Recommended Timeline and Steps for Meeting the April Deadline
There are seven weeks between the release of the call for applications notice inviting applications and the application deadline. Therefore, it is critical that applicants get their conceptualization and writing process started immediately. Below is a recommended timeline and steps for developing a high-quality application.
1. February 26-March 5 — Getting Your Ducks-in-a-Row
- Read everything in detail; highlight and tab key information in the call for applications; note the terminology and language that USDE is using (and incorporate that language into your application)
- Register in USDE's e-Application system to access an application package
- Make a copy of the Application Checklist and Tips for Applicants in the call for applications
and check-off items as you go along
- Assemble your writing team; it may include: LEA (district) physical education coordinator or CBO physical activity director, district physical education teachers or CBO physical activity instructors, grant writer, finance official, local public health department staff member, editor, etc.
- Request approval to write/submit a PEP application from the necessary individuals/offices in your LEA or CBO. Make sure that your LEA or CBO has (or immediately applies for) the two required federal numbers: (1) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) and (2) Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and that both numbers are registered with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR), the government's primary registrant database
- Spend a lot of time together as a writing team to conceptualize your project plan
2. March 6-March 18 — Writing, Writing, and More Writing!
- Identify a project evaluation expert to assist you (optional)
- Continue conceptualizing and re-conceptualizing all aspects of the project, but start writing too
- Use headings, subheadings, bullets, charts and graphs when appropriate
- Make sure that the various sections of your application align with and support one another. If different individuals are writing various sections of the application; be sure to read/edit the application so that the concepts and writing styles mesh together (it may be a good idea to have a lead writer for this task and/or an editor)
3. March 19-March 26 — Reviewing and Revising
- Identify the individuals/organizations that you would like to have read and comment on your application (and provide a draft to them by the end of the week)
- Assemble the entire application including narrative, budget, program assurances and required federal forms
- Ask a financial and/or grants management official in your LEA or CBO to carefully review and approve the budget
- Familiarize yourself with how to use USDE's e-Application system
4. March 27-April 10 — Revising and Finalizing
- Fully consider all comments provided by the individuals/organizations that you asked to review your application and make revisions as appropriate
- Make budget revisions based on the review by your LEA or CBO financial and/or grants management official
- Double-check to ensure that your project plan (narrative) and budget are in complete alignment (meaning that you have budgeted fully and appropriately for all activities and purchases)
- Make sure that all items on the Application Checklist and Tips for Applicants in the call for applications are checked-off
- Insert any missing items into the application package
- Get all required signatures
5. Thursday, April 11* — Submitting Your Application
For several reasons, NASPE highly recommends that you transmit your application no later than Thursday, April 11 by 7pm ET:
- Waiting until the last day is too stressful and can result in errors
- If your computer/Internet is not functioning properly or if the USDE's e-Application system is overloaded, you might not be able to successfully transmit your application by the deadline
- Keep in mind that the e-Application system is not available each week from Sunday, 8pm ET through Monday, 6am ET
*If you have unexpected delays, you can work on it(April 11-12).
PEP is a grant program of the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) not NASPE. Our tips are based on careful review of the FY2013 PEP grant call for applications and the Federal Register Notice of Final Priorities, Requirements, and Definitions (February 26, 2013) and on our experience with writing and winning federal grants (over $13 million) as well as serving as a federal grant reviewer.
NASPE has no information about the PEP grant program other than what is published in the Federal Register and call for applications, no authority over the PEP grant program, and no influence over the review/scoring/selection process. The call for applications provides definitive information about the grant program.