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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 2016 NIH SBIR-STTR Omnibus FOAs/Research Topics to view SBIR and STTR research topics appropriate for consideration by and applications to NIA.

How can I submit an application to your program?

NIA's SBIR-STTR Program Coordinator requests that before contacting NIA & submitting an application, potential applicants should: (1) access via 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 NIA's SBIR-STTR Program Coordinator with the five-point summary (see below). NIA's SBIR Program Manager will review the outline and discuss it with the appropriate NIA research division to determine whether the proposed research topic would be relevant to current research priorities. This preliminary evaluation process helps NIA dtermine whether and to what extent the proposed research topic addresses NIA's mission and which of NIA's four research divisions would likely be most appropriate for the proposed research topic.

The five-point and one-page summary should address the following questions:

  1. What larger question(s)/problem(s) would be addressed?
  2. What are the hypotheses to be tested?
  3. What are the specific aims of the proposed research?
  4. What are the research design and research methodology(ies)?
  5. How is the proposed research topic relevant to NIA's mission & SBIR-STTR research priorities?

NIA SBIR-STTR Program Coordinator:

Michael-David ARR Kerns, M.M., M.S. 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?

If the NIA SBIR-STTR Program Manager determines the project is of interest to NIA, applicants are encouraged to request NIA ssignment by NIH's Center for Scientific Review (CSR) in the cover-letter section of SF-424 application.

CSR has exclusive authority over all 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 SRA assigned to oversee 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?

Answer: 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?

Answer: Small businesses who are most competitive for a Fast Track review are those that have strong pilot and/or preliminary data, a product or service prototype that needs further testing and development, and a strong Commercialization Plan and the capability to move quickly to realize their commercial aims/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 SBIR-STTR Program Coordinator 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 SBIR-STTR Program Manager addresses all SBIR-STTR 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.