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How to Apply for Funding

Frequently Asked Questions
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New Grants and Payment Management Systems Now Available

The Justice Grants System (JustGrants) and the Department of the Treasury’s Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP) are now available for all award management and payment activities. OJP award recipients can login to JustGrants or visit the informational website for further resources and support. In addition, ASAP is now available for enrolled Department of Justice award recipients to request funds. Reference the user guide for information on how to request funds in ASAP.

Before You Apply

OJJDP's JUVJUST listserv provides email messages on juvenile justice and other youth service-related publications, funding opportunities, and events. Visit the subscribe page to learn how to subscribe to JUVJUST, follow OJJDP on social media, and more.

Organizations must register for Grants.gov or Office of Justice Programs JustGrants system (refer to the "How to Apply" section of the solicitation for appropriate system).

Applying through Grants.gov: Follow the steps outlined in the How To Apply (Grants.gov) section of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Grant Application Resource Guide.

Applying through the Grants System: Follow the steps outlined in the How To Apply (GMS) section of the OJP Grant Application Resource Guide. Please note: 

The Grants Management System (GMS) has transitioned to the Department of Justice's new Justice Grants System (JustGrants) on October 15, 2020. Visit the Justice Grants website to learn more about this transition, including how to create an account in JustGrants.

In general, the Office of Management and Budget requires that all applicants (other than individuals) for federal funds include a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in their applications for a new award or a supplement to an existing award.

A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal standard for identifying and differentiating entities (for example, agencies, businesses, nonprofits) receiving federal funds. The identifier is used for tracking purposes and validating address and point of contact information for federal assistance applicants, recipients, and subrecipients. The DUNS number will be used throughout the grant life cycle. Obtaining a DUNS number is a free, one-time activity. The process time could take 1-2 days to acquire a DUNS number.

To obtain a DUNS number, call Dun & Bradstreet at 866-705-5711 or apply on the Dun & Bradstreet website.

The System for Award Management (SAM) replaced the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database as the repository for certain standard information about federal financial assistance applicants, recipients, and subrecipients.

Under "Step 2" of "Registration and Submission Steps (Grants.gov)" under "How to Apply" within the Office of Justice Programs Grant Application Resource Guide you can find more details about registering with SAM, including:

  • processing time
  • maintaining your registration and keeping it active. Applicants must update or renew their SAM registration annually to maintain an active status.
  • submitting an original signed notarized letter to SAM appointing the authorized Entity Administrator.

For questions about registering for a SAM account, contact SAM


  • Grants.gov: Before you can register as an organization applicant with Grants.gov, you will need to obtain a DUNS number and complete registration in the System for Award Management (SAM.) The process can take up to 4 weeks. Once the SAM registration/renewal is complete, the information transfer from SAM to Grants.gov can take as long as 48 hours. OJP recommends that the applicant register or renew registration with SAM as early as possible. See Get Registered on Grants.gov for details and instructions.
  • OJP Grants Management System: The registration process can take between 3 and 5 days to complete. You should begin the application process as soon as possible, especially if you are a first-time user. Please note:

The Grants Management System (GMS) has transitioned to the Department of Justice's new Justice Grants System (JustGrants) on October 15, 2020. Visit the Justice Grants website to learn more about this transition, including how to create an account in JustGrants.

Information about the registration process for organizations and other entities can be found at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

Applicants submit applications through Grants.gov, a "one-stop storefront" to find funding opportunities and apply for funding. See Grants.gov for complete instructions on how to register and submit an application.

Refer to the "Eligibility" section of the solicitation.

Complete the AOR profile and create a username and password on Grants.gov. Note: an applicant entity's "unique entity identifier" (DUNS number) must be used to complete this step.

Learn more about the registration process for:

Organizations can have more than one AOR.

The E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC) at the applicant organization must log into Grants.gov to confirm the applicant organization's Authorized Organization Representative (AOR.) The E-Biz POC will need the Marketing Partner Identification Number (MPIN) password obtained when registering with the System for Award Management (SAM) to complete this step. This step must occur prior to submitting the application.

Develop an Application

Contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center with questions:

800-851-3420 (toll-free)
301-240-6310 (TTY for hearing impaired)
[email protected]
Web Chat

The NCJRS Response Center hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. eastern time on solicitation due dates.

Please visit the "Application and Submission Information" section of the solicitation to review the "Program Narrative" section, as the page length and other requirements may vary by solicitation. However, generally, the program narrative should be double-spaced with 1-inch margins on pages that are 8 ½ by 11 inches, while using a standard 12-point font (preferably Times New Roman). Pages should also be numbered (example: "1 of 30," etc.). Items such as tables, charts, pictures (including all captions, legends, keys, subtext, etc.), may be single-spaced, and will count in the page limit.

Please note, documents required under the "Project Abstract," "Budget and Budget Narrative," and "Other Attachments" sections will not count toward the program narrative page count.

If the program narrative fails to comply with these length-related restrictions, OJJDP may consider the application to be non-compliant in peer review and final award decisions.

See the Office of Justice Programs Budget Detail Worksheet webpage to access a worksheet.

The Budget Detail Worksheet and the Budget Narrative are now combined in a single document and are collectively referred to as the Budget Detail Worksheet. The Budget Detail Worksheet is a user-friendly, fillable, Microsoft Excel-based document designed to calculate totals. An PDF worksheet is also available as an alternative.

Applicants should review the sample most appropriate to the nature of the solicitation under which they are applying, i.e., program, research, or evaluation. Timelines submitted by applicants should be specific to their individual proposals, and the samples should serve simply as guides to the format, etc.

Questions may be addressed to the solicitation contact.

Sample Timelines

  • Sample Program Timeline Word and PDF
  • Sample Research Timeline Word and PDF
  • Sample Evaluation Timeline Word and PDF

No. The application should describe the applicant's plan for collection of all of the performance measures data listed in the table below under "Data Recipient Provides," should it receive funding.

Applicants should visit OJP’s performance measurement page for an overview of performance measurement activities.

About the Budget

For more information on allowable and unallowable costs, review the solicitation and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Grants Financial Guide.

Interpretations or clarification on the DOJ Grants Financial Guide can be addressed to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer's Customer Service Center at 800–458–0786 or [email protected].

A sample Budget Detail Worksheet can be found here. An applicant that submits its budget in a different format should use the budget categories listed in the sample budget worksheet. Additionally, the Budget Detail Worksheet should include a year by year breakdown of all proposed costs.

Applicants should provide a budget that—

  1. is complete, allowable, and cost-effective in relation to the proposed activities;
  2. shows the cost calculations demonstrating how they arrived at the total amount requested; and 
  3. provides a brief supporting narrative to link costs with project activities. The budget should cover the entire award period.

An applicant may combine the Budget Narrative and the Budget Detail Worksheet in one document. However, if an applicant submits only one budget document, it must contain both narrative and detail information.

Find more information on how to apply in the OJP Grant Application Resource Guide. This includes the reviewing the note on attachments (e.g., file names and file types.)

Your Budget Detail Worksheet should clearly present a breakdown of costs associated with each of nine budget categories. Itemize where necessary. For more detail on what is required, reference the specific solicitation. OJJDP expects applicants to provide a thorough narrative for each section of the Budget Detail Worksheet. The Budget Detail Worksheet should break out costs by year.

The budget narrative should thoroughly and clearly describe every category of expense listed in the Budget Detail Worksheet. OJP expects proposed budgets to be complete, cost effective, and allowable (e.g., reasonable, allocable, and necessary for project activities).

Applicants should demonstrate in their budget narrative how they will maximize cost effectiveness of award expenditures. Budget narratives should generally describe cost effectiveness in relation to potential alternatives and the goals of the project. As with the Budget Detail Worksheet, the budget narrative should describe costs by year.

If you are a non-federal entity that expended $750,000 or more in federal funds (from all sources including pass-through sub-awards) in your organization's fiscal year (12-month turnaround reporting period), then you are required to arrange for a single organization-wide audit conducted in accordance with the provisions of Title 2 C.F.R. Subpart F (§ 200.500 et seq.). Refer to DOJ Grants Financial Guide, 3.19 Audit Requirements.

Indirect costs may be charged to an award only if:

(a) The recipient has a current (i.e., unexpired), federally approved indirect cost rate; or

(b) The recipient is eligible to use, and elects to use, the de minimis indirect cost rate described in the Part 200 Uniform Requirements, as set out at 2 C.F.R. 200.414(f).

An applicant with a current (that is, unexpired) federally approved indirect cost rate must attach a copy of the indirect cost rate agreement to the application. An applicant that does not have a current federally approved rate may request one through its cognizant federal agency, which will review all documentation and approve a rate for the applicant entity, or, if the applicant's accounting system permits, applicants may propose to allocate costs in the direct cost categories.

For assistance with identifying the appropriate cognizant federal agency for indirect costs, contact the Customer Service Center at 800-458-0786 or at [email protected]. If the Department of Justice (DOJ) is the cognizant federal agency, an applicant may obtain information needed to submit an indirect cost rate proposal at http://www.ojp.gov/funding/Apply/Resources/IndirectCosts.pdf.

Certain OJP recipients have the option of electing to use the de minimis indirect cost rate. An applicant eligible to use the de minimis rate and that wishes to use the de minimis rate should attach written documentation to the application that advises OJP of both (1) the applicant's eligibility to use the de minimis rate and (2) the applicant's election to do so. If an eligible applicant elects the de minimis rate, costs must be consistently charged as either indirect or direct costs, but may not be double charged or inconsistently charged as both. The de minimis rate may no longer be used once an approved federally negotiated indirect cost rate is in place. (No entity that ever has had a federally approved negotiated indirect cost rate is eligible to use the de minimis rate.)

Submit an Application

For Applicant Support with Grants.gov, please call Grants.gov at 800-518-4726 or send an e-mail to them at Grants.gov Customer Support Hotline.

The Grants Management System (GMS) has transitioned to the Department of Justice's new Justice Grants System (JustGrants) on October 15, 2020. 

Visit the Justice Grants website to learn more  or for JustGrants User Support. Current award recipients with specific questions about their awards should reach out to their grant managers for support.

Instructions for filling out the SF-424 can be found on Grants.gov at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.html.

No. Applicants must submit their application electronically. OJJDP will not accept paper submissions.

The number of attachments varies by solicitation. Please check your application package against the Application Checklist at the end of the solicitation to ensure you have all required documentation. Please note, Grants.gov's Workspace has two types of attachments listed in their application package: "mandatory" and "optional." Workspace requires the attachments to be uploaded to the correct corresponding location. Watch this training video for more details about uploading mandatory and optional attachments in Workspace.

Most applications must be submitted via Grants.gov. 

Please note:

The Grants Management System (GMS) has transitioned to the Department of Justice's new Justice Grants System (JustGrants) on October 15, 2020. Visit the Justice Grants website to learn more about this transition or for JustGrants User Support

An applicant that experiences unforeseen Grants.gov technical issues—beyond the applicant's control—which prevent the applicant from submitting the application by the deadline may contact Grants.gov Customer Support Hotline or the SAM Help Desk (Federal Service Desk) to report the technical issue and receive a tracking number. The applicant may email the Response Center at [email protected] page within 24 hours after the application deadline to request approval to submit its application after the deadline. The applicant's email must describe the technical difficulties, and must include a timeline of the applicant's submission efforts, the complete grant application, the applicant's DUNS number, and any Grants.gov Help Desk or SAM tracking number(s).

Note: OJP does not automatically approve requests to submit a late application. After OJP reviews the applicant's request, and contacts the Grants.gov or SAM Help Desk to verify the reported technical issues, OJP will inform the applicant whether the request to submit a late application has been approved or denied. If OJP determines that the untimely application submission was due to the applicant's failure to follow all required procedures, OJP will deny the applicant's request to submit its application.

The following conditions generally are insufficient to justify late submissions:

  • Failure to register in SAM or Grants.gov in sufficient time. (SAM registration and renewal can take as long as 10 business days to complete. The information transfer from SAM to Grants.gov can take up to 48 hours.)
  • Failure to follow Grants.gov instructions on how to register and apply as posted on its website.
  • Failure to follow each instruction in the OJP solicitation.
  • Technical issues with the applicant's computer or information technology environment, such as issues with firewalls or browser incompatibility.
  • Notifications regarding known technical problems with Grants.gov, if any, are posted at the top of the OJP Funding Resource Center webpage.

Award Notification and Post Award

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducts audits of DOJ grant awards to ensure award recipients are complying with applicable statutes and are accomplishing the goals of the awards. View the OIG’s 5-part Grant Award Audit Process Webinar Series to learn more.

OJP is committed to ensuring a fair and open process for making awards. OJJDP reviews the application to make sure that the information presented is reasonable, understandable, measurable, and achievable, as well as consistent with the solicitation.

Peer reviewers will review the applications submitted under this solicitation that meet basic minimum requirements. For purposes of assessing whether an application meets basic minimum requirements and should proceed to further consideration, OJP screens applications for compliance with those requirements. Although specific requirements may vary, a list of common requirements applicable to all solicitations for funding under OJP programs may be viewed in Section E. Application Review Information of the solicitation.

All final award decisions will be made by the Assistant Attorney General, (the OJJDP Administrator will make final award decisions over the research awards), who may take into account not only peer review ratings, but also other factors as indicated in Section E. Application Review Information of the solicitation.

To prevent compromising the integrity of the competitive review process, OJJDP will not discuss details regarding the status of your applications until all awards have been made to grant recipients. It is anticipated that awards for this fiscal year will be made no later than September 30.

Both the point of contact and the authorizing official listed on the grant application will receive an e-mail award notification, which will provide further information on procedures for receiving funds. Applicants receiving an  award this fiscal year will be notified by September 30.

If you are awarded funding, you will be required to submit several reports and other documentation. Please refer to the solicitation, Section F. Federal Award Administration Information, General Information About Post-Federal Award Reporting Requirements for additional information.

To find information on grants OJJDP has awarded in previous years, visit the list of funded projects OJJDP webpage.

Date Created: July 31, 2019