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Grant Applicant Roadmap

USDOT Discretionary Grant Funding Process

The discretionary grant funding process begins with Congressional legislation and concludes with the closeout of the awarded project.

The grant lifecycle is broken down into three stages:

  1. Pre-Award
  2. Award
  3. Post-Award

Use the below numbered steps to navigate general applicant activities during the USDOT discretionary grant funding process. USDOT activities are also included for reference. Note that specific steps may differ by program.

Stage 1: Pre-Award

  • Step 1: Applicant registers on and well in advance of application. Registration may take some period of time to complete; it is not immediate.
  • Step 2: Applicant searches for USDOT grants on All USDOT discretionary grants must be posted here with a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) outlining program eligibility criteria and requirements.
  • Step 3: Applicant applies for funding for a project that meets program requirements. Your application must be submitted before the end of the application window.
  • Step 4: USDOT reviews all submitted applications and selects projects to award funding. Applications are evaluated based on the criteria stated in the NOFO.

Stage 2: Award

  • Step 5: USDOT notifies all applicants of the final award decisions, generally by posting information about selected projects on USDOT’s website, including any applications not selected for award. Those applicants not selected may receive a debrief or a letter and can be encouraged to apply to future application opportunities or seek alternative grant opportunities.
  • Step 6: Recipient signs agreement. If selected, the applicant confirms, or updates project SOW and details of project based on awarded grant, and signs a grant or project agreement with USDOT.

Stage 3: Post-Award

  • Step 7: USDOT disburses funds. USDOT may disburse funds as an advance payment or as reimbursement for eligible expenses occurred. Reimbursement may require the recipient to provide invoices.
  • Step 8: Recipient implements the awarded project and adheres to all necessary conditions of the award, including reimbursement requests with proper supporting documentation.
  • Step 9: USDOT monitors the project’s progress and provides technical assistance and customer support to grant recipients as needed.
  • Step 10: Recipient reports progress to USDOT throughout the project lifecycle through applicable Project Progress Reports (PPRs) and Federal Financial Reports (SF-425s) as required by USDOT.
  • Step 11: Recipient completes all closeout requirements and submits final financial and technical reports. If applicable, recipient provides project performance reporting to USDOT.
  • Step 12: USDOT closes out the project and ends the agreement between the government and the recipient.

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