Here's the good news. Grants.gov, the federal grant application portal, is being moved to a cloud-based system. It's supposed to result in fewer outages and better performance.
There's a downside. Next week, you'll lose access to the platform for several days. Unfortunately, that means you won't be able to work on saved applications or submit applications during this period.
Here's what you should know about the grants.gov outage.
When will Grants.gov be offline?
Grants.gov will go offline Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, at 12:01 a.m. EST and return to service on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. EST.
That's the plan anyway. We hate to be pessimistic, but we've been on the receiving end of technology migrations before. Given the length of the outage, we imagine this must be a sizeable migration. Hopefully, some extra time has been built into the schedule to account for the unexpected.
But you know what they say about the best-laid plans. Schedule changes and updates will be posted to the Grants.gov Alerts page. Go ahead and bookmark it now.
What happens to saved applications?
According to the folks at grants.gov, all saved work on grant applications will be retained. When the system comes back up, you should be able to log in and access your saved application exactly as it was before the downtime.
Hopefully, that's exactly what will happen. But why take a risk? If you are working on an application, log in, copy your work and save it on your local computer. That way, you've got access to your work should the worst occur.
Pro Tip: Regardless of the type of grant, we always recommend writing applications in a Word or Google document and saving them on your local computer.
What about grant deadlines?
A few dozen grants are scheduled to close while the system is offline. The National Institutes of Health has announced deadlines during the outage period will move to Oct. 3. We scoured the websites of other agencies and see nothing published about extensions or contingency plans.
If you're facing a deadline between Sept. 23 and Sept. 30, reach out to the program's grant officer and ask how it's being handled.
More information about the outage
We wish we could tell you more about the migration and its impact on grant application deadlines. Other than a blog post on Aug. 8, very little about the planned downtime has been posted on grants.gov.
Fingers crossed the migration goes smoothly. We'll monitor the migration and post updates on our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin). You should also watch grants.gov for announcements about the migration's progress.