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Small Business Innovation Research FAQs

What types of research does NIA fund in its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs?

Access NIA's section in the 2018 NIH SBIR-STTR Omnibus FOAs/Research Topics to view Small Business Research and Development (R&D) Program research topics appropriate for consideration by and applications to NIA.

How can I submit an application to your program?

NIA's Director of Small Business R&D Programs requests that before contacting NIA and submitting an application, potential applicants should: (1) access via Grants.gov the annual NIH SBIR and STTR Omnibus FOAs & the NIA-only SBIR-STTR AD and Translational Research FOAs; (2) review the NIH SBIR-STTR SF-424 application instructions and guidelines for completing the SBIR-STTR SF-424 application, and (3) access the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT) system to determine if the proposal overlaps with an already-funded grant.

If there is no overlap, send an e-mail to the Director of NIA's Small Business R&D Programs with a one-page summary (see below).

The one-page summary should address the following questions:

  1. The technology prototype to be developed;
  2. The technical innovation the development would represent and technical challenges to overcome;
  3. The specific aims;
  4. The value proposition and competition;
  5. The relevance of the R&D to NIA’s mission.

Director of NIA's Small Business R&D Programs:

Michael-David Alphonsus Rodriguez Richardson Kerns, M.M., M.S. Ph.D.
Email Michael-David Kerns, Ph.D.

What are the reviewers' qualifications, and how are they chosen to review?

Reviewers come from a wide range of organizations, including universities, nonprofit advocacy and research organizations, and small businesses. Scientific Review Administrators (SRAs) from NIH's Center for Scientific Review select qualified reviewers and oversee the review process. Each reviewer is selected according to her or his relevant expertise and experience in the research

How do I ensure my SBIR-STTR application will come to NIA?

After potential applicants interact with and learn whether the potential Small Business R&D would be appropriate for NIA, potential applicants are encouraged to request NIA assignment by NIH's Center for Scientific Review (CSR) in the cover-letter section of SF-424 application.

Note: The NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) has exclusive authority and discretion over all application receipt, referral, and peer-review decisions.

After the application is submitted, the applicant will be notified of the following: (1) that NIH received the application, (2) to which Institute(s) it was assigned, and (3) the name of and contact information for the Scientific Review Administrator (SRA) assigned to coordinate peer-review of the application. If the application is not assigned to NIA, applicants may contact the Office of Receipt and Referral in NIH's Center for Scientific Review to request reassignment to NIA.

Can I submit technology examples with my application?

Applicants who wish to submit supplemental materials should contact the Scientific Review Officer (SRO) assigned to oversee the primary review of their SBIR-STTR applications to discuss and request permission to submit any supplemental materials. In addition, applicants should refer to NIH's recently published Notice on Post-Submission Application Materials.

Who should submit a Fast Track application?

Small businesses who are most competitive for a Fast Track review are those that have completed some or part of the development of the prototype product, compound or service (or have some or part of the necessary product-development data) that needs further testing and development (in the Phase II project), and a strong Commercialization Plan and the capability—including financial resources and/or third-party investment, to move quickly to realize commercial aims or outcomes.

If my company is bought out by another small company, can I continue to be the Principal Investigator in Phase II of my project?

SBIR-STTR grants are awarded to the applicant small business concern (SBC) and not to the P.I. If working on any phase of an SBIR-STTR project and the SBC is acquired or if the business status of the SBC otherwise changes (in a fundamental way, namely, if ownership changes or the legal entity designation status changes), the project may be completed. However, if completing a Phase I and the company is acquired by a non-SBA-small-business eligible company, applicants will not eligible to submit a Phase II application.

Best advice is to contact NIA's Director of Small Business R&D Programs and the NIA Grants Management Specialist assigned to the award/grant.

How do I request a no-cost extension?

Send an e-mail to the NIA Grants Management Specialist and NIA Program Officer assigned to your grant that provides a detailed justification for the no-cost extension.

Do you handle money-related issues for my grant?

The NIA Small Business R&D Director addresses all Small Business R&D Program-related questions and policies, including questions about funding and reporting requirements. The NIA Program Officer assigned to your grant addresses the scientific-related questions and issues. Finally, the grants-management specialist assigned to your grant fields all money and business-related questions.