Grant is a fund that is given by a grant maker to a recipient. Grant makers can be governments, corporations, foundations, while recipients may be individuals, institutions, businesses etc. Their main characteristic is that they are not supposed to be repaid.
Government grant is the amount of money that is given by the local, state or federal government. The grant recipients are called grantees. As all of the grants, government grants shouldn’t be repaid.
Government grants are awarded in order to complete a certain project. Those are usually large projects that applicants can’t fund by themselves.Projects
To qualify for a government grant recipient, one needs to write a detailed project plan with all the potential costs covered. If project’s purpose and budget is acceptable, the grant can be given. Projects are written carefully and, once chosen, the recipient is obligated to provide proof of project steps progress. Miscellaneous expenses and other potentially needed assistance is not included in the grant. It only covers the amount predicted in the project plan.
Many steps are taken in order to insure that grant money is actually spent on the given project. That is why the terms for getting government grant are so strict, and it doesn’t get a lot easier later, when every step of the project is closely monitored.
Types of grants in the USA
Government grants in the USA come from numerous government departments. Governments often give education grants (e.g. PhD studies), research grants (NASA, IACUC), science grants (CSR, NSF). There are several types of grants in the USA:
Categorical grants – mostly it is predetermined for which purposes the grant money will be given.
Project grants – projects from different states are competing for the funding and those which are considered the best get the money.
Formula grants – there is no competition, grants are given based on the existing formula.
Block grants – don’t require strict projects, but are given to recipients in order to be spent on general purposes.
Earmark grants – considered controversial because of their awarding policy; there are no strict rules for getting this kind of grant.
In Europe, the EU has many open project competitions for specific kinds of projects. Two main Europe’s funding bodies are the European Commission and the Council of Europe.