I've been in a conversation with a professor about hiring me as a potential postdoc. Recently he sent me an e-mail saying he would like to accept me to his team, but he can do this only if he can get a new grant.

As I understand the situation, his current grant is ending soon, and he hasn't been able to get new grants yet, but is still trying.

In general, when do US-based foundations announce their grant awards? (I'd like to know so that I can ask him again on time whether he got a grant, so I don't lose the position that I kind of have right now.)

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    You do not "kind of have" a position right now. You have a good lead on a position, but that's not the same thing. – JeffE Nov 9 '17 at 21:24

There's no fixed timeline. For example, the National Science Foundation has deadlines for proposal submission that are scattered around the year, and once a proposal has been submitted, it may take the NSF 3-9 months to decide. There are also numerous other funding agencies.

In other words, the only way for you to find out when that date may be is to communicate with the professor. He may have an idea when that may be, but the NSF doesn't set a fixed date when they will announce their grants -- that email may come on a random day and a random time.

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    Good answer. Also, the US Government has not had a proper budget for over a decade and is operating under a "continuing resolution". These, and the potential for retroactive budget cuts make it hard for NSF to administer grants. – Richard Erickson Nov 9 '17 at 14:25
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    That too. I'm sure that's one of the reasons why the NSF can't promise any deadlines. – Wolfgang Bangerth Nov 9 '17 at 15:31

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