New to Grants Management and Administration
Introduction/Overview of the Grants Process

Purpose of this Grants Administration Handbook

Part of HRA’s strategic plan was to create a grantmaking handbook specifically targeted for use by its members—health research funders. Handbooks exist for grantmakers, but none specifically outline the various complexities and considerations of biomedical research funding, and with this handbook HRA aims to fill that gap. The majority of the information in this handbook is from the pre-existing resources on HRA’s website and listserv as well as the knowledge, content, and feedback from member organizations. This is a dynamic, living resource for HRA members of all career levels to utilize, and will be updated periodically to reflect current best practices and information. If you have any edits for the handbook or questions, please contact the Co-Chairs of the Grants Administration Working Group.

What is Grants Management

For grantmakers, grants management encompasses the processes and administrative work that happen throughout the grant lifecycle.

Grants Lifecycle

The grants lifecycle refers to the entire process of a grant—from planning, to opportunity, to implementation, to closeout. The lifecycle of a grant has three major stages: pre-award, award, and post-award. The recipient and funding agency both have unique tasks within each stage.

Roles and Responsibilities for Grants Management and Administration

Grants management staff have the most important role when it comes to successfully realizing the grant process. Grants management include positions which manage, supervise, lead, or perform administrative business, policy, and analytical work involving: (1) the management, award, and/or obligation of funds for grants, agreements, and other related instruments and services using financial, administrative, business and negotiation procedures; (2) the competitive or non-competitive evaluation of grants proposals; and/or (3) the administration or termination, and/or closeout of grants and/or grants assistance and agreement awards.

Governance Structures

Job descriptions – templates and examples from HRA members

Pre-Award Program Development

The first step in pre-award is planning and developing a funding program based on the organization’s mission and initiatives. This can occur when a stakeholder or a donor takes part in establishing a funding program. The vision and goals should be outlined by describing a scientific question or problem that needs to be addressed, who should be funded, the amount of funding and support that is to be provided, and the duration.



Initial population
August 1, 2022