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In the United States of America, about 26 Federal agencies and Cabinet-level departments conduct competitions for discretionary grants. Notices of funding availability (NOFAs) and requests for proposals (RFPs) appear in the Federal Register and on the portal. In addition, they often appear on the individual agencies’ websites.


Organizations planning to seek competitive grants from a federal agency need to register with the government through the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) and to acquire a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number through Dun and Bradstreet.


This post will address federal-level entities (in the United States of America) that hold competitions for discretionary grants for purposes related more or less to learning – such as education, environment, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and workforce development. Later posts will address other federal-level grant-making entities.



The US Department of Education website describes its many programs of discretionary grants, formula grants, and loans and grants for students. Available grant opportunities span the K-16 educational spectrum and more. The site includes materials on available programs, eligible applicants, grant forecasts, open applications, and online applications among other topics.



At the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website are links to grant programs with such focuses as environmental research, environmental education, environmental justice, hazardous wastes, air quality, and water quality. Individual program links lead to application materials, grant awards, evaluation reports, and other resources.


The US Fish and Wildlife Service competes grants for wetlands conservation, wildlife conservation, and endangered species protection, among other purposes. Its program sites provide links to program guidance, application forms, grant awards, reference documents, and other helpful materials.


Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) website provides links to funding opportunities across its several directorates, as well as links to its calendar of deadlines, guidance for preparing proposals, policies and procedures for proposals and awards, funding trends, and a vast array of other materials for grant seekers in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).


Workforce Development:

At the US Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), applicants can find links to grant opportunities, grant awards, grant applications and forms, an application toolkit, and extensive grant management tutorials, among other resources.


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