Rural Grant Applicant Toolkit for Competitive Federal Transportation Funding
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) developed the Rural Grant Applicant Toolkit for Competitive Federal Transportation Funding to guide potential applicants in identifying and navigating these discretionary opportunities for rural transportation projects.
USDOT developed this toolkit to provide guidance as part of the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) Initiative.
Although the focus of the Grant Applicant Toolkit is rural transportation projects, many of the grant funding resources contained throughout also apply more broadly to other types of transportation projects.
The Grant Applicant Toolkit is designed for all levels of grant applicant experience. It illustrates key applicant activities for the discretionary grants process, covers USDOT and non-USDOT grant programs, and provides resources to maximize the potential for award success.
In This Toolkit
This toolkit provides resources on discretionary grant funding in the following sections:
DOT Discretionary Grants Dashboard
The DOT Discretionary Grants Dashboard provides a searchable database of federal grant opportunities at USDOT and other agencies that can aid communities in meeting their transportation infrastructure needs. Users can filter opportunities by eligible applicants, eligible project activities, transportation type, and administering agency. Users can also search for opportunities with rural and Tribal set-asides and available match waivers.
Federal Funding and Financing
Federal Funding and Financing explains what a federal grant is and how it differs from other common types of government funding and financing, including cooperative agreements, loans, contracts, and non-discretionary opportunities such as formula grants.
The Grant Application Process
The Grant Application Process describes the grant application process for USDOT and other federal agencies and provides an applicant roadmap.
Maximizing Award Success
Maximizing Award Success provides a broad overview of how to put together an effective grant application.
USDOT Discretionary Grant Programs
USDOT Discretionary Grant Programs provides information about each of the discretionary grant programs that USDOT offers, organized by USDOT’s operating administrations (OAs or “modes”).
Non-USDOT Discretionary Grants: Agency Descriptions and Programs
Non-USDOT Discretionary Grants: Agency Descriptions and Programs provides information about a selection of discretionary grant programs offered by federal agencies outside of USDOT. The selected discretionary grant programs were identified as relevant to rural transportation projects.
Who Is Eligible to Apply for Discretionary Grants?
Who Is Eligible to Apply for Discretionary Grants? provides an overview of the applicant categories that are eligible for federal discretionary grant opportunities.
The Critical Role of Rural Communities in the U.S. Transportation System
The Critical Role of Rural Communities in the U.S. Transportation System discusses the critical linkages that rural communities provide, the importance of investing in transportation, and the role that USDOT plays in supporting rural communities through grant funding.