National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Application Instructions

How to Apply for a Subvention Grant

All non-profit presses applying for an NHRPC Subvention grant must apply via Grants.gov. Before you apply, make sure you understand all applicable requirements and regulations, including:

The easy way to begin is by printing out the specific NHPRC Grant Opportunity and these instructions and have them handy as your prepare your application.


First Time Using Grants.gov?

Everyone who uses Grants.gov to apply for a grant must complete these one-time-only steps:

  1. Register yourself and your organization as Grants.gov users. (At larger organizations, a Grants Administrator might register for the entire organization.)
    • Once registered, your organization can apply for any government grant via Grants.gov. (See Getting Started for more information.)
    • Allow two weeks before application deadlines for your registration to be processed.
    • If you have problems registering, call the Grants.gov Help Desk:   1-800-518-4726
  2. Download and install the free Adobe Reader 8.1.3.
    • This software allows you to view and fill out the Grants.gov application forms for any Federal agency.
    • If you have a problem installing the Adobe Reader, it may be because you do not have permission to install a new program on your computer. Contact your System Administrator.
  3. Once you are registered, you can find and apply for grant opportunities through Grants.gov or through the Grant Opportunity announcements on our site.

Download the Application Package

You may download the application package from Grants.gov at any time after you install the Adobe Reader. (You do not have to wait for the registration process to be complete.) A link from the NHPRC Grant Opportunity announcement will take you directly to the page from which you may download the appropriate application. You must use the application package associated with the grant announcement under which you are applying.

Save the application package to your computer's hard drive or network. You do not have to be online to work on it. You can save, open and edit, and share with others as you draft your application.

You can save your application package at any time by clicking the "Save" button at the top of your screen.
Tip:   If you choose to save your application before you have completed it, you may receive an error message indicating that your application is not valid if all forms have not been completed. Click "OK" to save your work and complete the package at a later time.
Caution:   If you fail to save before closing the Adobe Reader software, or if you click your browser's Back button, you will lose your changes.

The application package contains mandatory forms that you must complete in order to submit your application:

  1. Application for Federal Domestic Assistance (SF-424) - the basic information required for Federal grants (see instructions)
  2. Grants.gov Lobbying Form - self-explanatory
  3. Attachments - including the Project Narrative and other information required by NHPRC (see instructions)
  4. Assurances for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424B) - self-explanatory

In addition, one Optional Document (SF-LLL) is required if your organization engages in Lobbying Activities.

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How to Fill Out the Application for Federal Domestic Assistance SF-424

Before you open the SF-424, determine if you are applying as an individual. If so, check the box on the Grant Application Package marked "I will be submitting applications on my behalf, and not on behalf of a company, state, local or tribal government, academia, or other type of organization."

Select the SF-424 from the menu then click the Open Form button.

  1. All submissions are considered a New Application (question 1 and 2). Questions 3-7 will be filled in automatically (or left blank intentionally) by Grants.gov.

  2. Applicant Information:   In Section 8, please supply the name of the applicant organization, address, employer/taxpayer identification number (EIN/TIN), and DUNS number of the applicant. (If applying as an individual, enter your name in item 8(a) and your social security number in item 8(b). Item 8(c), Organizational DUNS, is auto-filled.)

    All institutions applying to federal grant programs are required to provide a DUNS number, issued by Dun & Bradstreet, as part of their application. Project directors should contact their institution's grant administrator or chief financial officer to obtain their institution's DUNS number. Federal grant applicants can obtain a DUNS number free of charge by calling 1-866-705-5711.

    If the project is going to be undertaken by an organizational unit of a larger institution, please provide that information is 8 (e). In the next subsection 8 (f), please list the Project Director and relevant contact information. The Project Director is the individual who will manage the day-to-day operations of the project and serve as contact with the NHPRC. Section 9 will provide a drop-down menu of Applicant Types. Please select the most appropriate categories. (If applying as an individual, Select P. Individual, from the drop-down.) Sections 10-12 will be filled in automatically by Grants.gov. Ignore Section 13. Please list in Section 14 the geographic areas affected by the project.

  3. Project Information:   Provide the title of your project in Section 15. Your title should be concise, substantive and informative to a non-specialist audience.

    In Section 16 (a), list the Congressional District where the applicant is located. If, for example, it is located in the 5th Congressional District of New York, put a "5" in the box. In section 16(b), list the primary Congressional Districts served by the project; you may use up to six alphanumeric characters to represent ranges of districts. You may attach a list of additional Districts to the next box.

    List the starting and ending dates for your project in Section 17. All NHPRC projects start on the first day of the month and end on the last day of the month.

  4. Budget Information:   Section 18 requires applicants to provide estimated total project costs with projected levels of support. To accurately estimate these costs, you should first prepare a full budget (see instructions).

  5. Executive Order 12372: Section 19 requires applicants to determine whether or not their application is subject to State review under Executive Order 12372. A table of contact information for the respective State offices is available at the White House Grants Management - Intergovernmental Review (SPOC List) page.

  6. Authorities, Representations, and Signatures:   Provide, in section 21, the contact information for the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) who is submitting the application on behalf of the institution. This person, often called an "Authorizing Official," is typically the president, vice president, executive director, provost, or chancellor. In order to become an AOR, the person must be designated by the institution's E-Business Point of Contact. For more information, please consult the Grants.Gov user guide, which is available at: http://www.grants.gov/CustomerSupport. (If applying as an individual, repeat your personal name and contact information in item 21. You are the Authorized Representative.)

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How to Prepare Your Project Budget

Select NARA Subvention Form from the Grants.gov menu.

Applicants should review the relevant NHPRC Grant Opportunity announcement for particular cost-sharing requirements, the kinds of funding available, and any restrictions on the types of costs that may appear in the project budget. Your budget should include the project costs to be charged to grant funds as well as those supported by applicant or third-party cash and in-kind contributions.

All of the items listed, whether supported by grant funds or cost-sharing contributions, must be reasonable, necessary to accomplish project objectives, allowable in terms of applicable federal cost principles, auditable, and incurred during the grant period. Charges to the project for items such as salaries, fringe benefits, travel, and contractual services must conform to written policies and established practices of the applicant organization.

The NARA Subvention Form does not calculate the values in the budget. You may copy and paste values from a desktop calculator to ensure accuracy.


Complete All Other Required Forms

Select each form from the menu, then click the Open Form button to open it. In most cases, these forms can be completed by filling a few highlighted fields.

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Uploading Your Application to Grants.gov

When you have completed all forms, use the right-facing arrow to move each of them to the "Submission" columns. Once they have been moved over, the "Submit" button will activate. You are now ready to upload your application package to Grants.gov.

During the registration process, your institution designated one or more AORs (Authorized Organization Representatives). These AORs typically work in your institution's Sponsored Research Office or Grants Office. When you have completed your application, you must ask your AOR to submit the application, using the special username and password that was assigned to him or her during the registration process.

To submit your application, your computer must have an active connection to the Internet. To begin the submission process, click the "submit" button. A page will appear asking the AOR to sign and submit your application. At this point, your AOR will enter his or her username and password. When the AOR clicks the "sign and submit application" button, your application package will be uploaded to Grants.gov. Please note that it may take some time to upload your application package depending on the size of your files and the speed of your Internet connection.

After the upload is complete, a confirmation page, which includes a tracking number, will appear indicating that you have submitted your application to Grants.gov. Please print this page for your records. The AOR will also receive a confirmation e-mail.

The NHPRC suggests that you submit your application no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on the day of the deadline. That way, should you encounter a technical problem of some kind, you will still have time to contact the Grants.Gov helpdesk for support.

  • The Grants.gov Help Desk is open Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST.
    Telephone:   1-800-518-4726
    E-mail:   support@grants.gov

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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