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  • Anna Nelson

What is the Grant Lifecycle?

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

The Grant Lifecycle:

grant life cycle info graphic

The "Grant Lifecycle" on referrers specifically to federally funded grants. is the go-to online location for information on federal grant funding opportunities and applications in the United States. Grants from agencies such as the US Department of Agriculture or the National Science Foundation are serviced through, even some grants open to for-profit businesses, like Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants can be found there. Essentially any grant that receives funding from a congressional source is listed and/or administered via

The Pre-Award Phase

As experts in funding research and grant writing, One Small Step’s work comes in the pre-award phase of the Grant Lifecycle, just after the federal funding opportunity is announced. We help find grant funding announcements that match our client's projects, reach out to the federal agency to determine if the project is a good fit, manage said grant application, and write/submit applications.

The Application Process

Writing a successful federal grant application involves a detailed review of the opportunity’s funding guidelines. These form the framework of what is required to be included in the application. We also consider the application scoring criteria, which the federal agency will publish along with the application guidelines. Our federal grant applications are written to ensure all scoring criteria are met at the highest level possible and all application guidelines are followed.

Once the application is submitted, then the federal agency does all the work. They review the grants, often using the very specific scoring criteria mentioned above. Sometimes there is even a peer-review process as part of the grant application evaluation.

The Award Phase

Post-evaluation leads us to the grant award phase. If the grant has been successful, this is where our job as grant writers typically ends. However, One Small Step has team members who specialize in the management and evaluation side of the grant process. So, we can provide support for a project after the application is successful if needed.

The Post-Award Phase

If the grant is not successful, One Small Step will look at any specific feedback we received about the grant application, and even contact the funding agency for more details. Our goal is to learn from the review, so we can improve upon the application, for a higher chance of success with future grants. While we write with the intention that every grant will be awarded, most federal applications are very competitive (with only a 10-20% success rate). Constantly improving upon our application and federal grant knowledge gives One Small Step an advantage in writing federal grants. It brings a higher likelihood of success to your federal grant application.

Contact us for more details.

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