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Small Business Grants:
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs

Please note that by December 1, 2005, NIH plans to transition SBIR and SBTT program grants from the PHS398 application to the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) application, and to require e-submission of grant applications via

The SBIR/STTR Programs are structured in three phases.

Phase I

The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit and feasibility of the proposed R/R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. Support under Phase I is normally provided for six months/$100,000 for SBIR and one year/$100,000 for STTR. However, applicants may propose longer periods of time and greater amounts of funds necessary for completion of the project.

Phase II

The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. Support under Phase II is normally provided for two years/$750,000 for SBIR and two years/$500,000 for STTR. However, applicants may propose longer periods of time and greater amounts of funds necessary for completion of the project.

Applicants are very strongly encouraged to contact Institute/Center Program Staff before submitting an application in which the budget and/or project period deviates from the SBIR or STTR statutory guidelines. While the Phase I and Phase II award levels are guidelines that allow for applicants to propose a budget and project period appropriate for completion of the research project, deviations from the guidelines should be discussed with program contact Lynn E. Luethke ( or grants management contact Christopher Myers ( prior to submission of the application.

Phase II Competing Continuation Awards

The NIDCD will accept competing continuation Phase II SBIR/STTR grant applications from Phase II SBIR/STTR awardees to continue developing products that require approval from a federal regulatory agency (e.g., the FDA or FCC). Such products include but are not limited to medical implants, drugs, vaccines, and new treatment or diagnostic tools that require FDA approval.

The NIDCD will accept applications for up to two (2) years and up to $750,000 per year in total costs. This continuation grant should help small businesses reach a stage where interest and investment by third parties is more likely.

Please contact your program director or Lynn Luethke (, NIDCD's SBIR/STTR coordinator, before putting an application together. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to (a) contact NIH staff prior to submission of a type 2 competing continuation application and (b) submit a letter of intent to the program contact that includes

  • a descriptive title of the proposed research;
  • the name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator;
  • the names of other key personnel;
  • a list of participating institutions; and
  • the PA, RFA, or Solicitation Number (e.g., PHS 2004-2).

A letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application. However, it allows NIH staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review. It is expected that only a portion of NIDCD SBIR/STTR Phase II awards will be eligible for a competing continuation grant.

Phase III

The objective of Phase III, where appropriate, is for the small business concern to pursue with non-SBIR/STTR funds the commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I/II R/R&D activities.

The SBIR/STTR solicitations and the grant application package are available on the NIH's Small Business Funding Opportunities page.

Examples of areas that small businesses can contribute to the mission of the NIDCD include, but are certainly not limited to: hearing (e.g., new hearing aid and auditory implant technologies, research tools and models for studying the auditory system, viral vectors for gene transfer to the inner ear); balance (e.g., drug delivery systems, new assessment and rehabilitative technologies); voice, speech and language (e.g., new assessment and rehabilitative strategies, animal models); smell and taste (e.g., drug delivery systems, new diagnostic tools, improved techniques for research).

For further information on research topics, contact Dr. Roger Miller (, NIDCD's SBIR/STTR coordinator.





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