Navigating the eGrants System 041417


Navigating the eGrants System. Agencies interested in applying for 099 State
Leadership Grants and/or an 054 Family Literacy Grant will need to navigate through the eGrants
system in order to complete a grant application. This presentation will assist applicants with
accessing the system, selecting agency user roles, creating grant applications, entering
and editing responses, avoiding common errors, and completing a grant application. Applicants can access the eGrants system through
http://www.egrants.pa.gov/Home.aspx For ease of access, add the eGrants website as a new
desktop shortcut or save as a Favorite. If you find it difficult to access the eGrants
site, try a different internet browser. As a back-up, the eGrants system can be accessed
through the official Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) http://education.pa.gov/
To access the PDE link, applicants will need to scroll to the bottom of the main page. During this presentation red arrows will notate
keys items on each slide – in this case the PDE eGrants link. Each staff member working on the grant application,
referred to in this presentation as “agency user”, must have a login name and password. If the agency has never received a grant from
PDE, it will need to apply for an Education Names and Addresses number (EDNA) in order
to access the system. This request is made through the RA-ABLE email
account. The Division’s fiscal administrator will
assist new applicants in obtaining an EDNA number, signing up for e-signatures (if interested)
and getting staff members login names and passwords. If the agency has been a PDE grant recipient,
its Local Security Administrator will be able to assign login names and passwords to
new staff assigned to work on the grant application.Once the login name and password
have been accepted, the agency user will be asked
to select a Program Office. Select “Adult Basic and Literacy Education”. A successful login will take the agency user
to the eGrants Home page. For additional
assistance, User Guides (PDFs) are located on the right side of the page. In the center
of the home page is eGrants News, which periodically provides important updates. The top of right corner of the eGrants Home
Page contains the Agency User and Logout links and the Program Year, Grant Management,
Administration, and Help dropdown menus. The first priority for an agency user is to
change the program year if it is not already set to 2017-18. At the top of the page is the Agency User
link, a blue person symbol, which allows the user to access their My Profile page. In the My Profile page, the agency user can
edit their name, phone number, and e-mail address under “Personal Information”. To change the default program year, select
“Settings”. Set the Default Program Year to 2017-18. If the agency user opts to use the Program
Year dropdown menu on the eGrants Home page, the date will change but the agency
user will have to reset the date each time they enter the eGrants system. Returning to My Profile page, the program
year is now set at 2017-18. The agency user
can view his/her grant application duties by selecting “Roles”. The agency user should be assigned roles based
on their grant application responsibilities. An agency user can have from one to seven
roles assigned to them. Note: This agency user has the User Administrator
role which allows her to view and edit other agency users’ information. Applicants often have several staff members
involved in the grant writing, review, and sign-off process. To view the current list of agency users,
select the Administration dropdown menu on the eGrants Home page. There is only one option: “User
Management”. Each agency must have at least one staff member
with the “User Administrator” role in the eGrants system. Only the User Administrator can access and
edit the agency user list. On the Agency/LEA User Summary page, the User
Administrator can add and delete users. Selecting the tablet and pencil symbol will
access the staff member’s Agency User Detail page. For a complete description of user roles,
reference page 8 of the Agency User Management User Guide, located on the eGrants
Home page. Agencies are
responsible for managing their own eGrants users and need to take time to review and
update the user list before starting the grant application process. Once the program year and user roles have
been updated, the grant application process can begin. To create a grant application, the agency
user must have the “Project Create” role. Using the Grants Management dropdown menu,
select “Grant Profiles”
The Grant Profiles option brings up the Grant Summary page. All grants being
competed in Program Year 2017-18 will be listed, but the agency user can only create
those grant applications listed in the agency’s letter of intent to the Division of Adult
Education. If an agency has not submitted a letter of
intent, it will not have access to the grant applications. In our example, the 054 Family Literacy grant
application is selected using the tablet and pencil symbol. Once selected, the 054 Grant Dashboard appears. The grid at the bottom of the
dashboard shows that the agency is approved to create the grant, but it hasn’t been
started. Select the “Create Grant Application”
button located in the “Tasks” box in the upper right hand corner of the dashboard. The agency user is now on the Create Grant
Application Wizard page. For a grant
competition, the grant application type is always “New”. Select “Next” to continue. The agency user will then make corrections
to the agency’s Application Contact information, if necessary, and then select
“Next” to continue. The agency user needs to select the method
of authorized sign off. This should be
determined in consultation with the staff member who has Agency Sign-off authority. For additional information on signoff authority,
reference the Grant Agreement section of the Request for Grant Application guidelines
(RGA). Select “Next” to continue or
“previous” to edit prior questions. If the agency user is satisfied with the information
entered into the Create Grant Application Wizard, select “Finish”. Once the grant application has been created,
staff members assigned as agency users will need to access the grant by using the
Grants Management dropdown menu and selecting “Grant Applications”. This is an example of a 099 State Leadership
Grant Application Detail page. On the left
side of the page are the Narratives, Applicant Information, and Budget content areas. Every grant application has the same three
content areas, but the number of sections and the number of questions in each section
varies between grants. This is an example of the 054 Family Literacy
Grant Application Detail page. Note that
the 054 grant application has significantly more Applicant Information (referenced as
Program Year Details in the 054 RGA) and Narratives sections compared to the 099
State Leadership grant application. The Guidelines button is the only link on
the right side of the detail page that the agency
user will need to use during the grant application process. Selecting the PDF symbol will
link to the 2017-18 Adult Education and Family Literacy Guidelines. This slide shows total allocation amounts
for a 099 State Leadership and a 054 Family Literacy grant application. The 099 State Leadership applications have
set allocation amounts that can’t be exceeded when applicants
are creating their grant budgets, though they can request less than the allocation
amount. The 054 Family Literacy
application does not have a set allocation amount. Agencies can submit an application
for an amount based on the number of families they intend to serve during the program
year – taking into consideration cost-per-family limits provided in the 054 Family Literacy
Request for Grant Application Guidelines. At this stage of the application process,
the grant status is “In Process” and the Workflow Step is “Data Entry”. Once the application is completed, the workflow
step will change. Using the 054 Family Literacy Grant’s Demonstration
of Effectiveness section, let’s look at a typical Narratives question. This is an example of a multi-line textbox
question. If the agency user requires
additional guidance to answer a question, they can access the Help button by selecting
the blue question mark symbol. Clicking on the black “x” will close the
Help box. Each multi-line textbox question will provide
the applicant with the maximum number of characters allowed for an answer (spaces count
as characters). Keep in mind that
maximum character limits vary from question to question. A Spell Check is available, though agency
users are encouraged to first write the answer in a Word document, for editing purposes,
before pasting it into a grant question. X’s have been used to represent an answer
on this slide. At the bottom of each screen page are “Save”
buttons. Clicking on the “Save and
Continue” button will save the agency user’s answers and allow them to continue
working in the section. Selecting the “Save” button will save
the agency user’s answers and return the application to the Grant Application
Detail page. Depending on the
number of questions in a section, the agency user may have to scroll down to see these
buttons. If an answer exceeds the maximum character
limit, a yellow error message will appear when the agency user tries to save the answer. The agency user then has to review the
answer to determine what sentences can be removed without limiting the response to
the question. Depending on the size of the answer, the agency
user may have to use the up/down toggles to access the portion
of the answer that needs to be deleted. When
the agency user has reduced the number of characters to fit within the maximum limit,
the “Save and Continue” button should be used again. The agency user may encounter several yellow
warning messages when working on the grant application. Each provides specific information on the
issue causing the problem. A green “Save was successful” message
will denote that the response is within the maximum character limit. Select the “Mark Section Complete” button,
located at the bottom of the screen, when the agency user has answered all the questions
in a section. When an agency user marks a section as complete,
a blue check mark will appear beside the completed section on the Grant
Detail page. If there is no check mark, the
agency user either didn’t complete all the questions or forgot to mark the section as
complete. The agency user can reopen completed sections
to revise answers. Before editing a
question, an agency user must re-enter the completed section and select the “Make
Section In Process” button at the bottom of the page. This removes the blue checkmark
from the section. After editing has been completed, the agency
user will need to click the “Save and Continue” and then “Mark
Section Complete” buttons. Once these are
clicked, the section will again have the blue checkmark. While most of the Narratives sections have
multi-line text questions, the Budget and Applicant Information sections will have tables
that may require multi-line and single line textbox responses, dropdown menu selections,
and/or numeric responses. These are
reviewed in the General Grant Guidelines presentation. Sometimes the eGrants system will experience
brief difficulties (heavy usage periods, technical glitches) and applicants may see
this error message. Many times backing out
of the section will erase the message, but sometimes agency users will need to exit the
grant application before this error message will disappear. For continued issues with
this message, contact the eGrants Help Desk. If an agency user has a period of inactivity
while working on a grant application, for example – steps away from the computer for
a few minutes, or has been working on the grants for a long period of time, a Time Out
Warning will appear. Note: sometimes, even
when the agency user hits the “Continue Session” button, the eGrants system may
still log out the agency user. On the eGrants Home page, agency users can
get assistance with eGrants issues by selecting the Help dropdown menu. The agency user has three options: Online
Help Agency, PDE Help, and Send Question The Online Help Screen provides links to basic
information about how to perform specific tasks
in eGrants. Other links contain detailed reference sections
and step-by-step guides. The PDE Help support documents provide assistance
with managing user profiles, accessing applications, and locating the agency’s
Local Security Administrator. If the applicant is experiencing technical
issues with eGrants, selecting “Send Question” will allow the applicant to send an email
to the eGrants Help Desk. Do not send a
technical question through the RA-ABLE email account unless the eGrants Help Desk
has not contacted the agency or resolved the issue within a couple of business days. Carefully read all guidelines and policies
that apply to the grant application If there are issues with accessing eGrants,
using a different web browser may solve the problem
Use the grant application back buttons verses the web browser’s whenever
possible As previously noted, programs should create
multi-line textbox answers in a Word document for easy review before entering
into the application question Having other staff members review the Narratives
responses is advisable. A
second set of eyes is never a bad thing Budgets should also be worked out before entering
figures into the system Work closely with fiscal staff when creating
the budget sections Budget sections may have entries and totals
that include cents, but the total Budget Summary amount must total an even dollar
amount Agency users should regularly save their work
When the grant application is completed, all sections on the left side will have a blue
checkmark. To send the application on for peer review,
use the “Complete Step” button at the bottom of the grant detail page. The “Complete Step” button, once selected,
will change the application’s workflow step. The agency administrator must be sure that
the grant application is completed to their satisfaction before this is done. To be able to access the “Complete Step”
button, the agency user must have the “Project Writer”
role. Note: In a competition, administration
signatures are not necessary during the initial grant application process. After the “Complete Step” is selected,
the workflow step on the grant application detail
page will change from “Data Entry” to “Submitted for Peer Review”. The Peer Review
process may take several weeks. Applicants will receive notification from
the Division when the process is completed. Technical issues with the eGrants system should
be addressed by calling the eGrants Help Desk at 888-498-8129 or emailing them
through the grant application’s “Send Question” page. Any questions about the grant questions or
obtaining an EDNA number should be sent to [email protected] Applicants should review this presentation
in conjunction with the 099 State Leadership and 054 Family Literacy Request for Grant
Application Guidelines, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Guidelines for PY 2017-18,
and the General Grant Guidance webinar recording (covering the Applicant
Information and Budget sections). These are
location on the Division of Adult Education’s home page – Division of Adult Education’s
Grant Competition page.

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