application, they're actually able to know exactly what they're looking for and it ends up in the right location. So definitely when you're writing it, make sure you keep it in the order when you're submitting your application and you're writing it.
This is a very helpful hint here. So an example would be if when you're--when you're breaking down the project narrative, so the first piece would be the statement of the problem, and you would do this for each section of the solicitation, you want to go through it. What I do is export the document into a Word document, cut and paste each question within the statement of the problem, each question within the project design. You want to go through there, highlight in red, give some space underneath, and respond to each question that's in there. That way, you're keeping those questions organized and you're responding to every question that's a part of the solicitation.
Also what I would advise if you do work with a criminal justice coalition or coordinating council and you're identifying partners and you're working with a group to tackle this application, one of the things you want to do could be in those areas where there are gaps, you can assign other team members a part of those areas where they will be able to address those questions. But you definitely want to answer every question as well as in the order it is within the solicitation. Again, this just makes it that much easier for a--the reviewer to be able to go through it and respond to each of your questions and see that you responded to each question. Again, it always makes--helps it be clear for the person reading it.
Step three, make sure you understand and follow the instructions. This is key--like I said, everything in this is pretty key but for this, this could also have your application not make it through the first review process. You want to make sure that the font is correct, the margins, and the page--I see the 20 pages that are required. Out of all those things, the majority of times what I see is exceeding the 20 pages. That could come back to haunt you when you submit your application, so make sure that you read through that and not go beyond the page limit. Also one of the things I do want to mention is that when you submit anything outside of the project narrative, that doesn't account for the 20 pages. And a
helpful hint here is a table can be a single space and can be put into the attachment that's not a required component of the program narrative. Okay.
Step four, you want to draft your budget very early in the process. Make sure you carefully read and understand any of the required budget expenses detailed in the application, especially any required grantee meetings. Also be sure to read carefully and understand any caps on expenses or expenses that are not allowed. So when you're putting together your budget and you're looking at the solicitation, there may be several different categories, but it indicates that the maximum amount of funding is $500,000, you can't apply for a million dollars if the maximum amount is $500,000. But what you can do, $500,000 may be the maximum amount you can apply for, but when you're writing the application and you deem that $500,000 is not the amount you'll need, you can apply for less than that $500,000. Okay.
The budget narrative should be pretty simple. The budget narrative should be rated--related directly to the project design. There should be no expenses in the budget that are not referenced in the project narrative. Example would be do not ask for drug testing supplies if you have not included drug testing as a part of your project description. Personnel costs should be related to key personnel for the project. Subrecipients should be categorized as either subawards or procurement contracts and clearly stated in the project narrative. And the budget should not include funding to fully implement a project--I'm sorry, the budget should include adequate funding to fully support the project but no more than the amount listed in the solicitation. Again, that goes back to ensuring that when you put in the budget, it should be no more than the maximum amount but also be sure that the budget is consistent with what's indicated on the SF-424. Those numbers should match. Okay.
Step five, do not forget about required attachments. So the pictures of--to the right, you'll see additional attachments. Every solicitation has additional attachments. You want to make sure that when you're going through, you're reviewing to make sure you don't miss any of those. And they're also indicated in the checklist or the appendix at the end of the solicitation. But also I want to make you aware of--looking at the additional attachments, all the way to the right, if you can see the letter of support one. You see the word required. Be sure to make sure that if there are indications required, they have to be in that--the application or the application will not make it past the first review process. There may be situations where they'll--they--the attachment may be recommended. It just means that we highly recommend it, the application will still make it through the process if that's not indicated or not included in your complete application, we just highly recommended that you have that information in there. But it will not be taken out or eliminated in the process. Okay.
Each solicitation identifies basic minimum requirements or BMR. So in the solicitation, you'll see critical elements that need to be within the application. If that--again, if that information is not in the application, that application will not make it past BMR or the basic minimum requirements, and will--and will not make it to the peer review process. Typical documents may be the program narrative, the time/task plan, the budget detail worksheet and budget narrative, applicant disclosure of proposed subrecipients. So one of the things I do see that sometimes applicants make a mistake is that when they submit the document, sometimes they don't look over those documents and end up submitting a blank document.
Something that I used to do that's helpful is when I'm--I create my own folder of my application attachments and different documents and then I'll create an extra folder within that folder for final completed documents just so when I'm uploading, I'm uploading the final document. So just to let you know, sometimes that happens with some of the applications we receive, we see it listed as the Abstract there or we see it as the time/task plan. But when we click on it to see it, there's nothing there, it's a blank document. So, just want to make you aware of that when submitting, make sure that it is the final document that you're submitting. Okay. And check the application checklist one last time, make sure you do not miss anything. And this is what it will look like, I know I mentioned it several times. It's at the end of the document as Appendix A. So again, you want to go through that to make sure it's there. Make sure you cover everything in there. And again, respond to all the questions in the solicitation. Have a complete application.
So for any unforeseen technical issues, please reach the Response Center at [email protected]. For more information on technical issues, there's a link here to the 2020 OJP Grant Application Resource Guide. Okay. Any further questions, we'll have this as a recording, as well as transcripts, I think that was mentioned earlier. I think it was mentioned in about 10 business days that'll be available on the BJA website, BJA webinar website. Review the solicitations for any frequently asked questions on the BJA website, you can contact Justgrants.gov or JustGrants, also the Resource Response Center.
And then I mentioned a little bit earlier about once documents make it past or application make it past the basic minimum requirements, then they move to what's called the peer review process. So this--usually we have typically three reviewers that review and score your applications. The tally is based off the scores of each section. So mentioned earlier each section of the statement, a problem, the project design, each of those sections have a weighted score to them. So they'll score those based off that. And again, that's why it's extremely important to make sure you put more energy into those sections where they have the highest points to as well as keep your application very organized in responding to questions because they'll be--the way you highlight those questions or respond directly
to them is how they would be reading them and responding to what you answered within those questions, so very important that you do that. Now that--let me see, I think that might be--all right, I think that's with me, I'll pass it back to Elizabeth.
ELIZABETH WOLFE: Okay. Thank you so much, Greg. I really appreciate it. I think that was really helpful as well as the JustGrants team. And I wanted to--before we launch into questions and answers in a little bit, I wanted to give you some additional resources for funding opportunities. So first of all, as we mentioned in the presentation, BJA posts its web--all of its grants on grants.gov and simultaneously at BJA's website as well. So there's two sites that you can look--they should--they do match up, so that's the good news. But those are the two places that you can look and you're able to download a copy of the solicitation and make that available for everybody who's applying for grants in your organization. BJA also sends out eblast announcements about new opportunities, as well as other really interesting information, events, and things like that. So, what I recommend that if you're not on BJA's mailing list, that you go ahead and go to our website and you would be able to join that eblast group. There's also a link that's apparent, and that is a resource guide for applicants, which is really helpful for preparing and submitting an application. There's lots and lots of good information for you. And it's a good way to prep yourself.
The next link is the Office of Justice Programs Award Data. And I do realize one of the questions that popped up in our Q&A box is about "Can I see past solicitations? Can I see past awards in my community?" And this is where you do it. So in addition to finding information about past solicitations, then we list--again, we list all of them by year. You can also see what communities and organizations around you may have received funding in--by fiscal year. So last year is the previous year, and the previous year back. This is really helpful for you because if you have a program that's similar to one that we have recently funded, you may want to reach out to them. Or if you notice that your community hasn't received funding for a particular program and there's a need, this is additional justification for you when you're submitting your application.
Lastly, I want to share NIJ's Crimesolutions.gov, which is a clearinghouse of programs that have been rated for their effectiveness in addressing different criminal justice issues. I'd like you to think about it in a different way as an idea generator. It's also a place for you to go to get some ideas on building a program or maybe putting pieces of it together in a more structured way. You can get some ideas and steal from them because, again, we have gone through them and rated them as being effective. So this will give you some examples of what other jurisdictions have done and that have been effective for them.
And then finally, this is one more slide for me, which was--and we'll be moving onto questions and answers and other information. But every year, the Department of Justice releases something called a Program Plan. And the plan provides summary details on funding opportunities that DOJ is expecting to release. So we encourage you to go check it out, as well as the OJP Funding Resource Center. I think this is slightly switched up. So with that, I'm going to go ahead and turn it over to Mary Jo, who will help us through the last portion of this webinar.
MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: Thank you very much, Elizabeth. I appreciate that. And I did notice that the program plan slide is at the end, so I will--I will make sure I show that.
ELIZABETH WOLFE: I'm ready for it.
MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: It's at the--it's at the very end. So--and if you could just pass the ball to me, that would be great. So while I am waiting for Elizabeth to do that, I'm going to go over a couple more slides and then I promise, we will open it up and we will start reading out some of those questions that you all have submitted because there are quite a few and I know many are being answered. But I want everybody else to have the benefit to hear the…
ELIZABETH WOLFE: Having a little problem, I have a slow connection on my end. So I'm going to try one more time.
MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: I'm going to ask Tammy to see if she has any better luck. So Elizabeth has already mentioned that BJA does have a newsletter that goes out and that you should sign up to receive that. You can also do that by texting, so text to subscribe feature. You’ll send your text message to OJP at 468-311. Insert your email address and you'll be signed up to receive the BJA newsletter. Just to note that message and data rates may apply. BJA also has a presence on social media. And we invite you to follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Their URL’s are listed on the slide here. BJA will announce new funding opportunities not only in that email that I--we had mentioned, but they will also post things on Facebook as well as Twitter. And then there is also an RSS feed.
Again, as a reminder, you can visit the BJA website to--for all funding opportunities that are listed there. And if you actually go to the event tab on the BJA website and you click on that, there's a link for funding webinars. So if you're interested in other funding webinars, you can find that information there as well as receiving it in emails that are sent out through BJA. And their website is www.bja.ojp.gov. Today, we have a lot of questions today. So if we're not able to get to all your questions, anything that is related to the grants
or JustGrants, you can go ahead and submit those to the JustGrants help--and I will flip back to that slide in a few minutes.
Any questions related to the--a solicitation in general? If you're having questions about eligibility and that type of thing, you can send those questions to the National Criminal Justice Reference Center's Response Center. They are available at [email protected], chat is available and a toll-free number. And their toll-free number is 800–851–3420. And for those that are hearing impaired, you can dial 301–240–3610. They are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. They are closed on the weekends and most federal holidays. And they are open later on the date a solicitation may close. They also have a funding newsletter that comes out every Friday. And you can go to the NCJRS website and subscribe to that. That newsletter will cover not only funding opportunities and webinars available from BJA, but as well as other agencies within the Office of Justice Programs, so the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the National Institute of Justice, and so forth. As Elizabeth had mentioned earlier, if you want to get an overview of the funding opportunities within the Office of Justice Programs, you can refer to the Department of Justice Program Plan. And the URL is listed here, it's rather long, so I'm not going to read it out. But it is a good way to see what is coming out from the—[Agencies]. The JustGrants contact information. And then I'll randomly flip around to those other two slides with the BJA and NCJRS information.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay.
MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: So we start--sorry.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: That's okay. Hi, this is Jennifer. It looks like we have quite a few questions and, like, I said, we'll try to get through as many of these as we can. Thank you all for submitting your questions. So first question, "What's the difference between Grants.gov and JustGrants?" Lisa, would you like to take that one or Stacey? You may be on mute.
LISA HARTMAN: Yeah, I could take--yeah, I can take that one. Grants.gov is a central website that provides access for a number of different federal agencies' funding opportunities. So on Grants.gov, you'll find funding for DOJ and BJA, you know, in that group. But you'll also find funding opportunities from other federal agencies. So, it's part of sort of a movement by the government to centralize information for multiple agencies. So that's where you'll find the opportunity. Once you find the opportunity that you want to apply for, for Department of Justice, we use JustGrants. So, once you've applied in Grants.gov, it will then make its way over to the Department of Justice and we will capture that in JustGrants. JustGrants is going to be--it's more than just an application software.
Grants--JustGrants is where when you receive funding, you'll manage, you know, all of the aspects of the award. So, that's one of the difference. One is just sort of searching for funding opportunities and determining which one you want to apply for. The actual application and management of the funded award happen in JustGrants.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Great. All right. The next question is around accepting your grant. Is there a way to delegate a person to accept grants on JustGrants for entity with approval from our authorized representative?
LISA HARTMAN: Yes. We--what we recommend is--you know, one of the new things about JustGrants that's different from previous applications is that your entity is in charge of who has access to JustGrants and what roles they play. So, the entity administrator, there's only one of those in your organization. And that's the person that determines who is able to be a new member and who's able to access JustGrants, and they're the ones that assign the roles. You can assign multiple application submitters. You can assign multiple authorized representatives, and then assign one authorized representative to each award. So, that's all within the purview of your entity administrator to determine that. But, yes, you can have multiple people be authorized representatives, but you can only assign one of those to a single award.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Great. And kind of in the same vein about the authorized representative, can you have--can you print documents? Can you have the general counsel review documents before the authorized representative signs off?
LISA HARTMAN: You know, the--that's one of the features I believe that is coming soon is the ability to print. So, I saw a number of questions about printing the application in the chat. And that is something that is slated for our development office to be coming soon. JustGrants is a--is an ever-evolving, ever-growing system. And our development office has a lot of additional, you know, sort of enhancements, they want to further that. So, right now the only option that we have is really kind of a print screen option and then any, you know, any additional documentation that you've uploaded of course can be printed from a sort of, you know, native application, Word, or Excel, or whatever. But right now we don't have a print function. But please sign up for the news and updates and you will see when that is scheduled to come. We'll announce it. Excuse me. We'll announce it there.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Great. Does the e-biz POC say that the authorized rep has the authorization to authorize an application submitted before they can access JustGrants or how does that process take--how does that process--how does that process go?
LISA HARTMAN: How does that happen? So…
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Yeah.
LISA HARTMAN: …when the person that submits the application from Grants.gov will automatically be assigned as the application submitter in JustGrants. So, I think the assumption is that if you're the person submitting the application in Grants.gov, then you're going to attach it in JustGrants and continue the process there. The entity administrator is automatically assigned with any new JustGrants account, and that person will always be automatically the SAM.gov e-biz POC. Now, that--and that's the person who's then going to be able to add additional users in JustGrants, add additional roles. If they choose not to be the entity administrator, as long as they add one person who will be, they can transfer their responsibilities in JustGrants to that other person. But they--that person has to actually capture the very first--has the responsibility for assigning the first few members and assigning roles. So, yes, there could be multiple application submitters and the entity administrator is the person who would set that up.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Great. Let's see here. Is there a monetary limit to the amount of grant? And if so, how do you find the limit for your agency?
GREGORY TORAIN: Yeah. This is Greg. I'm not sure I understand that question. Here in BJA, OJP, we don't put a monetary amount on our discretionary grant in terms of how much funds you could apply for or how many awards you could receive. So, there's no monetary amount of funding. As long as you submit a good application for your community, it'll go through the process and it could potentially be awarded.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Got this question quite a bit about ZIP Codes. If a project is statewide, should we enter all ZIP Codes? Is that possible or is there just one required?
LISA HARTMAN: Yeah, I saw that question come up quite a bit. Right now I believe that field only reacts to ZIP Codes. And so, we understand that that is--that is a difficulty. And I am not sure how to answer what to do if there's like a national program. I think I'd have to defer back to the program office for that. But I do know that that field is again under discussion to update to accept additional information beyond the ZIP Code. So, again, sign up for the news and updates, and when that feature is introduced into JustGrants, then you'll be--then, you'll know more about it. But right now I believe it only reacts to ZIP Codes and you should put in as many as affects the project. And beyond the state level, I think I would defer to the program to determine how they want to--want to approach that.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Next question is around uploading a proposal narrative, and goals and objectives. Is it okay to upload a proposal narrative or are applicants required to complete the goals and objectives field?
GREGORY TORAIN: Yeah. This is Greg. If the--in the solicitation, if it indicates that you need to provide goals and objectives, then you would need to follow what's indicated in the solicitation to make sure you have a successful award. So--and if it's indicated goals and objectives are part of the process within--which it is within the solicitation, then you would need to respond to the goals and objectives section of the solicitation.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Next question, do I need ORI number to apply for any of these grants? If so, could you provide assistance on how to obtain an ORI number?
GREGORY TORAIN: Yeah. This is Greg. I think I heard that question come up before. I'm not familiar with the ORI number. Is--I would suggest you contact the Response Center to follow up. I'm not--from my knowledge from what we do, I'm not--don't have knowledge of what an ORI number is.
LISA HARTMAN: So, I believe it's…
GREGORY TORAIN: That stands for…
LISA HARTMAN: It's--I believe the ORI number is a sort of a field that was used by the COPS office only. And their…
GREGORY TORAIN: Okay.
LISA HARTMAN: So you do not need an ORI number for a BJA award I believe.
GREGORY TORAIN: Okay. Thanks. Appreciate that.
LISA HARTMAN: You're welcome.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. This is another question about supplemental documents. Do we have to upload supplemental documents to the application if there are already copies in the entity library?
LISA HARTMAN: Yeah. That's a very good question. So, the documents that are kept in your entity library are documents that would apply to multiple applications. For instance, you know, indirect cost agreement or 501(3)(c) information, something that would apply to all of--you know, all or many of your awards. The fact that they're stored in the entity library is to make things easier for you to maintain version control over those documents. But it does not--they're not pulled into any award automatically. You would have to go and
link them. So, no, just being in the entity library does not automatically attach it to an application. You'll have to--you'll have to attach it.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Next question, how will this type of process or solicitation work for CTAS applications that have several agencies involved and a coordinated response?
GREGORY TORAIN: That’s a pretty good question for the CTAS policy advisor. I would go to the BJA website and look under CTAS and follow up with the policy advisor or either get the policy advisor pull that program to get a good sense of what that would look like. That's more of an individual program issue to follow up on.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Let's see here. If we're submitting more than one application to a specific solicitation, do we need to initiate more than one application in Grants.gov to pull over different applications in JustGrants?
GREGORY TORAIN: Yeah. This is Greg. So, if you're submitting an application, you're submitting two separate applications, you would need to do two--you would need to submit two separate applications within Grants.gov. So, you would have to submit two different ones. You couldn't submit both within the same application.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. And can I use the same letters of support from our 2020 application or do we need new ones for the 2021 grant?
GREGORY TORAIN: Yeah. I would recommend if you're looking to a--for a new grant, then you would update your letters of support to have the most updated date.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Let's see. Will the application populate in your work list once it's been processed through Grants.gov?
LISA HARTMAN: The application will appear in the application submitter's work list only. Everyone with--who has access to JustGrants and has apply--access to the application can view the application under the application menu. But only the specifically assigned application submitter will see the new work list.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. This is a question just around budget. So, when we add personnel to a budget for a multiyear grant, do we use a separate line for each year or does it need to be broken down--or does it not need be broken down by year anymore?
LISA HARTMAN: So, in JustGrants there's an opportunity to enter multiple years in the Budget Detail Worksheet and there's an opportunity to copy, for instance, one year to the
next. So, if the personnel are going to essentially remain the same, you will have the opportunity to copy one year to the next and make, you know, sort of tweak adjustments for each year as needed. We do have full training material on the Budget Detail Worksheet available in our--on our website, and I can go ahead and post that here in the chat, in the--in the question and answer, let's see. I'll go ahead and post that in the question and answer about the budget detail worksheet information.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Great. Shifting gears a little bit here. Can you talk a little bit about submitting the PMT report in JustGrants and what that process looks like?
LISA HARTMAN: Yeah. We--I don't have a demo to go over that, but for now if you're creating your performance report or your progress report in PMT, essentially you're going to upload the PDF file that's generated. And again, we do have--we do have e-learning videos that show you how to do that on our training site. Maybe Stacey or Jen, if you have the opportunity to go ahead and post that training website again, we have that…
STACEY KERNISAN: Yes. I posted it attached to the question itself.
LISA HARTMAN: Perfect. So, yes, the--it's really--it's a fairly straightforward process. If it's a PMT report, you upload a PDF into the report and submit. It's pretty straightforward.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Great. A few more questions here. I'm looking at budget, some are concerned or interested to know if your budget information on the SF-424 submitted in Grants.gov changes as your application develops, how do you update the system or what should you do in the system?
LISA HARTMAN: Does that question relate to before the application is submitted or with the funded award?
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: It looks like there are two separate questions. So, I can expand a little bit on the second question. The SF-424 requires a budget total. But we won't see the budget until we get it into JustGrants. But we can't get into JustGrants until we finish the SF-425. If my budget total changes, can I update it to match later?
LISA HARTMAN: Yes. You can update the budget total in the application in JustGrants before you submit it.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay.
STACEY KERNISAN: Jennifer, we had a question that was asked. They said they had not received their invitation to submit an application from JustGrants and the deadline is tomorrow. The program manager is aware. What do you recommend that they should do?
LISA HARTMAN: Have--they have submitted the--they have submitted the application in Grants.gov. Is that correct?
STACEY KERNISAN: They say they haven't received an invitation to submit an application. If we can come back to that one. Like, we can find out more information, maybe get back to them.
LISA HARTMAN: Yeah. I think we need to find out more information. Could I suggest that you contact JusticeGrant--or [email protected]. So, I think that email address is on our slides and I think it's been posted. But if you can send that to the training inbox, we'll check that right after the session and we'll need to ask more questions about that.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Let's see here. There was a question about how much does this process cost? So, I wanted to just share that with the group, if others have that question. Is there a cost to submitting to any of these grants?
LISA HARTMAN: So, I can answer that Grants.gov is a free website. But I think I would send it back to Greg to answer if there are any costs associated with [INDISTINCT].
GREGORY TORAIN: Yeah. This is Greg. The only cost that may be associated with submitting application is you're maybe hiring a grant writer or something like that. But--or any internal things that you need to do to apply for the award. But just applying, you could--there's no cost that I'm aware of that you have to pay in order to submit an application.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. And another question, will there be any flexibility or consideration given for the application submissions if I have JustGrants technical difficulties? And if so, how do we communicate these?
LISA HARTMAN: I believe there was information that was sent out earlier this week. I don't have it at the top of my head, I'm afraid. But I believe that there--I believe that there is some consideration given if the hold-up is--has to do with JustGrants. But I think that that's highly qualified response. So, I--I'm not sure I could talk to the full depth of that.
STACEY KERNISAN: I will put in the chat--I mean, yes, in the chat the link to the newsletter that was sent out.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Could you also talk about closeouts and where to find resources about closing out a grant award? And we've also posted it in the chat. But I just wanted to read it to the larger group in case others were interested.
LISA HARTMAN: To address just the JustGrants process, we do have closeout documentation, step-by-step how to close out in JustGrants, both in e-learning video and in a step-by-step job aid reference guide on our training website. As far as the other process, I would defer that back to Greg.
GREGORY TORAIN: Yes. Greg. So, if you obviously have the award and you're looking to close it out, you would--you would connect with your point of contact, your grant manager in terms of what will be the process for closing your grant out.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Great. I think those are all the questions for--that we have in the Q&A that we haven't addressed. Stacey, do you see any others from the chat that we haven't addressed?
STACEY KERNISAN: No. I do believe that was the majority of the questions. If there are any that we missed because they kind of come in kind of fast, we can gather those together and have answers that can be written out. Hold on, one question--one question is this, we're submitting more than one application to a specific solicitation. Do we have--do we have to initiate more than one application in Grants.gov to pull over different applications in JustGrants?
GREGORY TORAIN: Yeah. This is Greg. I think I responded to that a little bit earlier. So, if you're submitting--if you're--you can--if you can really submit one application to one solicitation. You would need to do that. If you're looking to apply for--with another solicitation, then you would need to submit a separate application. And also be aware that certain solicitations have different categories. So, if you're applying--so, if a solicitation has category one, two, and three, you would also need to have separate applications for--well, you know, it depends on the solicitation. So, it really depends on--you would have to read the information and look in the solicitation for certain applications that have different categories to be more--to be more specific. So, that's more application or solicitation specific. But normally when you submit an application, if you're looking to--for--to apply for another solicitation, you would have to complete another application, if that makes sense.
STACEY KERNISAN: We have one more question. I'm not a hundred percent sure what this is referring to, but I think it's towards an applicant. What are the restrictions for international students?
GREGORY TORAIN: Yeah. This is Greg. I don't think I have a response to that. I don't know if there's any language in our solicitation or applying that--I would have to look into that. I wouldn't--I wouldn't know right now to respond to that.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay.
STACEY KERNISAN: One other question, their organization is a subgrantee on a 2017 grant for 3 years. Does this qualify--disqualify us from applying?
GREGORY TORAIN: So, if they have a--I'm sorry. Can you read that again?
STACEY KERNISAN: Sure. Our organization is a subgrantee on a 2017 grant for 3 years. Does this disqualify us from applying?
GREGORY TORAIN: It wouldn't disqualify them from applying. I don't know the period performance for that award, if it was 36 months or 3 years and that award is expiring, then they would be able to apply. If it's--also, if they're--let me make this quick, so, also, if they're applying, if they're a 2017 grantee or they were a part or a subawardee then they would also be able--they would be able to apply for that award if it was--if it were for a different focus, focus area where they were looking to expand what they were doing from the previous award.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. It looks like some more questions also came in here. Can you leave JustGrants open while working on Grants.gov at the same time?
LISA HARTMAN: Yes, you can. They are two completely separate systems. But they--again, the information from one to the next is not immediate. So, for instance, if you're submitting an application in Grants.gov, you won't expect to see it immediately in JustGrants. But they're two completely separate systems. You can work on them at the same time. Yes.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: All right. It looks like the print and download option seems to be an area of concern for folks that have internal review requirements. Can you provide a definitive written response on how to address this? Does it need to have the application need to go through an internal review? How should they resolve this issue?
LISA HARTMAN: I don't have a definitive written response for you right now. But if you will send an email to [email protected] requesting that, I will forward it to the business office and see if they can provide a response to that for you.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Thank you. I'm also seeing this pop up again. I know we addressed it a little bit earlier, but I just want to bring it up again. If we have--if folks haven't received an invitation to set up their ASAP account or JustGrants account, can you just provide, kind of, overview of what the process is, and then also provide a checklist of how to go about doing that?
LISA HARTMAN: I believe that information is available on our website. And I--again, if you--if you would submit your request to [email protected], we can work to see what we can find out for you. But it's difficult to sort of troubleshoot individual--you know, individual issues, you know, on a--on a group this large. But we're happy to--we're happy to do it from our training support email box.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: One moment. All right. Stacey, is there any other additional questions? I don't see any other that we haven't addressed already.
STACEY KERNISAN: No. I believe that is it.
JENNIFER JEFFRIES: Okay. Well, thank you all for those questions. They are wonderful. We hope those are very helpful information. And I think we can turn it back over to Greg or Lisa to close this out.
LISA HARTMAN: I have nothing more. So, I would talk to--talk to Greg.
GREGORY TORAIN: Yeah. I just--and then I'll pass it to Elizabeth, I'll just thank everyone for coming on to today's webinar. I hope this was helpful. You have a lot of different resources to review and this is going to be--this is recorded. You'll get a copy of it or you know where to go to get a copy of it. So, again, thank you for participating. I guess I will pass this--
MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: This is Mary Jo. Yes. The slides, the transcript, and the PowerPoint presentation will all be posted to the BJA website in approximately 10 business days. You can go to the BJA website, bja.ojp.gov, and click on the event tab and the artifacts should be posted under there. I believe you’ll also receive an email if you registered. So, we have your email address. And I think we'll send that out, letting you know when that information has been posted. But please just, you know, check back to the BJA website every so often. Elizabeth, anything else?
ELIZABETH WOLFE: Yes. Sorry about that. Yes. On behalf of BJA, thank you so much for participating in today's webinars--webinar rather. And I would encourage you to check out all the resources that we have listed. And start early. Don't wait until the last minute. There's a lot of folks here to help if you need anything or run into any problems. So with that, I wish you luck in this funding season and I look forward to seeing a lot of your applications come through.
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