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Important Notice: Applying for BJA Grants in Grants.gov

Dear Potential BJA Grant Applicant:

It has come to our attention that an increased  number of  grant applications submitted for the Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) solicitations this year are being rejected by Grants.gov due to the use of special characters in the file names of attachments you may be attempting to upload with your grant application.  The BJA solicitation guidance states: 

"Grants.gov only permits the use of specific characters in names of attachment files. Valid file names may only include the following characters: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore (_), hyphen (-), space, and period…"

To clarify, files you upload to Grants.gov can only have these characters in their titles:

The letters A through Z
The letters a through z
The numbers 0-9
Underscore _
Hypen –
Period  .

If the file you are attempting to upload has any other special characters in its file name, Grants.gov will reject it. 

For example, a file named this would be accepted: Policeplan_versionA.doc

A file named this would be rejected: Policeplan_version*.doc

If you attempt to upload a file with an unallowable character in its file name, the application will be rejected by Grants.gov and NOT be forwarded to the OJP Grants Management System to be considered for funding. 

We know that you and your stakeholders work very hard to put together the most competitive grant applications for your community.  We would not want this technical requirement to prevent your application from being considered.

Please be aware that Grants.gov sends out a notification immediately as an application is rejected; however, depending on when the application was submitted, the deadline to apply may have already passed by the time the rejection notice has been received. Please take special care to name your attachments in accordance with the above referenced instructions to prevent your application from being rejected and potentially missing the application deadline.  If you receive a Grants.gov rejection notice for an unallowable character in a file name before the deadline has passed, we encourage you to fix the file name, reattach the file, and resubmit your application before the deadline so your application can be considered for funding. 

For technical assistance with submitting files to Grants.gov, prior to the application deadline, call the Grants.gov Customer Support Hotline at 800-518-4726 or 606-545-5035, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for federal holidays. 

If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Justice Information Center at 877-927-5657 or via their web site at www.justiceinformationcenter.us/

And finally, please give yourself enough time to apply successfully.  These issues can be resolved and we do want to do everything we can to support these promising grant programs.


Bureau of Justice Assistance

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